Interview Questions : How To Answer “What Motivates You” In An Interview

Interview Questions : How To Answer “What Motivates You” In An Interview


interview questions

There are some interview questions that are challenging because the interviewee has never heard of it before. A fresher feels boggled on what has been thrown upon him.

But there are some which are asked since ages and not knowing answers to them can be embarrassing as well as destructive for your job prospects.

One of these common interview questions is: “What motivates you?”.

Sounds very common and everyday thing, right?

But just think for an instant and answer what is it really that motivates you?

In a few seconds, you will realize the question isn’t that straightforward as it sounds to be. In fact, its tricky enough to let the interviewer gauge your capabilities from the answer to the question.

So, how should one answer to this?

Our interview guide will help you with this. Let’s see what all dimensions the question include and what can be the possible answers:

Understanding the question

Being praised by your family can be inspiring, a hug from your loved ones could be motivating, but in a professional scenario, personal answers might not fit very well.

For some questions, you can fit in a few points. But when the recruiter wants to know what motivates you, he wants to know how that can be profitable to the enterprise, and if you would be able to create or find those motivating factors in the given organization.

Important Interview Tips

You don’t have to be very creative or extraordinarily smart to aptly answer fresher interview questions. Just remember these three points:

  • Be honest. At least, don’t go overboard exaggerating things from what they actually are.
  • Be relevant.
  • Be confident.

All of the above should be applied while answering the particular question as well.


Possible Answers for “What Motivates You?”

Meeting Deadlines/ Early completions: For anyone who works on this idea knows that it is really motivating. When you have work piled over from a week, or even a month, you can’t concentrate on either your past or present work.

Try to explain this idea to your interviewers and tell them how meeting deadlines and finishing projects on time motivates you personally.

Positive/Constructive Feedback: By including this in your answer, not only are you answering your question really well but giving them one more positive point to consider you for the job role.

Not everyone is open to criticism and when you are confessing that constructive feedback is fine with you and even motivating, that’s a great quality you are putting in front!

Also Read: Most Common Questions During Personal Interview With Answers

Inventing new Ideas: Inventing and working on your own ideas is definitely motivating.

Do not assume that this would be a mainstream answer.

Recruiters prefer those who are open to work creatively and contribute their ideas rather than those who passively and mechanically work to complete their tasks day after day.

Learning and mentoring: “Learning and practically involving myself into what I learned motivates me”. That’s a heart-winning statement.

Back it up with your own ideas and also include how sharing those lessons with colleagues and juniors is also of your interests.

Managing teams: If you have shown leadership skills on your resume, you need to express it somewhere in your interview as well.

And this question gives you a great opportunity to do so.

Though don’t mix up leadership with ordering/commanding others. Those are two entirely different things and can bring opposite outcomes. Be very careful with your words here.


You can consult various guides and books on how to answer certain interview questions but ultimately you need to comprehend your situation yourself.

Copying similar answers can be disastrous. The ultimate inference is that the points can be more or less similar but you need to put it into your own words and sync them with your own experiences to sound convincing and truthful to your interviewers.

And that’s a really important thing!