How to answer: what motivates you?

You will be asked a variety of interview questions when you go in for a job interview,  and some of them may be more challenging than others.

Candidates are often well-prepared to answer questions related to their skills and areas of expertise; nevertheless, they may be less prepared to answer open-ended questions such as "What motivates or inspires you?"

If you want to deliver a solid answer, you need to do some self-reflection, think about the reasoning behind this question, and also do some research about the organization.

Why do recruiters ask this question?

The first step to answering any question is to understand what you're being asked and why it's being asked. What information do recruiters really want to know? Obviously, they will be interested in learning about your motivation, but in addition to that, there are a lot of hidden purposes as well.

Questions about inspiration and motivation are related to your mindset and personality. What the potential employer wants to know is how well you know yourself, if you are the kind of person who seeks opportunities to improve on a daily basis, and whether or not your attitude is compatible with that of the business.

Think about what really motivates you

After giving some thought to the reasons that led to the question, it is time to engage in some self-reflection. When responding to this question, the greatest piece of advice to receive is to make an effort to answer honestly.

We are aware that some individuals have a hard time defining what it is that drives them. If this is the case, you should go back on your previous experiences and attempt to discover what it was that made you feel thrilled and what motivated you to continue moving ahead despite the challenges you faced. Was it a specific individual that you look up to as a role model, or was it an accomplishment or a vision?

Ask yourself what led you to choose the job or field that you are in, as well as what led you to apply for this specific position.

Tailor your answer to correspond with the company’s WHY

Another thing that businesses want to find out about prospective employees is whether or not their personality is a good match for the company. They won't take the chance of recruiting someone who isn't compatible with the rest of the team.

At the end of the day, each corporation is a social group with its own set of principles, beliefs, and unwritten norms. And just like any other social group, it is very difficult for someone to fit in who does not share the same values and views as the organization.

For this reason, before applying for any job, you should first do some research about the company. Do some research on the company's social media to learn more about what they offer and how they deliver it. Try to identify the group leaders and do some digging on their social media, especially LinkedIn, to learn more about what sorts of people they are.

After learning their WHY, you should consider whether or not it aligns with your own WHY. Do you really consider yourself to be a part of that community, and do you find that you are all driven and inspired by the same things? If the answer is yes, you should make an effort to emphasize this point in your response.

Keep it relevant to the job

When answering such questions, it is pretty easy to get lost, especially for people who like to speak a lot about themselves. Be aware, however, that hiring managers are not interested in learning information that is not relevant to their objectives since doing so would be a waste of their time.

The interviews that are most likely to be successful are the ones in which the candidates restrict their response to one or two particular reasons that also demonstrate their qualifications for the position.

Add examples from previous experience

A strategy I would suggest is that you include examples, especially from previous employment, while expressing your reasoning. Consider your accomplishments, figure out what drove you to put in the effort necessary to reach those accomplishments, and include that information in your statements to show how a specific factor pushed you to put in the effort.

While preparing your CV, you should consider what questions you may be asked if you are lucky to be invited for the interview. Good resumes include an achievements section to which you may refer when answering this question. If you are unsure how and where to list your accomplishments we are more than happy to help you.

Here are some examples of how to respond to the question: "What motivates/inspires you?" in an interview:

Example 1:

I'm a problem solver at heart. It's how my brain works, and I'm drawn to challenging tasks. In previous jobs, I was usually recognized for my ability to come up with creative solutions, one of which is accomplishment X on my resume. Aside from my duties, I was always willing to assist my coworkers with assignments that needed extensive analysis and critical thinking.

Example 2:  

I am well-known for my exceptional interpersonal skills. My objective is to keep all clients and customers satisfied, and I am driven by seeing happy customers and knowing that I contributed to the success of my company. In prior employment, I worked hard to establish a solid relationship with my clients by attempting to understand and meet their requirements; as a result, I was able to build a loyal client base and was named employee of the year.