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Job Interviews

How to Answer “What Motivates You?” – TheEmployable Interview Tips

What Motivates you? Well starting thinking!

During a job interview, many of the questions we are asked require us to be quite self analytical and our answers often reveal to the interviewer a lot more than we may at times realise. One such question which can do exactly that is when we are asked : “What motivates you?”.
Whilst there are no definitive right or wrong answers to this, there are certainly some guidelines that you should follow to make sure that you are revealing the right type of attributes to the interviewer.

Think about it
As part of your interview preparation, you should spend some time thinking about your previous academic and work history and identify when you were actually most motivated. Was it your own personal development, actual job satisfaction or were you driven by a target or challenge? Aim to establish which tasks in particular you most enjoyed and which made you feel most energised. It could help to look at your CV in order to establish what these were. The key thing of course though is to answer this question in a spontaneous like manner, so that your response does not sound too pre-prepared and rehearsed.

The money factor
For many of us, the main motivation for getting up and going to work every day is simply the monetary reward we get at the end of the month – yes, our wages. Unfortunately, whilst this may be the truth, it is perhaps best not to reveal this to an interviewer, as it could completely give the wrong impression. If money is instinctively your first response, then you should take some time to consider what other factors also motivate you on a daily basis, as it is these which will do more to impress an interviewer. The only time, however, where it may actually be acceptable to state that you are first and foremost motivated by money would be if the role was an intensely targeted sales or commission focused role where being hungry for money equated to being hungry and driven for sales.

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3 Responses to “How to Answer “What Motivates You?” – TheEmployable Interview Tips”

  1. Another potential example I have used within successful interviews when asked this question is that motivation comes from an intrinsic association between your work and the idea of the self. Essentially, due to your up-bringing, you feel that your work is a direct reflection upon you; bad work will detract from your personal pride and good work will validate it.

    Therefore what you are saying is that you will always strive to perform your duties to the highest standard simply because it’s ‘natural’ for you to do so. You will naturally seek to do a good job.

    By all means you can then add something specific but I find this argument appears to appeal to many an interviewer. It’s essentially a self-sustaining motivator.

    Posted by waywardworld | May 8, 2012, 2:59 pm


  1. […] What motivates you? […]

  2. […] some time analyzing yourself. Work out your strengths, your weaknesses, your achievements and your motivations. After all, the interviewer will be using all sorts of questioning techniques to get the answers to […]

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