Interview Question: What Motivates You?

How to prepare for the Interview Question – What Motivates You? | Sample Responses | Things To Avoid

“What motivates you?” is a very apparent question in an interview, but you still can face issues in answering it.

Sometimes, you may get critical about revealing the actual thing. You might get confused about what to say or how to say it? What if they will not understand and judge you? Does it reduce your chances of selection? Etc etc.

Chris Grosser has said, “Opportunities don’t happen; you create them,” and the interview is your final opportunity to prove yourself. Make it or break it!

Don’t worry! We will answer all of your questions and associated concerns in this article.

Usher in!

What Are They Thinking?

It is essential to know the reason behind this strength-based interview question. Not exactly; We mean, you can have the idea, at least. This will make it easier for you to curate your answer and project it rightly.

So, what can be the possible reasons?

  • What do you prioritize the most? Well! When you’re telling them about your source of motivation, it is a good chance for them to know your priorities and get an insight into your professional self. 
  • Whether you are the right fit for the job role, though motivation can be anything, it will be great if it aligns with your work.
  • What do you enjoy doing? The source of your motivation can drive your likes and dislikes, and they may want to know them. 
  • What hits you mentally or professionally? If something motivates you, it can help you pursue your goal, and hiring managers may want to know the same. 
  • What drives you to achieve better? Your hiring manager wants to know what inspires you to be successful. Motivation is integral, especially at a constant rate.
  • A trick question! Yes, it may be a straightforward trick question, and the candidate wants to assess your thought procedure.

Tips To Answer

We hope you know the 3-4 fundamental reasons behind this question, but that shall not change your response. Why? Because staying original is the priority. Stick to it! You can try building your answer differently, but do not change its core version.

If truth be told, you are lucky to be asked this question in your interview. This is your chance to sell your USPs. Don’t pressurize yourself anyway.

We have a few tips that you can use while making your answer. Let’s go through them one by one,

  • Discover your motivation. Are you sure about your source of motivation? You should be! How will you manage to convince your interviewers if you’re not convinced yourself? So, explore different paths and fields and find genuine inspiration. 
  • Be prepared! Whatever your motivation is, you shall be prepared well with it. And what is the proper strategy to follow to be successful? Research the company, read the job description and look through its social media handles. You may find it irrelevant, but, in reality, it is not. Everything is crucial and going to help you in different ways. 
  • Stay true to yourself and your interviewers. Lying is fallacious. You may find it easy to describe something randomly, but what if they ask another related question? It is always challenging to memorize the created answer based on a lie compared to the real one. If you mention something real, you can answer every associated question. 

A quick note: The question is not about your career goals. It is pronounced that candidates get confused between future aspirations and inspirations. Please don’t mix them!

Interview Question – What Motivates You? Sample Answers (For Freshers and Experienced)


Being a bookworm, I shall say that reading inspires me the most. It keeps me motivated, irrespective of what’s going on in my mind. It has driven my capabilities up to a whole different level, like I can stay fresh and creative at work and increased my patience level. I have read several books and found something amusing every time I read. The most loved part is that it has made me active and positive at work. I believe that reading has improved my vision in life and affected my concentration skills. I can see a better world now.

Why it works:

  • Mentions a daily-life habit as a motivation.
  • The candidate is explaining the role of motivation in his work life.

Inclination towards a deadline:

I have always been a punctual person at work, and I am heartfelt when it comes to deadlines. I believe in the utmost importance of time, which drives me to stay motivated every time, in every aspect of my life, including work. Moreover, it allows me to feel accomplished. To meet the deadlines, I always stay organized. In my last workplace, I divided the project into various short-term goals and set time limits for them. I assigned different tasks to my teammates, and it worked out. We managed to deliver the project on time.

Why it works:

  • The candidate is highlighting the importance of time.
  • He is mentioning his experience, which is driven by motivation.

Desire to learn and grow

I want to cultivate a deep understanding of my field, and that is something keeping me motivated. The desire to learn and grow allows me to explore innovations and ideas personally and professionally. Even at my previous designation, I used to stay motivated through learning. I continually seek knowledge. As a software developer, I have much more to learn, from software to techniques, strategies to soft skills. I believe there is much more to learn than what I know today. If I get a job in your reputed company, I will prove myself as an active learner apart from a skilled developer.

  • The candidate is open to learning new things, which is very attractive to an employer. 

Providing for my family

I consider providing for my family a constant source of motivation for me. As an HR professional, I have experienced many things, but I always stay positive and active at work. Even in challenging situations, I cannot afford to lose myself, and the support is not limited to finance only. I believe in offering them the affectionate shoulder to rely upon in their tough times, and this is what keeps me steady through my path of life and career. Whether it is a challenge at my job or learning a new skill, I look up to my motivation. I feel incredibly proud, blessed, and happy to have this responsibility.

  • The humane side of the candidate is being shown.
  • The willingness to earn and overcome challenges is a praiseworthy characteristic.

Facing and overcoming the challenges

I am self-motivated, and I always see myself conquering the challenges at work and in my personal life. I feel attractive and exciting to face up-to-the-minute dares, or else life would be incredibly dull. I love to crack different ways to tame and tackle my issues. This urge to face challenges worked well for me during my last job. As a sales and marketing executive, I could complete many of my targets. Our team escalated the sales rate up to 40% within 3 months, and the CEO personally appreciated us. At that time, I felt immense pride in my source of motivation.

  • The candidate has mentioned his motivation and accomplishment during previous work experience.

We hope you find the responses mentioned above considerate, but what if you get motivated by more than one source? How will you create your answer in that case?

No worries, We are here!

Let’s take an example,

I am a person who tends to find motivation in so many things, depending on the situation. Sometimes, I find my hardworking colleague motivating, and other times, I feel the work pressure influences me to reach the deadlines. Everything positive drives me to achieve great things. I have been working as an IT professional, and finding motivation from different resources allows me to explore innovations and accomplish milestones at work.

Needless To Say!

While going through many probable answers, we didn’t forget to count on the negative points. Yes, we are talking about the “Big NO” responses that can completely ruin your reputation, and you may end up disgusted with your performance.

  • Money motivates me and drives me to perform better. – Never say something like that!

Don’t mention money. Yeah, we both are working for a good number of bucks, which is entirely fair. But, this is not something you should mention in your interview response. It portrays you as a mere materialistic person having no deep sense of observations or thoughts.

  • I am getting a lot of perks at my workplace at this designation, which is a source of ceaseless motivation. – we are sure you don’t like being called greedy or unprofessional.

Everybody enjoys perks, and this is entirely fair too, but we suggest not to mention the same as your motivation. It cannot be!

  • I have a constant fear of losing my job, and that is what keeps me going in my career. – Fear and motivation? Doesn’t seem aligned.

We all care about our jobs and work dedicatedly to save them, but this cannot be a motivation. In our opinion, you will lose all your points if you mention something like this in your interview.

Quick Upshots

It is 2022, and the competitive competition is getting tougher day by day. Massive candidates are racing and striving hard for one particular job. You need to be different and impressive. Your efforts will never deceive you. Keep going!

  • Discover the real thing that motivates you
  • Idealize the originality in your response
  • Give yourself a lot of positive affirmations
  • Prepare your answer yourself (by taking the help of my sample answers)
  • Work on your communication skills
  • Avoid saying anything negative

Go ahead! We are rooting for you!