How to reply to “What motivates you” question in an Interview?


‘What motivates you?’ You may think this is a simple question. But it is one of the most important and frequently asked questions. So take time to prepare the answer and ensure it aligns with the job you are applying for.

Your answer should explain how and why you are a good employee, and what makes you successful in your job or career. This gives an idea about your patterns and working methods. It also reflects your skills and experience. Therefore they help the interviewer decide if you are the best candidate to hire.

Employers ask what your motivation is, not what motivates you to work here or why you applied for one of their open positions. Since they want to understand your motivation to achieve your goals and contribute to success.

Moreover, the interviewer may ask this question in different ways. So you should know what they imply. You may not always hear what motivates you but:

  • What makes you competitive?
  • What motivates you to do a great job at work?
  • What makes you happy about work (or work in general)?
  • What makes you successful?
  • What makes you want to get up and go to work every day?

how to answer what motivates you with examples

How to reply to the “What motivates you to do a good job” question?

First and foremost, research about the company to prepare your answer before going for the interview. Understanding the employer’s role and priorities is critical to developing the right response. Usually, the questions the hiring manager asks are about your work life. Since they will not be about your personal life. Don’t start with obvious answers like high salary or good benefits. 

Change your answer to make them fit for the job you are applying for. Review the job description and frame your answers around the role. Be honest with yourself but don’t exaggerate.

Think about your strengths and past experiences. Additionally, use good examples, keep answers short, and be honest. Practice your answers with family or friends and get their feedback.

Answers to what motivates you to do great at work

“What motivates you to do great at work?” Sample answers to the question

Before starting to answer, think about your strengths and weaknesses. Remember what attracted you to the job you are applying for.  Find out what keeps you going in the professional world. This can be your desire to learn, use your problem-solving skills, or organize events, here are some examples to get you started:

Examples of people who are motivated by learning and improving skills

At my last job, I always signed up for training or education that would improve my skills. I believe that continuous learning makes us more creative and useful. Learning new skills motivates me. It’s exciting to see myself make progress as I learn more about my job or business

I am successful in continuous learning and skill development. Witnessing my skills grow and develop has made me passionate about my job.

Examples of people who are passionate about coding/any skill

I have been coding since middle school and it has been my passion ever since. With code competition, I solve problems, provide support, and ensure my success. I think about coding from the moment I wake up to when I fall asleep.

Examples of people who love organizing events

I like to achieve my goals and be the best at whatever I do. It gives me a break from overworking. So I can focus on quality work without the stress of working on a project for long periods. Moreover, good time management skills help me maintain the standard of performance.

I love planning and organizing. It is this drive that has allowed me to succeed professionally and personally. 

Examples of people who are motivated by helping others

Providing good customer service is what makes me who I am. I worked as a mobile sales representative at a local credit union. The day is busy solving customer problems and answering questions. I try to understand their questions and explain our process. Good customer reviews and high ratings, inspire me and increase my confidence.

My drive is to provide good customer service. The satisfaction of solving problems and making customers happy motivates me. Good feedback shows my commitment to excellence.

Examples for Team Members or Leaders

I am a team leader, managing a team of 10 people. I focus on improving results. So the team works efficiently and delivers the right results every time. My goal is to improve team processes and reduce repetitive work to increase productivity. Working with a team that is completing tasks ahead of schedule is what motivates me every day.

Joining a strong team, whether as a leader or facilitator motivates me. I am a multitasker driven to give my best.

Examples of people motivated by results

Visible results are my ultimate motivation. Setting big goals and creating strategies to achieve them makes me very happy. 

Data analysis is my passion. Contributing to strategic planning and achieving tangible results has made my career work.

reply to what motivates you question

Strategies to Give the Perfect Reply

Preparation can help you walk into the interview with more confidence. Understanding your motivation means being able to communicate clearly with the interviewer. Also, make sure you can work and fit well with the company’s culture and values. Do your research and preparation. This will help you overcome your fear and be ready to present yourself as the best candidate.

Explain your motivations in the interview

Understanding and expressing your motivations is the key to impressing the interviewer. So talk not only about your abilities but also about your passion for the job. 

Answer the question with something that shows your willingness. This will increase your chances of getting the job and requires careful planning.

Meaning of the question

When interviewers test your motivation, they want to see if you are a good fit for the job and the company’s goals. Therefore, your answers should highlight your career path, success at work, and skills that make you a good employee. This, combined with your qualifications and experience, helps the interviewer assess your candidature.

Formulate your answer

Start by researching the company and specific position you are applying for. This information allows you to tailor your answers to align with company goals. Consider your company’s mission and values ​​when formulating your answer.

Mention the motivations associated with the job profile when formulating your answer. For example, if the task requires problem-solving, express your interest in this skill. Review job descriptions. This will help you identify roles that interest you and include them in your answer.

Also, think about your strengths and past experiences to learn from them. Think about the time you worked and felt content. Use examples to strengthen your motivation, make your answers specific, and avoid negativity. Originality is important to be consistent with the character.

Follow the STAR Method

Highlight your willingness to use the STAR Method. This requires an in-depth examination of Situations, Tasks, Actions, and Results. Use this storytelling method to highlight how this has positively impacted your past roles.  Also, highlight how they will inspire your future work. This approach can add depth to your answer and attract the interviewer’s attention.

Concluding Words

When addressing answers about your motivations during interviews, thorough preparation is required. Research to understand the company’s values, goals, and culture to align your responses. Seek input from reliable individuals to refine your answer to ensure authenticity.

Preparation and rehearsal build confidence, enabling you to articulate your motivations effectively. Showing enthusiasm and clarity in your responses also impresses interviewers and reflects genuine commitment. Therefore by prioritizing preparation, practice, and authenticity, you can achieve success in interviews! Remember finding a job that suits your passions is the key to a fulfilling career.

Further, understanding the company goals can enrich your responses. Also educate yourself with recent developments, challenges, and trends relevant to their field as this reflects a proactive approach and a genuine interest. It also allows you to explain motivations in a larger context. By staying informed and adding insights to your responses, you position yourself as a well-informed and forward-thinking candidate. This increases your credibility during the interview process.

Also Read: How to Stay Motivated Working from Home



As the CEO and spokesperson for Pros Marketplace, my role involves connecting Latin American professionals with remote job opportunities worldwide. Anyone can create an account, apply for jobs, and secure employment without any charges. With 30 years of corporate experience, I am committed to carrying my son's legacy forward by contributing to progress and innovation in our society. A portion of our earnings goes towards organizations supporting spinal cord injuries to make the world a better place for all of us. Let's connect and become part of the Pros Marketplace family.
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