What motivates you?

When you’re preparing for a job interview, it’s important to anticipate the questions that you might be asked, and be ready to provide thoughtful, well-crafted answers. One question that you should definitely be prepared for is “What motivates you?” This question can be tricky because the interviewer is trying to get a sense of what drives you personally and professionally. They’re also looking to see how your motivations align with the goals and culture of their organization. Here are some tips on how to answer this question effectively:

  1. Avoid mentioning money, perks, or promotions As the script mentions, it’s not a good idea to say that you’re motivated primarily by financial rewards or other external perks. This can make you come across as self-centered or mercenary, rather than someone who is genuinely passionate about the work you’ll be doing.
  2. Consider different types of motivators The script offers several different motivators that you might use to answer this question. These include being motivated by deadlines and pressure, responsibility and varied tasks, analyzing data and making improvements, challenging targets, doing things to a high standard, providing for your family, continuous learning and improvement, and goals and achievement.
  3. Tailor your answer to the job you’re applying for Depending on the nature of the job you’re interviewing for, some of these motivators may be more relevant than others. For example, if you’re applying for a technical role, it might make sense to focus on your interest in analyzing data and making improvements. If you’re applying for a sales position, mentioning that you’re motivated by challenging targets could be particularly effective.
  4. Provide specific examples When you’re answering this question, it’s a good idea to provide specific examples that illustrate your motivators in action. For instance, you might talk about a time when you had to meet a tight deadline and how that motivated you to work extra hard to get the job done. Or you could talk about a project you worked on that you were particularly proud of because it allowed you to use your skills in a new way.
  5. Be authentic and honest Ultimately, the key to answering this question effectively is to be authentic and honest. Don’t try to give an answer that you think the interviewer wants to hear if it’s not true to your own motivations and values. Instead, focus on what genuinely drives you and how that can contribute to the organization you’re applying to work for.


  1. Motivated by deadlines and pressure: “I am motivated by deadlines and pressure. I find that having set time frames to work towards and needing to act quickly under pressure makes me feel valued at work. It also shows that I will take ownership of difficult tasks and duties.”
  2. Motivated by responsibility and varied tasks: “I am motivated by responsibility and having lots of varied tasks to do at work. This shows that I need to be pushed and challenged at work, and I am the type of employee who will take on any task and do it to the best of my ability.”
  3. Motivated by analyzing data and information: “I am motivated by analyzing data and information with a view to making improvements at work. I enjoy investigating things and coming up with new, creative ways to help the business grow and improve.”
  4. Motivated by challenging targets: “I am motivated by challenging targets. Being motivated by targets shows that I am a driven and self-motivated person who is always striving to achieve more and exceed expectations.”
  5. Motivated by doing everything to a high standard and on time: “I am motivated by doing everything to a high standard and on time. This shows that I have high standards and will do things exactly to the required standard. It also communicates to the interviewer that I am organized and reliable.”
  6. Motivated by providing for family: “I am motivated by making sure my family is provided for, safe, secure, and healthy. I understand that this can only be achieved if I do a really good job at work and impress my manager.”
  7. Motivated by continuous learning and improving: “I am motivated by continuous learning and improving. If I am the type of person who is always open to learning new things and developing myself professionally, this is very attractive to all hiring managers.”
  8. Motivated by goals and achievement: “I am motivated by goals and achievement. If I have something to work towards, it makes me feel good about myself and gives me a high level of job satisfaction. Every week, I set myself targets to achieve, which means I am continually moving forward and progressing.”


The “What motivates you?” question can be a challenging one to answer, but with some thought and preparation, you can provide a response that showcases your passion, drive, and alignment with the organization’s goals. Use the motivators suggested in the script as a starting point, and be sure to provide specific examples that illustrate your points. By doing so, you’ll demonstrate to the interviewer that you’re not only motivated, but also thoughtful and well-prepared.

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