How to answer “What Motivates You to Work” Sample Answers

Interview session between a man and a woman

When preparing for your next interview, you must take some time to practice possible answers to all interview questions that may come your way. Employers like asking open-ended questions as it gives them the chance to know you better. 

One of these open-ended questions you would most likely come across is the “What motivates you to work” question or “What’s your motivation” 

Hence, to avoid being thrown off balance, it’s best to practice different answers that align with the role you are applying for. 

So, to help you put your best foot forward, we’ve outlined and explained the best strategy for answering this question. Also, you will find some sample answers which you can model according to your personal experience and skills. 

What are Excellent Answers to the Question ‘What motivates you?’

The best answer to the question “What motivates you” should be concise but insightful and centered on how your skills, experience, or achievements that have worked overtime contributed positively to the projects you’ve worked with. Also, a good answer should explain why you are interested in the role

More so, a good answer to the question of what motivates you should be specific to an accomplishment that fuels your passion. Know that this question is not about the monetary rewards that ‌drive everyone to work, but the definable reason that ignites a desire to accomplish specific tasks within you. 

However, when expressing your answer, it’s important to be honest. Don’t try to make up something that you think the interviewer wants to hear. Just be yourself and explain what truly motivates you.

More so, make sure your answer to the question is relevant to the job you are interviewing for. If you are applying for a customer service position, talk about how you are motivated by helping others. But ensure you back your answer with examples to drive home your point in a lasting way.

Here are some experiences you may want to talk about when answering the question “What motivates you” 

  • Leading a team to build an innovative idea from scratch
  • Spotting errors in files that helped save a company’s reputation
  • Sorting and analyzing complex data for company analysis
  • Coming up with a brilliant idea 
  • Completing a task before the deadline 
  • Finding a way to solve complex problems even as the lady resort
  • Mentoring and coaching other colleagues
  • Balancing work-life commitments effectively.
  • Mastering new skills and technologies.
  • Making a positive impact on colleagues and stakeholders.

One key fact you should note is that in answering the question about what motivates you, you should allow your personality to shine true. 

Why do Employers ask you About what Motivates you?

They want to, and your general outlook on staying professional even when life hits hard. They want to know why, that sound reason that makes you thrive regardless of environmental circumstances. Your answer could let them know the following about you:

  • They want to know your values and goals 
  • What makes you tick and tough 
  • How you would fit into the job and contribute to the overall growth is the company
  • Whether you are a goal-getter or one who shrinks out of fear when faced with a challenging task 
  • They want to know if you understand your role and what makes you good at what you do

Providing generic answers to this question will only prove one point, that you are just disguising to be great.  However, if you know your knots well, you will be well on your way to making a lasting impression.

What should you write About when Answering the Question” What motivates you to work”

How to answer the  interview question ‘What motivates you?’

When preparing your answer for the  question “What motivates you to work?”It’s important to be honest and authentic. More so,  highlight the factors that genuinely drive your work ethic and engagement. 

Here are some key aspects you should consider talking about when answering the question ” What motivates you to work” 

  • Talk about what you enjoy doing the most (don’t forget to highlight the similarities better what intrigues your interest and the job role you are applying for)
  • Talk about what you loved most about your previous experience (internship, full-time role, or part-time) what did you anticipate?  What kind of task did you handle and how satisfied did it make you feel?
  • Also, talk about the kind of tasks that you excel in and the environment that helps you thrive. Are you a team player? Do you struggle with deadlines? What makes you explicitly outstanding?

Remember, you don’t have to exaggerate your skills, be as honest and natural as possible. But ensure your answers are all tailored to the job role you are applying for.

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Sample answer to “What motivates you to work” 

#1. What motivates you to work – Creative problem-solving 

As an influencer marketer, I’ve always been drawn to work that allows me to think creatively and find innovative solutions to complex problems. I thrive in environments where I can collaborate with others, share ideas, and work together to achieve common goals. 

One of the most rewarding aspects of my career happened in my previous role where I designed a nurturing model for leads. Seeing the tangible impact of my work in converting these leads to royalties reaffirmed my zeal and joy. 

Moreover, whether it’s developing a new product that improves people’s lives or designing a marketing campaign that generates positive social change, I’m always motivated by the opportunity to make a real difference in the world this motivated me to apply for this role”:

#2. Sample answer –  Creative Projects

As a graphic designer, I’m constantly inspired by the challenge of bringing ideas to life through visual storytelling. I love collaborating with clients to understand their vision and then translating it into an interesting and impactful design. In my previous role, I could work on a rebranding project for a local charity. It was incredibly rewarding to see how my designs helped to elevate the organization’s brand and attract new supporters.

#3. What motivates you to work – Teamwork

 I thrive in environments where I can collaborate with others and share ideas. I believe that teamwork is essential for achieving great things. In my previous role as a project manager, I led a team of engineers and developers in the creation of a new software product. We worked closely together to overcome challenges, share expertise, and ultimately deliver a successful product on time and under budget.

#4. What motivates you to work – Problem-solving

I’m a natural problem-solver. I enjoy analyzing complex situations and identifying creative solutions. In my previous role as a data analyst, I was responsible for identifying trends and patterns in data that could help the company improve its operations. I used my analytical skills to identify several areas where we could save more money and increase efficiency. Which led to an increase In company revenue by 48% over 3 months. My desire to create more solutions to financial constraints affecting fintech startups increased my desire to apply for this role.

#5. What motivates you to work –  Learning and Growth

I’m always eager to learn new things and expand my knowledge. I believe that continuous learning is essential for success in any field. In my previous role as a software developer, I took advantage of every opportunity to learn new programming languages and technologies. This helped me to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and contribute more effectively to my team’s projects.

#6. What motivates you to work –  Making a Difference

I’m motivated by the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world. I want my work to have a meaningful impact on the lives of others. In my previous role as a social worker, I worked with families to help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals. It was incredibly rewarding to see how my work helped to improve the lives of my clients and their families. This passion to put a smile on every home across Africa made your advert appealing to me.

#7. Sample Answer  Recognition and Appreciation

I’m motivated by recognition and appreciation for my hard work. I want to know that my efforts are valued by my colleagues and my employer. In my previous role as a sales representative, I was consistently recognized for my top-performing sales results. This recognition fueled my motivation and helped me to achieve even greater success.

#8. Sample Answer – Autonomy and Independence

I thrive in environments where I have the autonomy and independence to manage my work. I believe that I’m most productive when I’m able to set my own goals and make my own decisions. In my previous role as a freelance writer, I had the freedom to set my schedule and choose the projects I worked on. This allowed me to focus on my strengths and produce high-quality work that met the needs of my clients.

#9.Sample Answer – Work-life balance

I’m motivated by the opportunity to achieve a healthy work-life balance. I believe that it’s important to have time for both work and personal life. In my previous role as a marketing manager, I worked hard to create a team culture that valued work-life balance. I encouraged my team members to take breaks, use vacation time, and disconnect from work outside of work hours. This helped to create a more productive and engaged team.

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Conclusion on “What Motivates You to Work”

No matter what you say, when the question ‘What motivates you to work” is thrown at you during your interview, make sure your answer is genuine and reflects who you are as a person. 

More so, ensure your response aligns with the job description you are applying for with good examples to back your claims.  

Giving a  good answer when asked to talk about your motivation not only creates a lasting impression but also helps the interviewer understand what drives you, your values, and your goals. Which is a great factor in determining whether you would be a good fit for the job or not.

Lastly, to scale this, ensure you practice as many interview questions as you can because you need to impress your interviewer while the interview lasts.

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