Search
Advice » Interviewing» Interview Questions » What Motivates You?
What Motivates You?

What Motivates You?

Strategies to Answer This Tough Interview Question

"What motivates you?" is one of those tough interview questions where your answer will depend on your background and experiences. This soul-searching interview question can really catch you off guard unless you've thought about it before the interview. Contemplating when you have been most satisfied in your career will not only help you answer this question, but it will also help you focus on what you want in your next job. 

Two candidates answer the motivation question, reflecting their values and what is important to them.

The first one says, "In my previous job, I worked directly with customers and their problems. What I liked was solving problems and helping people. Sometimes it took a lot of effort on my part, but it was very rewarding when the customer appreciated the service."

This interview answer reflects the candidate's interest in helping people and the satisfaction he gets in finding solutions.

The second candidate says, "Two years ago, I was involved in a project I was really excited about. The team I was working with had to come up with innovative ways to market a product that was not received well by consumers. It took lots of effort and long meetings, but we met our deadline and launched a terrific marketing campaign. It was really a motivating experience."

This candidate likes thinking outside the box and being part of a team. He loves a challenge and works well with pressure and deadlines.

Prepare Your Script

Writing out your thoughts will help you think about times when you felt energized by your work, times when you looked forward to going to work. For a source of ideas, refer to your resume. Which tasks did you list? Were they the tasks you enjoyed most and felt most motivated doing?

A statement on your resume might be:

  • Project leader: Led a team in coordinating and monitoring the progress of projects to assure the flow and completion of work on schedule.

What was it that was motivating about this experience? Being in charge? Being the source of information? Controlling the flow of work? Making sure the standards were in line with your work values?

By making a list of motivating experiences from your last two or three jobs, you will begin to see patterns of projects and tasks that stand out. Analyze what you did before. Do you want more of this type of responsibility in your next job? The answers to these questions will give you insight into what stimulates you as well as possibilities for fulfillment in future jobs with similar responsibilities.

Additionally, by focusing on times when you were energized by your work, you may become more enthusiastic about the job you are seeking.

There is no such thing as the perfect answer to the motivation question. Your answer will be based on your own individual experiences and analysis. Ultimately, this exercise will help you reveal to the interviewer what turns you on in your work. Even if you are not asked this question, your preinterview thinking, analysis and scripting will help you be more focused, projet more interview confidence and be more in control of what you want in your next job.

Latest Jobs

OSCAR RENDA CONTRACTING
Posted: 10/02/2014
New Orleans, LA
Penske
Posted: 10/02/2014
Rochester, NY, 14623
Maintenance Engineering
Posted: 10/02/2014
Warwood, WV, 26003
Randstad
Posted: 10/02/2014
San Antonio, TX, 78216
Soma Intimates
Posted: 10/02/2014
Macon, GA, 31210

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.55.59-201
eTrustLogo