This question is something that you should have an answer ready for at all times. Perhaps you look up to a parent who was a hard worker, or a teacher who encouraged you to become who you are today. Whomever this inspiring person may be, remember that the interviewer is looking for a heartfelt response.
"My inspiration comes from my grandmother. She has spent every day of her life working hard and I have never once heard her complain about being tired and overworked. She taught me the value of a good reputation and I still seek out her opinion when I need inspiration."
"There are many industry leaders that inspire me but I would have to say that my greatest inspiration comes from my mother who always taught me to stay focused and goal oriented, no matter the obstacles that come my way. This way of thinking has greatly attributed to my success."
"I am inspired by the workers on the assembly line. Many of them have hectic lives, mouths to feed, and less than impressive education. They overcome their hardships and come to work every day to make life better for themselves and their children."
Sales answer example
"While it may sound cliche, my father is really inspiring to me. He moved here in his 30s with two kids, a wife, no English, and no transferrable education. He literally worked as a pizza delivery driver to make ends meet while going to school to learn to code. We may have moved a lot when I was little, but it was because he was always trying to find the next better school for us. I learned my work ethic from him and that I'm never too old to learn something new and push out of my comfort zone."
Retail answer example
"I'm inspired by my friend, Austin. He started a business at age 14, mowing lawns, and built it from there. He took a risk by not going to college, and we all thought he was nuts, but now he has an incredibly successful business with 3 locations, a brand-new home, and an incredibly happy family life with two cute kiddos. He saw what he wanted from a young age, made a plan to make it happen, and has executed it so well, without sacrificing his happiness or pursuit of family. I think that's really inspiring."
Teacher answer example
"My oldest son really inspires me and has been probably my greatest teacher in life. First borns are apt to do that for any parent, but my son has autism, so he has taught me an entirely different way to look at life, understand it, and approach it in a creative way. I am very fortunate that he is relatively typical and can communicate with us, is mostly mainstreamed, and the like, but he is definitely different. It helps me think differently about how to connect with our world, how to see things in a unique way, how everyone's perspective is valid. I am inspired by his passion for life, his creative brain, and his eternally happy spirit. He teaches me so much every single day, and I try to infuse my classroom with the lessons he gives me, too."
Marketing answer example
"I work in a volunteer capacity with a family owned business that was founded in order to give adults with special needs a community and a place to work, and honestly what they're doing for their son, the special needs community, and the entire broader community near them is so inspiring to me. I have always been taught to give back and "be the change", and they're walking the walk. It inspires me to make sure I make an impact on this world and give back whenever and however possible."