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| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

What motivates you?

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Tough Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What motivates you?

      Typically, employees find motivation through environments where they feel supported and encouraged. The interviewer wants to know how they could drive you - even on the toughest of days! Be open with the interviewer about the ways you can stay motivated on the job when the going gets tough.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "It does not take a lot to keep me motivated. If I work in a positive environment with a forward-thinking team, I am a very happy employee. If you see me going above and beyond, a quick thanks or little recognition of my hard work is good enough for me."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Admin interview

      "I consider myself a self-motivated individual who is constantly striving to be better and do better. I draw inspiration from leaders in the industry and those around me to keep my motivation high."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Manager interview

      "I enjoy researching and am motivated by implementing new best practices when change is required. Stagnant environments drain me. I like change, but only if it is justified, and when there is a chance for visible improvement in efficiency or morale."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Marketing interview

      "I'm motivated by accomplishing a goal together, as silly as that sounds. It's cool to see an idea that was just in someone's head, get moved onto paper, then into the real world and see the campaign come to life and result in sales. Financial motivation works for me, too, but that's a result a successful marketing campaign execution, so it's all coupled together."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Retail interview

      "I'm motivated by financial targets, helping the team grow, and learning opportunities. I do love some recognition, whether private or public, and a quick pat on the back goes a long way."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Sales interview

      "I am intrinsically motivated. I like to challenge myself to do something and then achieve it. Breaking my previous records, for instance, is a real high for me. I am in sales, after all! Quotas and dollars certainly motivate me, and I love praise and accolades. I'm not needy, but when my work is noticed and appreciated, you will notice that I work even harder in return."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Teacher interview

      "I am excited and motivated at work when my tasks and responsibilities have a meaning. I dedicate myself to helping my students, so I am at my peak of motivation when I know they are excelling."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Law Enforcement interview

      "It does not take a lot to keep me motivated. If I work in a positive environment with a forward-thinking team, I am a very happy employee. If you see me going above and beyond, a quick thanks or small recognition of my hard work is good enough for me."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Art Director interview

      "My motivation comes from knowing that I can use my creative expertise to build great artistic works. I strive to make everyone happy - clients and my employees. However, what motivates me to wake up the next morning and continue doing what I do is when I get a phone call from a client saying that the website that I designed for them has attracted a lot of people and the product they were selling is now very successful."

      Marcie's Answer
       for a Fintech Account Manager interview

      "The reason I'm cut out to be a fintech account manager is because I genuinely enjoy helping and getting to know clients. Many of them honestly become friends of mine; I build trusting and long-term relationships with them. During our talks, I find out what business challenges they are dealing with, and nothing pleasures me more than when I can offer them a solution to their problem(s). I always stay up on new product features so I can educate the clients and potentially solve issues for them."

      Marcie's Answer
       for a Fintech Data Analyst interview

      "I would say that I'm mainly motivated by a job well done. I have a very strong work ethic that was instilled in me by my parents, and when my manager gives me a task I strive to complete it efficiently and in a timely manner so I can earn their approval and know that I did it to the best of my ability. Second, I tend to view data as a puzzle, and I am driven by the challenge of solving the 'puzzle.' So I don't just get my work done for my manager; I get it done so I can rest easy in knowing that I tackled the data and extracted all the insights I could from it."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Wildlife Officer interview

      "What motivates me the most in my career is becoming the best in my field. Also, for instance with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to learn more about a variety of animals and as a result significantly increasing my knowledge."

      Ryan's Answer
       for a Sales Engineers interview

      "I am easily motivated by words of positivity and encouragement. I am also highly motivated by working with people who I can learn from."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Bank Compliance Officer interview

      "What motivates me the most in my career is becoming the best in my field. Also, for instance with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to serve clients of different cultures and acquiring further relationship building skills."

      Darby's Answer
       for a Nursing Aide interview

      "Being a nursing aide seems to be a world of its own sometimes. We take care of some of the patients who can't take care of themselves.. I believe that someone who works in this specialty needs to be very compassionate and know how to exercise patience."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Home Health Aide interview

      "I am motivated to do my best every day because I realize how heavily my patients rely on me. Some days, I am all they have. That is motivation in itself."

      Darby's Answer
       for a Family Physician interview

      "In my opinion, the two biggest problems are cost and quality. Unfortunately, we tend to pay more to get less. I really feel like too much of that spending goes to pad corporate bottom lines rather than optimize the health of populations."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Fashion Designer interview

      "What motivates me the most in my career is becoming the best in my field, and as a result having the opportunity to make an impact on a greater scale. For instance, with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to work with clients internationally and acquiring further skills with clients of different cultures. I am extremely passionate about this career and look forward to becoming the best version of myself, and an expert in my field."

      Christine's Answer
       for a Volunteer interview

      "I'm not looking for a specific reward from your organization, simply being involved in a team setting, making friends, and knowing that I am making an impact on those in need, will be rewarding enough!"

      Christine's Answer
       for a Kindergarten Teacher interview

      "I am always striving to be better at as a teacher and am often motivated by learning from my students, as well as my peer teachers and parents."

      Heather's Answer
       for a Licensed Practical Nurse interview

      "I remember when I first began my career as an LPN, I thought I had to do everything for everyone. I ended up taking on too many tasks and falling behind with my assignments. One of my supervisors told me that a patient had complained because I seemed too rushed. I was so embarrassed because I didn't want anyone to feel like I couldn't do my job or that I didn't care about them. I apologized to the supervisor and my patient and explained that I had taken on some extra assignments, but that I didn't mean to make her feel neglected. When I apologized, the patient agreed to let me continue caring for her. I learned from that experience that it's ok to want to give more, but that I should not stretch myself too thin and risk compromising the best patient care."

      Cassandra's Answer
       for a Youth Program Director interview

      "The kids keep me motivated, even on the hard days when things get difficult. They amaze me every day with something new they've learned or even just the interactions they have with each other. I remember one five year old I was working with was picking on another child and I had a conversation with him explaining why that isn't okay; the following week the child was being picked on again and the five year old I had a conversation with stood up for him and explained to the other child why it wasn't okay to be mean to one another. I love seeing the growth even just a week can have."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Quality Control Inspector interview

      "I am a natural leader and feel that I give my best work when I am responsible for others, or an important project. Feeling like a necessary part of the team is important to me. I want the company I work for to succeed so that I am successful as well."

      Ryan's Answer
       for a Data Collection interview

      "What motivates me the most is becoming the best in my field, and as a result having the opportunity to make an impact on a greater scale and contribute to the company's long-term success. For instance, with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to (X newly acquired duties that will enable you to help the company be more successful, as per the job posting)."

      Clara's Answer
       for a Water Quality Analyst interview

      "My communication skills are strong and well-rounded. I have extensive experience professionally, educationally, and even personally in various modes of writing and speaking, from academic papers to public presentations. I am able to communicate to a wide audience and create a sense of connection and understanding regardless of the topic. I feel confident employing these skills in any way you find beneficial in this position."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I am personally motivated by words of encouragement and feedback on my work. If I can leave the office feeling like I did my best, and learned something new, I feel very motivated."

      Ryan's Answer
       for a Human Resources interview

      "I appreciate you asking this question since, as a human resources professional, this is a question that I ask every new hire as well. I want to know how to keep everyone motivated on the job. I am an eager achiever and find that the best way for me to be recognized for a job well done is to hear words of kindness and recognition. I am easily encouraged, and the best reward for me is to know that my hard work matters."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Grounds Maintenance Worker interview

      "From a very young age I have always displayed a very strong work ethic. I do so because people rely on me to show up and do what is asked of me. Personally, I am continually motivated by affirmation that my work is of high quality."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Wildlife Biologist interview

      "What motivates me the most in my career is becoming the best in my field. Also, for instance with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to learn about about a variety of animals and discover exciting new ones."

      Heather's Answer
       for a Addiction Counselor interview

      "I have worked with people who have battled several different addictions. One common addiction that many people are not familiar with is food addiction. Unfortunately, it is almost as difficult to overcome that addiction is it is to overcome substances such as meth. Additionally, many people who are overcoming substance addictions often develop food addiction as a way of coping with their cravings."

      Rachelle's Answer

      "What motivates me the most is becoming the best in my field, and as a result having the opportunity to make an impact on a greater scale and contribute to the school's long-term success. For instance, with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to (X newly acquired duties that will enable you to help the school be more successful, as per the job posting)."

      Darby's Answer
       for a Urologists interview

      "Urology, in general, offers a lot of opportunities to help people with sensitive problems. that can have crippling effects on quality of life. Most people don't think about how incapacitating urinary control issues or sexual dysfunction can be until they experience it. Being able to help patients who are experiencing these difficulties is why I love being a urologist."

      Elisabeth's Answer
       for a Wildland Firefighter interview

      "I am motivated by my teammates. I love collaborating with so many strong and skilled individuals and see results at the end of the day. We all work really hard and encourage each other to stay focused, even when we face an overwhelming situation, or have spent weeks away from our families."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Animal Shelter Worker interview

      "I am passionate about working with animals! I understand the challenges I may experience as an animal shelter worker, and I'm not worried about it. Whenever I start to feel discouraged, I think about how I am making a difference in the lives of these animals."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a ABE Teacher interview

      "Paving new paths and creating new teaching methods to support my students excites me the most. I am self motivated and enjoy seeing my hard work make a difference for someone."

      Ryan's Answer
       for a University Administrator interview

      "I like to come into work knowing that I am able to contribute as part of the team to the services that we will provide to our students, tutors and other customers. I need to know that I have done a task to the best of my ability. I am motivated to be able to push myself to the next level and keen to take on any development that is identified by myself or my Manager."

      Nisha's Answer
       for a Union Representative interview

      "My main motivation as a union representative is the inner satisfaction that I get whenever I get to help the employees in trouble or when I act as a catalyst in preventing some strike from happening. When the union members or my peers look up to me with certain expectations and I am able to fulfil them, I feel happy and content from my job and it also motivates me to do even better."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a CAD Drafter interview

      "I have a very strong work ethic and was raised to be a hard, and present, worker. What motivates me to work hard is my desire to be seen as a reliable and valuable member of the team."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a TSA Screener interview

      "The core values of the TSA include Integrity, Respect, and Commitment. I was raised with these precise values and put them into practice every day. I will show my commitment by applying my keen observational skills and my ability to think and react quickly under pressure. I consider myself to be an observant and watchful person who will be of service when it comes to detecting and preventing outside threats. I am respectful and learned a great deal about showing due respect during my time serving in the Navy. I have a proven history of stepping up when it comes to protecting our nation and serving my country. I am dedicated, trustworthy, and also see integrity as the cornerstone to every action that I take and each decision that I make. It would be an honor to be of service to serve my country in this critical role with the TSA."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Civil Engineering Technician interview

      "What motivates me the most in my career is becoming the best in my field, and as a result having the opportunity to make an impact on a greater scale. For instance, with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to (X motivating factor found on the job posting). I am extremely passionate about this career and look forward to becoming the best version of myself."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Academic Dean interview

      "What motivates me to succeed is seeing success in others. I am a natural leader and mentor so when I see a student excelling in an area where they may have struggled, before my help, I feel a true sense of pride and accomplishment."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Athletic Director interview

      "The students motivate me. My role indirectly affects their experience out on the court or the field. If I'm doing a good job of handling the administrative side and supporting the coaches then I know I am making it possible for kids to play the sports they want to and to get the training and skills they deserve."

      Marcie's Answer
       for a Account Manager interview

      "I have been following your company for some time now and looking for the right opportunity to join your team. I have prior experience working for startups, and I really value the entrepreneurial spirit of the team. I also enjoy seeing the direct impact my work has on the company. In terms of the role itself, I am a people-person and driven to sell, and I'm also someone who will take the time to build meaningful relationships with clients. I believe the products you sell offer a valuable solution to a problem, and I would love to introduce your products to clients in order to solve their problems."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Biomedical Technician interview

      "It does not take a lot to keep me motivated. If I work in a positive environment with a forward-thinking team, I am a very happy employee. If you see me going above and beyond, quick thanks or little recognition of my hard work is good enough for me."

      Samantha's Answer
       for a Accounting Clerk interview

      "I found that a client had been paying ten dollars over their monthly bill at the internet company I worked for. There was no reason for that because they didn't have a balance to pay off beyond their monthly fee. After reviewing the account, I found they'd been paying too much for over a year. I spoke with my manager and we both called the client to let them know that due to the overcharge on their auto-pay, they'd receive free service for the next five months. We adjusted the auto-pay for the correct amount to be withdrawn on the sixth month. The customer was so excited that they weren't even upset about the overpayments."

      Clara's Answer
       for a Wedding Photographer interview

      "I always defer to the couple for their preferences on attire, and I ensure that I fit as closely to the dress code established for guests as possible. For black-tie events, my team and I will wear black suits and dresses with flat, black shoes. For casual or summer weddings, we might wear lighter colors to blend in with the crowd as best as possible."

      Audra's Answer
       for a Video Producer interview

      "What motivates me the most in my career is becoming the best in my field, and as a result having the opportunity to make an impact on a greater scale. For instance, with this position, what motivates me the most is the opportunity to work with international producers and acquiring skills with clients of different cultures. I am extremely passionate about this career and look forward to becoming the best version of myself."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Support and encouragement would be great tools to help motivate me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      A bit different than 'How can we motivate you?', with this question, you will want to go into further details on the types of situations that motivate you. Share with the interviewer how you drive your own motivation. I have added a sample, below.

      "What motivates me is the fact that I get to help people solve problems every single day. Hearing my customers say 'thank you' or share with me how I made their day just a bit easier, is always encouraging."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "A high pack work environment Challenging tasks Positive workplace"

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good! These motivators will be important for the interviewer to understand, should you be hired.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No