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What motivates you?

1 of 30 Tough Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on December 2nd, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

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.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"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."

Admin
Answer example

"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."

Manager
Answer example

"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."

Marketing
Answer example

"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."

Retail
Answer example

"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."

Sales
Answer example

"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."

Teacher
Answer example

"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."

Law Enforcement
Answer example

"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."

Art Director
Answer example

"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."

Paramedic
Answer example

"My experiences in this field have been invaluable. I have learned so many skills that I will be able to use when I work as a nurse in the ER. My goal is to complete nursing school in the next three years."

Wildlife Officer
Answer example

"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."

Sales Engineers
Answer example

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

Bank Compliance Officer
Answer example

"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."

Nursing Aide
Answer example

"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."

Home Health Aide
Answer example

"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."

Family Physician
Answer example

"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."

Fashion Designer
Answer example

"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."

Volunteer
Answer example

"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!"

Kindergarten Teacher
Answer example

"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."

Licensed Practical Nurse
Answer example

"I remember when I first began my nursing career, 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 and asked for a new nurse to be assigned to her. I was so embarrassed because I didn't want anyone to feel like I couldn't do my job. I apologized to the supervisor and to 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 patient care."

Youth Program Director
Answer example

"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."

Quality Control Inspector
Answer example

"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."

Data Collection
Answer example

"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)."

Occupational Therapist Assistant
Answer example

"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."

Human Resources
Answer example

"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."

Grounds Maintenance Worker
Answer example

"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."

Wildlife Biologist
Answer example

"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."

Addiction Counselor
Answer example

"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."

Special Education Preschool Teacher
Answer example

"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)."

Urologists
Answer example

"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."

Wildland Firefighter
Answer example

"I am motivated by my teammates. It is so cool to collaborate 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."

Animal Shelter Worker
Answer example

"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."

ABE Teacher
Answer example

"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."

University Administrator
Answer example

"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."

Union Representative
Answer example

"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."

CAD Drafter
Answer example

"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."

Civil Engineering Technician
Answer example

"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."

Academic Dean
Answer example

"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."

Athletic Director
Answer example

"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."

Biomedical Technician
Answer example

"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."

Accounting Clerk
Answer example

"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."

Video Producer
Answer example

"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."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 08/10/2016
Last modified on: 12/02/2019

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