Tough Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your next job interview, here are 30 of our hardest interview questions.

Tough was written by and updated on December 5th, 2020. Learn more here.

Question 22 of 30

What motivates you?

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Advice and Examples: What motivates you?

  1. 22.

    What motivates you?

      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.

      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 an 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."

      5 Community Answers

      Anonymous interview answers with our interview experts feedback

      Anonymous Interview Answer

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

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      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."

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I am motivated by doing meaningful work that makes a difference."

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

      It would be awesome if you could dig a bit deeper into this. How would you like to make a difference, or for whom?

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I love challenges. I am the type that looks at an impossible situation and think how can we do this, not oh no, we can't do that. So a good challenge motivates me. Of course, I like a good job or an atta-boy as much as anyone else. But satisfaction for me is with a job well done."

      Alexandra's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Great answer!

      How would you rate Alexandra's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "I like new challenge, and I like to work for the company which appreciates and recognize my work."

      Lauren's Feedback for the Answer Above

      Great response. I enhanced your response to offer more depth.

      "I am most motivated when I am appreciated and recognized for my work. I genuinely welcome new challenges and am seeking a great work environment to do so."

      How would you rate Lauren's Feedback?

      Anonymous Interview Answer

      "A high pack work environment Challenging tasks Positive workplace"

      Rachelle's Feedback for the Answer Above

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

      How would you rate Rachelle's Feedback?