Killer Interview Question: What Motivates You?

Killer Interview Question: What Motivates You?

This week’s KIQ isn’t as obscure as some of the other ones we’ve addressed before, but it’s still a tricky question.

Photo via

“What motivates you?” There are a multitude of ways you can answer this question but when you’re ask about it during an interview, it can be difficult to answer. According to workplace expert Lynn Taylor:

“It’s so broad that the way in which you respond speaks volumes about you on so many levels — including your personality, ambitions, skills, enthusiasm, expectations, and how you generally think, just to name just a few.”

You may end up either talking too much or giving a vague response. Neither of those outcomes are desirable in an interview situation. This is why preparation is key.

You should plot out in advance how to articulate what gets you out of bed in the mornings, which will have the added benefit of forcing you to self-reflect; it will help you decide whether a job truly aligns with your passions and goals.

Think about:

  • What types of projects have given you the greatest job satisfaction, and why?
  • When in social situations, what do you talk about when you’re inspired about your job?
  • What daily tasks get you excited in your current job?

Now gather all those points, prioritise them and present them in a concise manner to avoid waffling on when you are asked this question. But most importantly, be true to yourself and be sincere with your response, according to Taylor.

How would you tackle this question? Let us know in the comments.

[Business Insider]


  • What motivates me? Well, the Government makes these little rectangular pieces of plastic that are quite popular with the people I need to get food from or keep the roof over my head.

    Obtaining enough of those plastic rectangles, in the right color combination, to satisfy the vendors is what motivates me.

    Beyond that, job satisfaction. Getting those plastic rectangles is an end goal, but if it aint fun, it aint fun.

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!