Published on September 26, 2018
Interview Question Series: How to Answer Motivation-Based Questions
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Most people who apply for jobs dread or feel nervous about their job interview questions because of all the tricky questions employers tend to throw at you during the interviewing process. But there’s absolutely no need to worry; once you’ve read this guide to answering those difficult ‘motivation-based’ questions for your next interview, you’ll walk away feeling confident after impressing your interviewer.
What Are Motivation- Based Interview Questions?
Recruiters love to determine what exactly your motivation for the job is. This can give them great insights into your work ethic, commitment and whether you’re just looking for a short stint, or dedicated to a long career.
You may even be asking yourself: what exactly is motivation? Well, the definition often means ‘a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way” In the context of work, it’s often used to represent psychological characteristics that drive you to accomplish your goals and prospects; and understanding this is the key to answering motivation questions in interview scenarios.
What Are Your Motivations?
When sitting in an interview, the most important thing to think about is what exactly drives you to accomplish your goals and targets. It may be the following:
- A desire for a high salary
- A need for success
- To be recognised for your skills and experience
- Job satisfaction
- To be able to contribute and make a difference
- To be better at what you do in your field of work
These particular ideas are key motivators for the majority of individuals. So, in saying this, you may be sitting in your interview and you get asked the question: “what motivates you?” which is often a popular interview question that most people get stuck on answering. It doesn’t seem like a difficult question, but you may find yourself thinking about how to approach it. Well, with the following approaches, you’ll be able to answer this question with confidence:
How to Answer Motivation Interview Questions
If you want to make a good impression during your interview and ensure you’re at the top of the list in the recruiter’s mind, this is the best way to answer motivation- based questions.
What do you bring to the table?
Are you the type of person who always plans their day way ahead of time and loves being organised? Then this could be a form of motivation because setting targets and goals would be great to include in your answer as many employer’s love hearing organisation skills because it’s a key aspect of motivation and gives people a reason to complete or their desired outcomes for the day. It can also be good to note how this may have been evident in a previous position of work to demonstrate your skills adequately.
What tasks are you best at?
Thinking about your past job areas and where you’ve succeeded can also be a great way to think about motivation because you can get an understanding of what environment you work best in and how it has helped you complete your goals. For example: you may find that when you work in quiet conditions it allows you to concentrate on your task and complete it ahead of schedule; similarly, with a busy environment. It may even be the work environment or the people around you that motivates you to finish your targets and outcomes and improves your organisation by showing what past work experience you may have had that reflects your desired job.
What are your strengths?
What are you great at? This is very important when answering motivation-based questions as it allows your employer to gain an insight into how well you’ll be suited to the job, and also make you stand out amongst other people. If you’re great with working in a fast-paced environment and the job you’re applying for includes this aspect, then by all means mention it.
By demonstrating that you are good under pressure, you can also tie this in with motivation by saying that being under pressure only motivates you to complete your job efficiently. Similarly, with other strengths such as setting goals and targets and planning your day ahead. Employers often have a strong appreciation for organisation skills and mentioning that you love being on schedule can also help you to answer “what motivates you” by saying that having goals and targets set out makes you determined to complete everything on time and effectively.
It’s important to note when answering this that your answers should also be fit for the job you’re applying for and your answers for motivation should centre around the job description and the work-environment. For example, if you’re applying for a job for accounting and you say that you are motivated by other people or interpersonal communications (working with people) then you may not be considered for the job.
However, if you say that you are motivated by challenge and a keen eye for detail with a can-do attitude, then this would be more suited to accounting. In order to impress the hiring manager it’s important to note these requirements during the interview process in relation to self-motivation.
What are the most common motivation-based interview questions?
An article by Total-jobs mentioned that “what motivates you?” was listed as one of the top interview questions, alongside others such as “what can you bring to the company”, and with questions such as this one, motivation becomes an essential aspect of answering these questions surround your ability to highlight their key motivators and the positives it will bring to your potential new job, showing that you’ll make an excellent team member and setting you apart from other job candidates.
And so, when answering this question, it’s best to think about what you can bring to the specific job you’re applying for to have the best outcome, and to also make your employer have more confidence in your ability to take on the job. Your answers should always suggest that you’re a well-fitting candidate for this particular work style and required job responsibilities that reflects the wider interests of the hiring managers during the interviewing process.
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