How do You Motivate Others? (With Sample Interview Answers)

This is one of the most common and one of the toughest question asked during interview of a candidate. Today when a candidate is interviewed, the recruitment staff not only looks for work skills but also other interpersonal skills that can prove as an asset for the company. Your motivational skills can help a company keep their employee’s productivity high and maintain a positive work environment.

This is also a bit tricky question because your answer to this should reflect your humility, problem solving skills and positive attitude without sounding too conceited at the same time.

How do You Motivate Others

Sample Answers on Motivating Others

1. Yes, I think my position as a supervisor of a construction site is very responsible. So, I will obviously be looked upon to keep up the morale of the crew. I will try my best to motivate the crew members. For example I will not just walk around the construction site with a shirt and a tie. I will supervise and try to participate in the construction work. This will show the employees that I am not afraid to take on manual labour and hopefully inspire them to be in their best state.

When supervisor is not around the employees tend to lose their motivation and take series of breaks. So, I will make sure their source of motivation never fades away.

2. Employee motivation is not only necessary for a company but also for his/her personal growth. When a employee don’t meet the deadlines or complete the projects there are consequences that hamper the work flow of a company. To avoid this we can communicate it to the employees properly that their work will be given credit.

The employees never care about company’s profit and loss but if we say that if they meet deadlines, complete projects and work hard they can earn more and maybe even apply for promotion. We must also let them know the consequences of missing their targets.

3. Many programmers look for any intellectual challenge and try to learn new things. Doing same work every day can make their day monotonous and they can lose their motivation. So I will try to rotate people between the teams. I will assign a variety of tasks to every individual and look that they are really learning new things.

4. Let’s see the things practically. This work is hard work and not many people will like doing it. The only thing that will drive them is money. So in my opinion we should pay them according to the amount of work they do each day and not the number of hours they spend working. I know this is a bit tricky but once it is set in motion with right KPIs and metrics it will improve the quality of work and also motivate the workers to do more work.

5. Strengthening the team spirit is very crucial for this business. Employees here share same tasks and projects sometimes and if one lacks motivation the entire team can get demotivated. On the other hand if you hire a right person who likes to be together, who likes to work as a team and embrace diversity it will be lot easier to keep up a teams motivation.

After hiring a right person its all about team building and feeling responsible for one another.

6. There are many reasons to lose motivation. Some can have health issues or problems in their personal life. Whatever may be the reason we cannot let that affect the work flow of our company. As a manager its my duty to identify the reason to address it properly.

I would like to address the issue of individually. I will set some targets and milestones for every employee. I will have one on one conversation with them everyday to keep the track of their progress. If I notice that they lack motivation I will try to find the reason for their struggle. Sometimes a friendly talk is enough and sometimes I would have to talk to my head about compensation model and in extreme cases about relocation or termination of one’s contract.

7. In my opinion outside motivation helps temporarily. So we should look in hiring people who have motivation within and have a boosting positive attitude. As a manager I will try my best to make our employees feel important by praising their work and giving proper credit for their work and achievements. But if someone hate being a part of team and can’t work under extreme pressure this motivation will mean nothing and will be hard to get any miraculous results.

Use These Tips to Enhance Your Answer

1. Adjusting your answer as per the nature of workspace.

Some employers even give you some hypotheticals to check your presence of mind. Adjusting your answer as per the work environment will really work for you. For example you cannot intellectually challenge the construction site workers like you did for programmers.

2. See that you respect the hierarchy.

While answering this question many people forget the work place hierarchy and work protocols. For example when you think of terminating the contract of an employee you cannot do so without asking to your head. If you don’t consider the hierarchy while answering it may reflect your unprofessionalism.

3. Focusing on being a right person.

Many of the above answers focused on hiring the right person. You should mention some of your qualities that will make them think that you are the right person.

4. Focusing on individual approach.

Addressing the motivation issues individually by having one on one with the employees is very important. This represents your humility and gives you a closer look towards the progress of an employee. This also gives you a chance to know the employee better and create a positive work environment.


As I said above this is one the tricky question in an interview. You should make sure that your answers show that you know the importance of motivation in a workplace. Try to be as professional as possible. While talking about termination don’t sound insensitive. This can hamper your image drastically. The creativity in your answer will always be praised. So try to think creative and be relevant.

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