How To Answer “What Motivates You?” [With Answers For 2024]

Motivation is the driving force that enables us to work persistently with hard work and sincerity. It could be different for different individuals and largely depends upon the circumstances one is facing in his one’s life. It is usual for interviewers to know, what motivates you, in order to conduct a thorough examination of your personality, mindset, and attitude. An interviewer wants to know if your motivation fits into the company’s culture of working and whether you can be productive for the organization if you are selected.

What Motivates You 1

Five Tips For Excelling In This Question

1) Explain Any One

There may be a thousand factors that motivate you ranging from money to promotions to regret. But you are expected to explain any one factor to your interviewer for evaluation purposes considering the constraints of time. For this, you are advised to prepare a written list of all the factors that motivate you and prepare any two major factors. Sometimes, it is the habit of the interviewers to ask, ‘Tell me one more factor’, in such cases, you can use the other factor prepared.

2) Be Reasoned and Logical

Simply saying that money motivates me or maybe challenges motivate me, will not help your cause in either way. You are expected to give a short but interesting explanation or the reason, why you chose that factor. There are various circumstances and personal attributes of an individual that influences the choice of picking any motivation factor, just share this with your interviewer.

3) Be Honest

Referring to sample answers is always beneficial while preparing for the interview sessions as, this will give you a clear idea, as to how you have to approach a question. But, just don’t learn the sample answers word by word, rather align those answers with the motivation factor that truly influences you or drives you to work harder. Trying to be over smart, can be easily caught by a veteran interviewer and this can seriously dent your selection chances.

4) Refer The Job Description

If you are pretty confused and not able to crop up any particular motivational factor, then you are advised to refer to the job description issued by your employer. A proper analysis of the tasks to be performed will give you a clear idea of the qualities that an interviewer is expecting from you. You can base your answer based on this and create a motivational factor based on your analysis and findings.

5) Money Is The Most Common Motivation

The desire to earn money or compensation out of a job is the most common motivation and is present in all individuals. After several types of research and analysis, if you are unable to prepare or finalize any particular motivational factor, then you can stick to money, as your motivational factor. It is completely acceptable, but after choosing it, you have to explain your rationale behind your selection, in a very well and expert manner to your interviewer.

Ten Best Sample Answers To Study

Sample Answer One

There are various motivation factors for me that enable me to keep working hard and make me vigilant. I will pick the most effective one, and that is appreciation or appraisal for work. The sweetest satisfaction in this world is when someone recognizes your work and gives you compliments. This acts as a driving force for me and motivates me to work with more effort and improve my work performance even more.

Sample Answer Two

I am a person who always wants to challenge myself and take tough roles and duties. Such tasks motivate me to perform better and increase my concentration and focus. Achieving the desired results out of tough tasks, give me immense satisfaction and motivate me to work harder and take up even more such challenges.

Sample Answer Three

My best motivation factor is my fear of failing. If I am not concentrated, focused or meticulous while performing a particular task, then there are high chances that the outcome would be negative and I will be mocked and criticized. I am really afraid of such failures in life which occur due to my lethargy or negligence. Hence, this apprehension motivates me a lot, to work harder and achieve the results that are positive and desired.

Sample Answer Four

My biggest motivation is a common human emotion, that is, regret. It simply means feeling remorseful or guilty after obtaining a negative outcome from a task, which is performed without giving your best. This emotion works wonders for me and motivates me to work harder and become detail-oriented. Even during my previous tenure, I remained highly motivated and performed all my duties by giving my 100% due to this wonderful human emotion, which I have used in a positive manner.

Sample Answer Five

Being from a middle-class background having ample responsibilities over my shoulders, I am always motivated and stimulated to earn money. Earning money is the biggest motivating factor for me, which enables me to push my limits and work for long hours of the day with full concentration and focus. This in no sense makes me mercenary or greedy, it is just that, I have a family to feed and I work every day to satisfy their as well as my needs.

Sample Answer Six

Every individual is different from others and hence different factors or conditions that motivate them. Being a gritty and determined individual, challenges and tough tasks and duties motivates me to push my limits and prompts me to work harder with even more precision and concentration. This is the primary reason, that you will always find my name on the list of the tasks that are resilient or rugged.

Sample Answer Seven

I will keep this very simple and be very honest here. If you work hard, then you will get promotions and recognition from your peers and bosses. This desire to get promotion to a senior position within the organization and get recognition from my peers is the driving force that pushes me and impels me to give my best into every task and duty I am supposed to perform. This is my motivation, which makes me even more meticulous and cautious while approaching a task.

Sample Answer Eight

I have always been a competitive person throughout my life who just does not want to lack behind or get termed as average. I always want to reach the summit and scale great heights in my career. My intention to outsmart my peers and beat them to move forward in my career is my biggest motivational factor that encourages me to work with high intensity and deliver an impeccable performance.

Sample Answer Nine

I am a person, not from an influential financial background and is the sole earner in a family of six. I have huge responsibilities and financial obligations as well as commitments upon my shoulders, which instantly motivates me to work harder and struggle in life, in order to obtain a good compensation and managerial position. I believe, tough circumstances that an individual faces on life, are the best and biggest motivators for an individual that impels him or her to shine.

Sample Answer Ten

When you work hard and excel in a particular task you get widespread recognition for your performance and caliber. This is my biggest motivational factor, which always encourages me to undertake every task allotted to me in a cautious, detail-oriented, and meticulous manner so that all the bases are covered and no stone is left to be turned. If you start your task in such a way, you are bound to succeed, which ultimately gives you recognition and appraisal.


Motivations are intangible, that is you can not touch or see them but have the power to influence your approach and mindset considerably. When a person finds the right motivation and purpose in life, one is bound to succeed and achieve great heights in one’s career. This is a common interview question that requires serious and thorough preparation. If you like our articles then don’t forget to share them with your family and friends. Also, do let us know through the comments section below, how much you like our articles.


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