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Interview Questions: What Motivates You?

On17/ 05 /18
“What motivates you?” and “What are you passionate about?” are two of the most common open-ended questions you’re likely to face in your next job interview. By being asked to name your motivational triggers, a potential employer will get a better sense of your personality, ambitions and expectations, and can easily determine whether the role you’re being interviewed for truly aligns with your passions and objectives. 

Why is motivation so important?

Motivation is a powerful tool – it’s what drives us forward to complete tasks, both in personal and professional life. When it comes to a professional environment, self-motivation is required to spur us on to accomplish goals and fulfil daily tasks, subsequently resulting in increased productivity and higher output. But what is it that’s behind that motivation? 

Do a serious self-examination 

Before you answer, take some time to conduct a self-assessment to help you establish what drives you to reach peak performance. Take a look at your past work experience – can you recognise any projects you were working on that made you feel happier and more energised? What did you enjoy about your last role? Try to go though as many details as possible and make sure you focus on the positives only. 

Do your research 

While it’s important that you’re honest about your motivations, it’s a good idea to visit the company’s website to get an idea of their mission and values.  If your potential employer is big on personal development and you just so happen to be interested in learning more about a specific business area, it would be a perfect opportunity to mention this. Don’t make anything up, but do let any company information you can find give you a steer on possible talking points. 

The dos and don’ts 

Although you should be honest about your motivators, generally this question is the interviewer attempting to find out about those intangible triggers like personal development, good leadership, potential for growth etc. 

Money of course, is a motivator for everyone, so it probably isn’t necessary to discuss this aspect in a great deal of detail, unless of course it’s highly relevant (e.g. commission for a sales based role). 
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