News Article

Job Interview Tips-What Motivates You?

Posted 2nd December 2019 • Written by People First •

Job Interview Tips - “What Motivates You?” 


“What Motivates You?” might seem like a very generic question but to interviewers it’s a very important one to ask.
Even though your CV shows that your experience at other companies has been great, they want to know that you and your experience are also a great fit for this particular job and this particular company at this particular time.

Here’s how you can answer it:

1. Discuss Your Previous Experience

Prepare before the interview (which, of course, you do anyway!) and make a list of all the things in your current and previous jobs that you have enjoyed, that excite you, that you want to do more of, and in every job you do.

It could be many different things, being an important part of a team, leading a team, building a team, training others, satisfying customers, sourcing, meeting and selling to customers, etc.

The important thing is that it’s what you enjoy doing and want to do more of.

2. Make Sure What Motivates You Matches what the Company Can Offer

If you say you love working in a big team in a big company and the job interview is with a start-up, it’s time to get your coat and leave.

But if you love learning new things and getting really involved with everything and the company that’s interviewing you is new and small, then tell them all about your passion for rolling your sleeves up.

If you enjoy meeting clients but this job is all office based, then it’s not for you.

But if they want someone to help them expand by getting out to see clients face to face then it could be a perfect match.

Use the job description to help you focus on how to answer. If there are things in the spec that you love to do, then focus on those.

Also use keywords that appear in the job description – if you can use terms that they use, it will help create a good fit.

3. But Be Honest

Very important though, just because you need a new job or because you’d like to work at this company because it’s a famous name, don’t twist your answers to suit what you think they want to hear.

If, when you’re preparing, you can’t answer this simple question well, then maybe there’s nothing about this job that motivates you!

You might give a brilliant answer, one that you don’t really believe, so that you make a good impression, but then you get the job and hate it. Probably because it doesn’t motivate you!

4. Tell a Story

If you can, as with answering many interview questions, give an example; one that shows the pleasure you get from doing a job well.

It can be one that saved the company money, or made the company money. Or one that left a customer, or also your colleagues, satisfied and impressed.

And if you’re at an early stage in your career and don’t yet have much experience then you can still use experience from your education, hobbies, voluntary work, etc.

Click to see more interview tips to help you in your search for a job with Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Multilingual or in Supply Chain.