It can be difficult to recognize what is really being asked in an interview question. The interviewer is usually trying to uncover a specific piece of information, so if you are able to understand what that information is, you can provide a very strong response.
It is very common for the interviewer to ask about your motivation. A common phrasing is, “What motivates you to go the extra mile on a project or job Not only are they interested in your motivation habits, they want to ensure that you are the type of employee that will go the extra mile. The specifics of your motivation are less important than confirming that you can remain motivated.
Points to Emphasize
There are many acceptable answers to this question. The way you answer is more important than the answer itself. Follow these tips to ensure your response is appropriate.
- Show that you are self-motivated. Interviewers really want to know if you will remain motivated without managers making efforts to keep employees motivated.
- Be specific. You should be able to point to something explicit that motivates you, such as the satisfaction of success or being the best at your work.
- Always be honest. You are not doing yourself any favors, in the long-term or in the interview by making up an answer to this question.
- Confirm that you do go above and beyond. Just because it is in the question does not mean it is assumed.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There are many ways you could communicate the wrong idea with this question. Choose your words carefully and avoid these common mistakes.
- Do not use your own goals as motivation. It may be acceptable if your goals encourage hard work, such as advancement in the company you are applying for.
- Avoid exaggeration. Any insincerity is very obvious. It is not necessary that you are always completely passionate about working.
- Do not get too wrapped up in the first part of the question. Not speaking about your ability to go the extra mile is a missed opportunity.
- Do not rush to get to the next question. It simply appears that you are not motivated to work with them.
Use the following example to prepare your answer.
I have always provided my own motivation. I recognize that it is up to me to succeed, so I always try to go above and beyond. I am accountable to others, but I am also accountable to myself, so I find that I have a good work ethic, even when I am not working directly under a superior.