Even the simplest interview questions usually have some hidden meaning behind them. The information the interviewer is trying to uncover is not always apparent, but if you are able to recognize what they are really asking, your answers will greatly benefit.
There are few questions simpler than, "What motivates you and yet, it still has some hidden meaning. The specifics of how you are motivates are not important, but they are interested in whether you are able to motivate yourself. They want to make sure that you will be able to work without a manager's supervision if you are hired.
Points to Emphasize
Because the specifics are less important, there are many ways to answer this question. The following points should help you nail down what really matters.
- Communicate that you are self-motivated. It is important that you are able to perform on your own. It is beneficial to the company if managers do not have to make an effort to motivate the employees.
- Be honest and sincere. Think about what actually motivates you. There are many acceptable answers, as long as it translates to hard work, but you should never make something up.
- Be specific. Do not just say you are self motivated. You should point to success, satisfaction, or some other specific aspect as your source of motivation.
- Be optimistic. A positive attitude creates a good impression.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
You should choose your words carefully to avoid the interviewer thinking you are not motivated to work with them. Avoid these common mistakes.
- Do not rush. Not giving your answer enough time makes it seem like you are not motivated.
- Do not embellish your answer. It is not expected that you are totally motivated 100% of the time. You should just be able to always do your job properly.
- You should not get your motivation from others. It is best if an employee can be responsible for their own motivation.
- Do not choose your personal goals as your source of motivation, unless these goals are to communicate that you will work hard. It may be acceptable if your motivation comes from advancing in the company.
Your answer should incorporate specifics to the job you are applying for, but it may resemble this example.
I am able to motivate myself. Instead of relying on managers or other superiors to encourage me, I find that achieving success drives me forward. The satisfaction I get from doing a job better than anyone around me keeps my work at a high level and my morale high, as well.