What Motivates You To Do A Good Job?

LiveCareer Staff Writer
by LiveCareer Staff Writer

Interview questions are tricky. You never know what the hidden meaning behind a question might be. Before beginning the interview, it is wise to familiarize yourself with common questions so you can focus your responses and provide stronger answers. Your interviewer will likely ask you about motivation. A common phrasing of the question is, “What motivates you to do a good job?”

In actuality, the interviewer is likely less interested in what motivates you, and more interested in your motivation habits.

They want to know that you can get the work done and whether there will be any issues with your motivation with the way their workplace functions.

Points to Emphasize

The nature of the question means many answers will be acceptable. Follow these tips to ensure the delivery of your answer is suitable, since that is the most important part.

  • Communicate self-motivation. There are many ways to do this, but it should be clear that you will perform work without needing a manager to frequently guide you.
  • Choose something specific to be your motivation. This could be the desire to do a good job, or the satisfaction of success. These still communicate that your motivation comes from yourself.
  • Be honest. Do not fake enthusiasm for working for working’s sake. Think about what actually motivates you in the workplace.
  • Be positive. Have a good attitude about your work habits.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

If you fall into one of the following pitfalls, you risk the interviewer thinking you do not have a good work ethic. Be sure to avoid these common mistakes.

  • Do not focus on your own goals, unless they encourage an excellent work ethic. Being motivated by advancing your career through hard work is acceptable; being motivated by your paycheck is not.
  • Do not rush your answer. This communicates insincerity or lack of motivation.
  • Do not exaggerate. The interviewer understands that working takes effort, so you do not have to be wholeheartedly passionate about every asset of the job.
  • Do not rely on others for your motivation. Being motivated by the desire to please your superiors will likely not convince them of your long-term motivation.

Sample Answer

A strong answer to the question of motivation will look similar to the following. You should include specifics to the position you are applying for.

I am a self-motivated individual. I love putting my all into everything I do and getting the job done correctly. You could say that success is my biggest motivator. Even when doing independent work, I find I am able to stay motivated without superior involvement.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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