Interview 36: What Motivates You?

For the best result, make sure you have read this article and already have a write-up of your answer prior to your Cambly session. You can send a longer text to your tutor through Cambly’s messaging system.

This following content has been modified from LiveCareer. See the original article here.


Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

What the Hiring Manager Is Really Asking…

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 benefit you in the interview.

There are few questions simpler than, “What motivates you?”. Yet this deceptively simple question has some hidden meaning. The specifics of how you are motivated are not important; the interviewer is 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.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • Why is there a distinction between how you are motivated, and if you can motivate yourself? Why does an employer care about this?
  • Think of a time when you have been particularly motivated in the past.
  • What led you to be so motivated?

Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

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.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • What strategies have you used to motivate yourself in the past?
  • Why are these strategies effective, and how would you bring them with you into this new work environment?
  • How do help motivate those around you?

Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

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.

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • Decide on one or two points to explain how you motivate yourself, and how you have used this skill effectively in the past
  • Would you consider motivation a particular skill? If so, highlight it.

Guideline

Read the following text with your tutor. 

Sample Answer

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.”

Activities

Go over the following points with your tutors. 

  • Write the first draft of your answer with your tutor.
  • Are there any words or phrases that you are not comfortable pronouncing?
  • Now rehearse with your tutor until you are comfortable answering the question without the script.

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