How to Answer the Interview Question, “What Motivates You?”

How to answer “what motivates you” question

Are you looking for the job of your dreams? Having the right training and skills is not always enough. It is important to be well prepared in order to be able to respond effectively to questions from the employer or recruiter. “What motivated you to apply for this position?” This is a classic among the questions asked to the candidate during interviews. Recruiters can use it as a trick question. But why do recruiters frequently ask this specific question and how to answer what motivates you questions? They mainly ask to find out if you really want to work for this company or if you sent your CV simply because there was an opening and you need money.

When asking the question “what motivates you to apply for this position?” during the interview, the employer wants to know what motivates you to work for him, how well you know his company and why you are attracted to this particular position. In summary, the recruiter hopes to figure out what makes you tick. Find out if your profile matches the company and the position you are applying for, how you will interact with your colleagues or supervisors, or how you understand certain situations.

“I always wanted to work for you” or “this job will help me propel my career” is to avoid. Instead, you need to focus on the added values you will have to bring to the company.

To avoid being confused and disoriented when the time comes, prepare yourself for what you will say in response to this question, which requires very broad answers. Take advantage of this issue to highlight your skills in line with the functions of the position. The ideal would be to exploit a quality that differs from other candidates.

answer what motivates you

Name reasons in order of importance and demonstrate that you have researched the company and are familiar with the industry in which it operates. Don’t hesitate to talk about the company’s mission and why you are the right candidate to help them achieve it. You may also mention that you would be honored to work for a company whose quality of products and services is beyond question.

Here are five examples on how to answer the question “what motivates you to apply for this position”:

1. Perform mandated tasks

You may express that you are motivated by the various tasks associated with the job because you enjoy working on them. In that case, you may also have the skills to perform these tasks, but you have not had the opportunity to apply them in your previous experiences.

2. Learning new skills

The desire to learn may be one reason why you want to get this job. Namely, you may want to enhance or learn from the various skills that you have acquired in your previous experiences.  You will score points if you show the recruiter that you have consistently taken initiatives to learn new skills, develop new ideas and find solutions. Ambition is often the most important asset sought because it brings out a number of other positive traits. The hiring manager will want to recognize your energy and passion for the job, your commitment, and your motivation to succeed.

3. Accomplish the job

Talk about the daily tasks and, more generally, the issues that are important to you. The intellectual challenge of the job, its various aspects, such as the fact that it involves seeking innovation, and that you particularly like it. You can also relate your interest in the job to your personality and previous professional experiences in which you have been particularly successful. 

4. Be part of a company in which you identify.

Do you share the same values as the company? Say so. For example, if the company is focused on sustainable development, state that these values are important to you and that you will feel comfortable working for the company.

As for the tasks of the company, they can join a cause that is important to you.

You can also point out that the company is always looking for innovations and that this is a motivating point.

5. Working in this particular industry

The business field excites you and you want to work in this field? Share this motivation with your interviewer and list the different points why it does. When choosing a candidate, there is nothing more important than recognizing passion. Whether it is about the job, the product, the struggle, the competition, the challenges… Working in this particular industry is a smart answer to the question: what motivates you to apply for this position.

Answers to avoid while answering the question: “what motivates you to apply for this position”:

  • Avoid saying that you have a great need to work and that you will take any job. Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes, as motivation we have seen better…
  • Avoid saying that it is mainly the salary that motivates you. That’s like telling your prospective employers that you only work for money. It is your passion for the job and your skills that need to be highlighted.
  • Avoid talking about your career goals as they may not help recruiters understand your motivation.
  • Don’t focus on your personal life.
  • Don’t be too vague. Always be clear, accurate and honest in your answers.

When facing recruiters, make your case honestly and stay natural when you speak. A positive attitude is very important when talking about your motivations and answering the question “What motivates you to apply for this position”. When you adopt this attitude, you naturally transfer it to your interviewers, who will listen to you all more attentively. Try not only to be honest and positive, but also to give a clear and structured explanation. Give convincing examples to make your case. In any case, you must always make sure that you meet the definition and requirements of the position.

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