“If you are unwilling to learn no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” One of the key aspects of hiring potential candidates is the kind of motivation that one brings to the table. An HR would be keen to know what really drives you as an individual.

A tricky way to get it out would be asking, “what motivates you to do a good job?” Beyond the obvious question “why do you want this job?”, the motivation question lets the HR analyze, what is it that will keep you on the job. Also, what will sustain that passion and efficiency throughout.

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Dumbfounded? Need not worry. We bring to you few sample answers to this not so simple question ‘What Motivates You To Do a Good Job?’ the interviewer might throw at you.

Possible Answer #1

“My biggest motivation is family. They are my biggest source of inspiration and my strongest supporters as well. When I see my parents working, it gives me the drive to be like them. Their dedication to working is what motivates me to be like them. They are self-motivated individuals. Hence I try to imbibe their positivism into my life. I have learned from my father how to not give up on a tough client. The essence is to go through the grind to really know what the other person wants. This excites me to take up greater challenges and risks without the fear of failure or backing out. My mother is the source of calm confidence. Knowing exactly where to push hard and where to slow down is something I have imbibed from her. They remain, my go-to people, when I feel under the weather or less motivated.”

Possible Answer #2

“Success is what motivates me to do a good job. Knowing the fact that my hard work and perseverance will help me achieve greater professional success is what keeps me going. I feel that aligning the company’s vision and values with my own is one way to achieve that. When I know that my efforts are following the correct path, it encourages me to push more. Hence, for me, success is important both at a personal as well as at an organizational level. Motivation is seeing the organization grow which ultimately leads to personal achievement and success. There might be instances of failure or stagnation but it does not demotivate me anyhow. On the other hand, I feel re-invigorated to perform even more. The taste of success after a failure is what keeps the fire going within me no matter what the circumstance.”

Possible Answer #3

“Helping others and empowering people is what motivates me the most. It doesn’t matter whether it is a colleague, friend or relative. There are times when the people around your need that extra drive to get going. I relish the opportunity to reach out to such people. It gives me a sense of confidence and belief that I can be of some help. The idea that I might provide a solution to someone’s problem is what motivates me to do a good job. To understand and empathize with people is crucial. You do not want to make them feel inferior or incapable of solving their own problems. I simply try to show them an alternate and less resistance path as a solution to their difficulty. This not only makes them feel better but also allows them to introspect and to think logically. I try to be positive myself. This allows me to instill the same optimism onto others when they need it the most. Lending a helping hand is about making the person feel upbeat, energetic and positive.”

Possible Answer #4

“Working in a team and leading one, is my motivation to do a good job. United we stand, divided we fall has been my mantra for success right along. Working in a team has taught me so much more. It enlightened me and opened up my mind to a whole new world. The confluence of ideas, thoughts, and opinions encouraged me to know and learn from my peers. There was a time when I believed that I could do everything on my own. With time I realized the magnitude of achievement possible with teamwork. It took me some time getting used to leading a team of varied individuals. Gradually I realised that it was more about dealing with their personalities and less about their skills sets. It was a challenge which I took up and gained valuable insights related to team building and motivation. As a leader, it is imperative that you trust your team members and support them. It is also important to create synergy from their individual capabilities.”

Possible Answer #5

“Convincing people to buy products and services is my source of motivation. I had been in a sales job earlier. The best part of it was interacting with potential buyers. Selling is not an easy task and that is what made it lucrative for me. To work on a product, study about it and then to influence people to try it out is a challenge. I enjoy working under these circumstances. The thrill of facing a tough customer or a new one is what drives me to do more. At times, individuals or even organizations do not know what exactly they are looking for. More so, they have little knowledge of the product or service being offered to them. I enjoy convincing them, how the product would fit into their lives and benefit them in the long run. I gather motivation by knowing that people believe in me and rely on my judgment of the product.”

Possible Answer #6

“Learning newer things is what gives me immense motivation. I remember the time when I heard my friend playing guitar. I was highly impressed by it. So, I took his guitar, started watching guitar videos and picked up the instrument within 3 months of continuous practice. There was another instance when I learned how to cook. I did this by scouring various recipes and helping out my mother in the kitchen. None of the examples which I mentioned was my forte. Only the willingness to learn a new trick or trade is what kept me going. The very fact that I am adding to my knowledge base is a big positive for me. Also, utilizing my free time in a constructive way is my source of motivation to do a good job. I believe that learning should never stop. Given the level of competition that businesses face nowadays, it becomes imperative to constantly reinvent yourself by accumulating whatever usefully comes along the way.”

Possible Answer #7

“Beating deadlines is what motivates me to do a good job. This does not mean that I overlook the quality aspect. In my first job, I made it a point to complete most assignments before the stipulated time, with utmost precision. Not only did it impress my boss, but significantly impacted the organization’s profitability. Even, during my education days, I tried to complete projects well before the deadline. That not only gave me time to re-evaluate them but also help my colleagues with their projects. Completing work before time gives me a sense of pride and achievement. Improving efficiency without compromising on quality along with having spare time is what motivates me to beat deadlines. I realize that my seniors can bank upon me when it comes to delivering quality work within a given time. This increases my self-confidence and allows me to push myself harder.”

Possible Answer #8

“Effort recognition is what motivates me to do a good job. It is very important that for my efforts, I get the deserved mention or applause. This not only keeps me energized but also on my toes to keep working strong. I was a product manager in my previous capacity. The team achieved significant sales growth by my designing a new product. I was awarded the best idea distinction for helping them out. That kind of recognition is more satisfying than any kind of monetary compensation. Appreciation of work gives me the required kick to give more than a 100 percent. There is a need to perform to achieve success. This is especially when I am being monitored . Even if it is a small mail or message from my boss or senior, it matters a lot. It is highly motivating to know that someone requires your input in essential matters. Also the fact that your recommendations will be implemented. “

Possible Answer #9

“Access to top management is a highly motivating factor. Also, having a non-rigid and accommodative approach is what I like. I have read about organizations keeping an open door policy. It would be a dream for me to work in an organization with such a policy. A highly bureaucratic organization is not something I look forward to. A flat structure which promotes peer to peer learning and encourages feedback is a big plus for me. If I get to see the CEO/MD for example in the office, it is a big motivation for me. Also, if the same people are approachable enough then employees are significantly happier according to me. Having common workstations, cabinless offices are probably the way to go to achieve the open culture as mentioned earlier. A bottom-up feedback approach without high bureaucracy is my ideal motivation for doing a good job.”

Possible Answer #10

“A healthy work culture and a competitive environment is my motivation to do a good job. A good work culture promotes high peer to peer learning, genuine feedback, complaint redressal and suggestion implementation. I derive my energy from people and their behavior around me. Hence, having people from whom I can learn and enhance my knowledge is apt for me. Also, promoting healthy rivalry within peers is something I look forward to. It encourages me to give that extra effort and gain recognition within the organization. It also tends to increases overall work efficiency. An organization which also cares about your personal well being is another big motivation. If my boss realizes the importance of being healthy and staying fit, he/she would encourage me to do the same. Hence an environment which looks at my holistic development and not only work-related is my fruit of motivation.”

Possible Answer #11

“Having a good mentor or boss is what motivates me to do a good job. I would enjoy working with someone whom I can look up to. Someone who sets an example for all others will be my criteria of a boss or mentor. If I have a mentor, I would expect guidance beyond work. Non-work related issues can hamper work at times. It is a good mentor who can see through these things. Having a person above you who is willing to sit and discuss things is highly motivating. Gaining work-related knowledge is also important. A mentor can teach you tricks of the trade which would go a long way to enhance your career. I would hence like to work with someone who has command over his /her area of work. There can be instances when I do something wrong. Situations where I am stuck up. I would then want someone who will reprimand and guide me. A great boss or mentor would be the prime reason why I would stick to a particular work profile.”

After having gone through the above answers, a few pointers would be essential to keep in mind when answering "What motivates you to do a good job?".

Firstly, the question is not a straightforward one. It would require a calm and collected mind to gauge exactly what the interviewer wants to get out of you.

Secondly, the interviewer wants to know positive aspects which motivates you to work. Do not show your negative side by telling him/her about things that demotivate you. Although easier said than done, this would require some practice form your end.
Going for an interview can be a stressful experience. A well-prepared person will easily come out triumphant. Keep calm, practice a few times, revise the answers and give it your best shot.

All the best!!


1. What is the best motivation to work?
The best motivation to work varies from person to person, but intrinsic factors such as personal fulfillment, a sense of purpose, and a passion for the work often contribute significantly. Finding alignment between your values and the company's mission can be a powerful motivator.

2. How to answer what motivates you?
Be authentic and specific in your response. Connect your motivations to the job you're applying for. For example, mention a genuine interest in the industry, a desire for continuous learning, or a passion for contributing to a positive work environment.

3. What are the 5 motivations?
The five common motivations include intrinsic factors like autonomy, mastery, and purpose, as outlined in Daniel Pink's book 'Drive.'

Additionally, extrinsic motivators such as recognition and financial rewards can also play a role in motivating individuals. Understand which combination resonates most with you to articulate a compelling answer during an interview.

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