Question forms part of
Other interview questions that are similar
- How do you maintain your enthusiasm for a project that takes a long time to complete?
- What strategies do you use to stay focused and productive when facing challenges?
- Can you describe a situation where you had to stay motivated despite setbacks or obstacles?
- How do you set goals for yourself, and what steps do you take to achieve them?
- What aspects of your work inspire you the most?
- How do you deal with burnout or stress in your job?
- Can you give an example of a time when you had to motivate a team or a colleague to reach a goal?
- How do you balance competing priorities and stay motivated to complete all tasks?
- What do you do when you feel your motivation is starting to wane?
- How do you stay up-to-date with industry trends and developments to maintain your motivation and interest in your field?
What the interviewer is looking for by asking this question
There are probably an infinite number of questions that the interviewer could ask you on the day. Some questions are incredibly common appearing in almost every interview you will have, while other questions you might hear once and never again regardless of how many jobs you apply for.
Fundamentally though all interview questions are really trying to find out one of 3 things:
1 – Can you do the job? (Do you have the skills/experience needed?)
2 – Will you do the job? (Do you have the drive/motivation to get the job done?)
3 – Will you fit in? (Does your personality match the workplace culture? Are you likeable?)
That’s it. Those are the 3 things that the interviewer is trying to ascertain. Every question that is asked of you will fundamentally be trying to resolve one (or more) of these 3 things.
When an interviewer asks you, “How do you stay motivated?” they are primarily trying to assess if you will do the job by understanding your drive and motivation to complete tasks and meet goals. This question also gives them insights into your work ethic and how well you can manage challenges, which relates to the first point, can you do the job.
In addition, your response to this question can also provide some information about how well you will fit in with the company culture, as different organizations value different motivational styles and coping mechanisms. A response that aligns with the company’s values and culture will showcase your compatibility with the team.
For example, if you respond by saying, “I stay motivated by setting SMART goals and regularly reviewing my progress, as well as seeking feedback from my colleagues and manager,” you demonstrate your ability to stay focused and committed to achieving results (point 2), your strategic approach to goal-setting (point 1), and your openness to collaboration and communication (point 3). By addressing all three aspects, you effectively show the interviewer that you can do the job, will do the job, and will fit in with the company’s culture.
How Best To Answer ‘How do you stay motivated?’
When answering the interview question “How do you stay motivated?”, you can use the B-STAR technique to structure your response effectively. This method helps you to provide a comprehensive and well-rounded answer, showcasing your beliefs, actions, and results related to motivation. Here’s how you can apply B-STAR to this question:
B – Belief: Share your thoughts and feelings about motivation and its importance in achieving professional success.
Example: “I believe that staying motivated is crucial for success in any role. It helps maintain focus and productivity, allowing us to overcome challenges and achieve our goals.”
S – Situation: Briefly describe a scenario where you needed to stay motivated to complete a task or achieve a goal. Keep this description concise, setting the context for your actions.
Example: “In my previous job, I was assigned to a complex project with a tight deadline, which required coordinating with multiple teams and stakeholders.”
T – Task: Explain your role and responsibilities in the situation, focusing on your active involvement in the task.
Example: “My task was to lead the project, ensuring all teams collaborated effectively and met the deadlines, while maintaining high-quality results.”
A – Activity (or action): Detail the steps you took to stay motivated and the reasons behind your actions. This part should be the main focus of your answer.
Example: “To stay motivated, I set clear, achievable milestones for each stage of the project. I also maintained open communication with all team members, encouraging them to share their ideas and concerns. I took regular breaks to recharge and used productivity tools to stay organized.”
R – Result: Conclude your answer by sharing the outcome of your actions, ideally using figures or tangible measures of success.
Example: “As a result of my motivation and leadership, we completed the project two weeks ahead of schedule, and it exceeded the client’s expectations. The project’s success led to a 15% increase in revenue for the company.”
Using the B-STAR technique, you can describe, expand, and elaborate on your answers, ensuring a comprehensive and effective response to the question of how you stay motivated. This method allows you to present your experiences and skills in the best possible light, demonstrating your motivation and drive to the interviewer.
What You Should NOT Do When Answering Questions
Do not avoid the question.
Do not describe a failure (unless specifically asked).
Do not downplay the situation.
Do not overhype the situation.
Do not say you have no experience with the subject matter.
Do not reject the premise of the question.
Do not have a passive role in the situation.
Do not give a one-sentence answer.
Do not overly describe the scenario and miss the action
How do you stay motivated? – Example answer
Customer Service Example
“I believe that staying motivated in a customer service role is essential for providing excellent support and ensuring customer satisfaction, which contributes to the overall success of the company. At my previous job as a customer service representative, our team experienced a sudden surge in customer inquiries due to a software issue that affected many users. My responsibility was to provide timely and effective support to the affected customers, addressing their concerns and helping them resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
To stay motivated during this challenging period, I focused on the positive impact I could make on the customers’ experiences. I proactively sought feedback from my supervisor and peers to continuously improve my problem-solving skills. I also organized my workload using a ticket management system and prioritized tasks based on urgency. To maintain a positive attitude, I celebrated small victories, such as resolving a particularly difficult case or receiving a thank-you message from a satisfied customer.
As a result of my motivation and dedication, I was able to resolve customer issues more efficiently, which led to a 20% decrease in average response time during the surge. Additionally, my efforts contributed to a 10% increase in customer satisfaction ratings, and I received recognition from my manager for maintaining high-quality support during a challenging time.”
Software Engineer Example
“I believe that staying motivated as a software engineer is crucial for consistently delivering high-quality code, meeting project deadlines, and contributing to the overall success of the development team. In my previous role as a software engineer, I was assigned to work on a complex, long-term project involving the development of a new software application, which required collaboration with various teams and stakeholders.
My responsibility was to design and implement key features, ensuring that they met the project requirements and adhered to best practices. To stay motivated throughout the project, I set clear, achievable milestones and regularly reviewed my progress to ensure I was on track. I also made it a point to learn from my peers, participating in code reviews and seeking feedback on my work to continuously improve my skills.
During the development process, I took short breaks and maintained a healthy work-life balance to avoid burnout. I also stayed engaged by actively participating in team meetings, contributing ideas, and celebrating our progress as a team.
As a result of my motivation and commitment, I successfully implemented the features on time, contributing to the overall success of the project. The application received positive feedback from users and our client, leading to a 30% increase in user adoption and a 15% reduction in reported bugs. My dedication to staying motivated and focused on the project was acknowledged by my manager, who praised my performance during the project’s completion.”
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