In a job interview you might get the interview question: “How do you motivate your team?” or “Describe how you motivate employees“. In this article, you’ll find a perfect example answer and useful interview tips.
Before we start, why do recruiters ask this question? Being a motivator is one of the most important traits a manager can have. Motivated employees are productive employees. You can have a team of experienced and knowledgeable people, but if their motivation is low it affects their productivity and work quality.
Example Answer (Experienced)
“What works in this type of business, correct me if I’m wrong, is leading by example. I believe that tech-savvy employees need a hard-working, technically inclined manager that understands the industry.
In the workplace however, I set objectives and milestones per employee and create a shared vision to stimulate common interests and a sense of shared purpose. This approach works best in my opinion.
I also noticed that a compliment, positive feedback or saying “We can’t do this without you” can brighten up someone’s day. I believe that a feeling of being valued and appreciated is what motivates people.”
Example Answer (No Experience)
“I think there is no one-size-fits-all approach to motivate colleagues. Although I do believe that all humans are motivated by default, it’s highly dependent on how the individual is wired, the resources and of course the leadership style.
What I’d do to unleash motivation is to create the right atmosphere, fully understand my peers and then assign or delegate suitable tasks. Some people thrive when solving problems or mitigating risks, and others are triggered by new ideas and opportunities for further growth.”
Interview Question Tips
- Don’t start off by saying: “A company should hire motivated people in the first place“. There is certainly a grain of truth in that sentence, but they seek a candidate with a hands-on mentality. What are you going to do to motivate their existing team, increase morale and productivity?
- Do adjust your answer to the company culture, workplace and people you’ll manage
- Do convince the recruiters that you understand the importance of motivation
- Do show your positivity and excitement to engage with their people (don’t over-exaggerate)