What inspires you? An Interview Prep Guide!

Everyone has their own set of hopes, objectives, and long-term objectives. We have the aspiration to become someone, to do something, and lead a life with significance. Even if one is fortunate enough to be born in a wealthy nation and wins the ovarian lottery, life in the 21st century is not going to be simple for anyone. The amount of available resources is low, and the level of competition is high, across practically all spheres of human activity. You are going to have to give up some things if you want to achieve your goals or even just be the best version of yourself that you can be. You will need to exert more effort than most people, do more work, and triumph over the inherent human tendencies of lethargy and the temptation to conform to achieve your goals. When one discovers something or someone that serves as a source of inspiration, it is quite helpful. Our motivations have the power to propel us forward, force us out of our comfort zones, and propel us to achieve things that the vast majority of people wouldn’t ever dare to dream about… What do you think, Burt, about going for a job interview? What should you respond to when the recruiting managers ask what motivates you to do your best work? To begin, you should try to find some source of inspiration. It could be a person, an object, an event, or even something that comes from within you. Your primary objective should be to persuade the people interviewing that there is something in your life that will assist you in overcoming challenges and finding inspiration in the profession. Something that encourages you to develop into the best version of yourself and produce excellent outcomes for your employer is a terrific motivator.

7 Various examples of how to respond to the interview question “What inspires you?”

The unequal distribution of resources that I observe in the world is the source of the majority of my motivation. You are walking along a street and see that just a few meters from ritzy shops selling costly goods, people are lounging about begging for money. For some reason, I find it both striking and motivating. Do not misunderstand me; I do not intend to alter the course of human history. However, the knowledge that I can make a difference in the lives of specific people, people who have names and stories, is what motivates me to work as hard as I possibly can as a social worker and to never give up on any case. 

The urge to discover how far I can go and how competent I can become in my area is the single greatest source of motivation for me. I have already mastered three programming languages, which enables me to work on complicated projects and has allowed me to make a significant contribution through the job that I do. But is this the zenith of human achievement? Can I not accomplish even more, and improve my standing in this industry even further? And once I become proficient in the fourth programming language, what doors will be open to me? Motivating me to keep studying and improving my skills are questions like these, as well as the desire to discover my boundaries if they do exist.

More than anything else, classical music is the source of my inspiration. When you give a true masterpiece one hundred percent of your attention while listening to it, you can perceive all of the colors, tones, and feelings that are contained within the music. At that moment, you realize that there is more to this world than money, and that one does not necessarily need millions of dollars to be happy. This kind of music never fails to provide me with a sense of inner calm and is a significant contributor to my ability to successfully navigate the problems that arise in both my personal life and my professional life. Because of this, I play it first thing in the morning and again right before I go to sleep every day.

To tell you the truth, a lot of different things motivate me. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the world of sports, politics, business, or the arts; whenever I see someone succeed despite the odds, it motivates me to give everything I’ve got to whatever I’m working on. One only needs to put in the effort to look for the numerous people and stories that can serve as sources of motivation to find them. Such a narrative is quite enjoyable to read for me. It gives me chills, and as a result, I approach my work intending to give it my all. It is crucial to find inspiration, and I hope that I will continue to do so in the narratives of other people. Additionally, I hope that one day my tale will be able to serve as inspiration for someone person.

To tell you the truth, the thing that inspires me the most is when I can see the fruits of my labor. Because there are a lot of abstract concepts involved with architecture. You spend several weeks drawing something, and then they decide to go on to another project, or for some other reason, you are unable to witness the fruition of your hard work and imaginative labor. 

At my core, I am a creative person. Always keeping my eyes open while I walk and avoiding getting lost in my thoughts, I watch the world around me and can discover inspiration in things that at first glance appear to be unremarkable. As the vehicle makes its way around the bend, a pigeon takes flight in the opposite direction. The sun is out, shadows collide, and hues shift… Such ordinary occurrences frequently serve as a source of motivation for me in my profession. Because, at the end of the day, nature is the greatest artist of all time, and the best that we as humans can strive for is to imitate it, in our special way, as much as possible. So long as you perceive it the same way I do.

The pursuit of my ambitions is what drives me the most. I am well aware of the motivations for my decision to pursue a career in the business world, as well as the jobs I will hold in five and 10 years, the goods I will purchase, and the accomplishments I will accomplish. In addition to this, the comprehension that one must work for one’s success in this life. If you want to rise above the level of mediocrity, you are going to have to put in a lot of effort. This is also one of my goals. I do not want to be a loser, a mediocre person, or someone who works only to maintain their standard of living. On the other hand, one of my goals is to become one of the greatest in my industry, and having such a goal motivates me to work hard, frequently step outside of my comfort zone, and make sacrifices.

When you get this question in an interview, try to relate it to the job

As you can see from the list of sample answers I provided, we can draw motivation from a wide variety of sources, including the beauty of nature and classical music, the struggles of those living on the streets, and the accomplishments we hope to accomplish in our lifetime. And you cannot say that one source of inspiration is superior to another as long as the method in issue is successful for the individual in question. However, you will probably acknowledge that there are certain options for your interview answer that are superior to others.

What I’m trying to get across here is that talking about things like flying pigeons and the different colors of the morning sky might be a good idea if you’re applying for a job as an art teacher, for instance, but it probably won’t help you very much if you’re looking for an entry-level position in a company. Take a minute to think about it and select a response that, at the very least, makes some sense in the context of the interview you are going to have.

Describe how your motivation propels you forward.

In a general sense, you should steer clear of giving answers that are extremely brief in a job interview, such as “My ambitions inspire me.” Because responses of this kind just prompt extra queries from the hiring managers, such as “What aims are you talking about?” And how exactly do they motivate you to act? It is in your best interest to formulate a more lengthy response to guarantee that they will comprehend your entire point.

Explain to them what it is that motivates you and expand upon it. Describe how it enables you to triumph over obstacles that you encounter in your profession or education, and how it propels you forward and inspires you to step outside of your comfort zone to pursue your goals.

People are often the finest source of inspiration.

At the end of the day, there is nothing more motivational than hearing the incredible experiences of other people. Stories that have a strong connection to us and our individual experiences, tales with which we can identify on some level or another.

How to respond to the question “Who inspires you?”

The following is a list of actions that you can follow, which may be of assistance to you while responding to this question during an interview:

Keep your response to a minimum.

There are several reasons why it would be simple to answer this question in a few minutes, including the following:

  • You wish to speak about a person who you hold in high regard.
  • You want to discuss several different people, right?
  • You wish to discuss many core beliefs that you and your inspiration have in common.
  • You feel the need to fill the potential employer in on every facet of your role model’s biography.

Regardless of the reason, if you keep your answer brief, you may demonstrate to the employer that you are prepared to deliver an answer about who inspires you and why they inspire you by discussing who that person is. This can also demonstrate how effectively you explain knowledge to individuals who are not necessarily well-versed in the subject matter.

Select one individual that you hold in high regard.

Picking only one individual whom you hold in high regard can assist you in keeping your response brief. Selecting a single individual can also assist you in maintaining the relevancy of your response to the position at hand by facilitating the alignment of their values, your values, and those of the company. In conclusion, choosing one person to focus on can assist you in determining your capabilities and limitations by providing you with a model against which you can measure yourself. You can talk about a variety of different people, including the following:

  • Members of a family
  • Mentors
  • Personages from the past
  • Characters from literature
  • Modern celebrities

Any one of these possibilities has the potential to serve as a source of motivation for you, and each has the potential to exhibit attributes that you would like to emulate, incorporate, and employ in your professional life.

Describe how this individual embodies ideals and practices that you aspire to adopt in your own life.

It may be helpful for your employer to comprehend the professional route that you wish to follow if you describe the characteristics and values of the person who inspires you and explain how they behave. For instance, if you tell someone that you admire someone else’s ability to speak clearly, you might let them know that you are working on improving your communication skills and that you are committed to doing so. Keeping the emphasis of your response on your habits and values can help you talk about yourself in a more professional context.

Make a connection between those actions and principles and how they affect you in your professional life.

Even though your response to this question may involve some intimate aspects of your life, it is still crucial to keep in mind that you are participating in an interview for a professional position. You can demonstrate that you are considering how to implement the values and behaviors of your inspiration in your professional career by providing an employer with an explanation of how each value and behavior that your inspiration possesses relates to the role that you want. For instance, making a connection between your inspiration’s capacity to deal with challenging customers and a profession that requires customer service can demonstrate that you are actively preparing how you will interact with clients.

The following are some examples of responses to the question, “Who inspires you?”

You are welcome to draw ideas from the sample responses provided below when formulating your response to this interview question.

Example from the family

“My older brother is somebody who motivates me to do better. He is the type of person who puts in a lot of effort every day, follows through on whatever he starts, and finishes because he takes genuine pride in his job. I want to improve my career to the point where I can say that I enjoy the work I do as much as he enjoys what he does, and I want to work as hard as he does. I believe that by working hard in this capacity, I will be able to gather the experience necessary to take on roles at the middle and upper levels of the organization.”

Mentor example

“There are many individuals in my life that motivate and encourage me, but I believe that Mr. Miller, my English teacher in tenth and eleventh grade, was the most influential figure in my development. Every day, he went to school with a grin on his face to assist not only the students in his classroom but also those in other classes as well. I want to have a job where I can go to work every day with the confidence that I will be able to assist the people around me and maintain a grind for the entirety of the workday. I believe that the role of the lead teacher will need me to accomplish that daily, not only for my students but also for the rest of the department.”

Historical figure example

“People from the past have always been a source of motivation for me. Donald Forester is one such individual who has served throughout the years as a source of motivation for me. Along with his desire and guts to stand up to a system that was unfair to him and many others, his ability to speak in front of big crowds and inspire them has always struck me as one of the most impressive abilities he had. I want to be able to speak to people and inspire them in the same way that he did, in addition to being able to face my fears. I believe that taking on this responsibility will provide me the opportunity to interact with huge groups of people and teach me how to be courageous in the face of challenges.”

Book character example

“The legendary tales of King Theodore and his brave knights have always served as a source of motivation for me. One of the knights, Sir Godfrey, is especially motivational because he never compromises his principles. I believe that this is an admirable characteristic to possess since it indicates that we are aware of who we are and what we are capable of doing as a result of our efforts. On the job, knowing and being true to oneself means allowing for creative answers to problems, which drives other people to work harder. Having the ability, as a project manager, to let my team come up with their answers fosters an environment that is conducive to growth and learning.”

Example of a contemporary celebrity

“Evan Dunn is a phenomenal role model for me. It is very motivational to see how he has been able to become a leader in a variety of fields, including automobiles, rockets, and solar energy, in addition to his other endeavors. If I had to choose one of his characteristics to model after, it would be his ability to inspire others by setting a good example. I want to demonstrate to my team and any other members of this company how to successfully do a task while also demonstrating that I am knowledgeable about what I am doing. I believe that the capacity to lead by example is a vital quality in a leader in the technology business, and that is something that I intend to bring to this role every day.”

Key Takeaways

  • Your preparation for the interview will help you feel more in control and, as a result, appear cool and collected to the potential employers who will be meeting with you. If you put in the effort to prepare, you’ll have a better chance of cutting.
  • The interviewer will have a better understanding of your life by asking your personal questions such as “What Inspires You.” It gives the recruiter an insight into your unique personality.
  • This indicates the core beliefs that guide you, as well as whether or not you would be a good fit for the team.
  • By giving some thought to your response in advance, you can keep it concise.
  • Include anecdotes about significant persons, events, or experiences in your life that have left an impression on you. Describe the reasons why certain accounts or events were significant to you.
  • Lastly, make a connection between these values and the work that you do. Please explain how these values have helped you in your professional life.
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