Interview Tips

How to Answer: How Do You Motivate Others?

By: Mariah Rogers
Aug 6, 2020 • 3 min read

How to Answer: How Do You Motivate Others?

When asked, “how do you motivate others,” it is crucial to first think about how you motivate yourself! You won’t be able to successfully motivate others if you do not first learn what gives you drive and power. Ask yourself what kind of motivator you are. Do you find yourself being firm and strict with others? Maybe you provide frequent praise and kudos to those who perform well. Or, perhaps you encourage others to motivate themselves to get the job done. Whatever your personal style is, here is how to answer this question with professionalism and thoughtfulness.

motivate others

Collaboration for Motivation

Motivating others can sometimes be easier than motivating yourself, especially if you are working on a team. Collaboration is often more motivating than individual work because each member relies on one another to pull through and perform at their best. Teamwork for motivation is a very productive and efficient style, because it will teach others to rely not only on you, but their other teammates for the drive to keep succeeding.

Example: I find that my motivation style is best utilized when working in a team. I like to motivate others by putting employees in small groups to achieve a common goal. This way, they have both myself and each other to motivate them to succeed. 

Giving Praise

Some might prefer to give frequent kudos and praise to employees who are performing well. This is almost like a reward system that will motivate employees to put more effort into their work so they can also get recognition. This is often seen as a very positive approach to motivating others. However, you must be strategic about how you give praise. If the recognition is not with working hard for, others might not feel as though they want to achieve the extra appreciation. Implementing concrete awards such as a bonus, employee of the month award, or an extra vacation day can be very useful.

Example: I prefer to motivate others by giving praise. I congratulate them for their hard work and recognize their outstanding efforts. This helps others on the team look up to employees who are achieving success and mimic their efforts”.

motivate others


Benchmarking can be a more concrete and structured way to motivate others. Setting clear goals and deadlines can help your team stay motivated and organized to accomplish tasks promptly. This will give off a feeling of satisfaction once goals are achieved, and benchmarks are met. It will do the exact opposite and cause disappointment when milestones are missed. This can be great for teams working on strategic projects and who need to work with strict and fast approaching deadlines.

Example: I find that the best way to motivate others is to set clear goals and utilize benchmarking. Once we set concrete guidelines and milestones, it is satisfying for the whole team when we can accomplish these tasks. 

Motivating others is not always easy, but it can be gratifying if you are up for the challenge. Utilize these techniques and nail your next interview!

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