Interview preparation is synonymous with interview success!

Interview preparation not only helps you anticipate questions that might come your way but also helps you feel at ease and in control of the situation. Thus ensuring, that you put your best foot forward.

Also, an interviewer can immediately tell if you are prepared or not. If you are taking longer to respond to routine questions such as 'Tell me about yourself' or 'What inspires you', it shows that you are not prepared and reflect poorly.

And given that 33% of hiring managers make up their hiring decision based on first impressions, it is imperative to prepare well and be confident during interviews.

Personal questions such as what inspires you can throw off candidates if not prepared in advance. So, do not jeopardize your shot at landing your dream job, and prepare well for the interview.

Read on to understand how to answer the interview question ‘What inspires you’ with sample answers.

Get an insight into the following FAQs:

Why Do Recruiters Ask the Question ‘What Inspires You?’

By asking interview questions like "What inspires you?", recruiters get an understanding of your work ethic, values, and how driven you are.

People who are inspired, set and achieve higher goals, and are more ambitious. Thereby, making them productive employees and hence a good hire.

Additionally, questions like ‘What inspires you' gives the recruiter an insight into:

  • Your motivation
  • Your values
  • What you enjoy doing
  • Whether or not you are a good cultural fit for the company

Also Read: What are the most common interview questions in 2023?

What Inspires You Answers

A good interview answer for what inspires you is both succinct and includes examples from past experiences. A good answer also includes instances where skills and aptitudes required for the job were put to use. For instance,

Sample Answer 1:

Meeting the stated goals within deadlines motivates me because it provides me with a sense of success and allows me to look back and say, "I did that." I'm also motivated by tangible outcomes. For instance, knowing that our bi-monthly industry overview would be read by thousands of people instilled a sense of pride in me and motivated me to achieve more.

Also Read: What are some of the common job interview questions in 2023?

Sample Answer 2:

What inspires me the most is a drive to become the best at what I do. I've mastered programming skills that allow me to work on complex projects and make a genuine difference with my work. But I constantly question myself if this is the best that I can do. Is learning another programming language the next step? Or shall I go for a master's program? I wish to challenge myself every step of the way and continue studying and honing my talents.

Sample Answer 3:

Being an architect, I believe that when my work takes shape and it is in perfect harmony with the surroundings is the most exciting for me. I am an ardent believer in living sustainably and spend weeks designing projects.

It takes a lot of planning to reduce a building's negative environmental effects by improving efficiency and moderation in resources, energy, development space, and the ecosystem. It instantly makes my day to witness my project come to life after months of hard work, with a happy family inside.

Also Read: What are the top interview questions in 2023?

Sample Answer 4:

I am inspired by thinking ahead, fixing goals, and achieving them. I fear living a mediocre life and understand that it takes effort to make our dreams a reality. I have set goals for myself and I work towards achieving them every day and have decided on a career path where I have visibility of what I might end up doing 10 years down the line. It has been working out so far and I wish to be the best in my field of work.

Sample Answer 5:

I do not have plans to change the world but the stark differences between the rich and poor drive me. I have a desire to help others and a longing to fight for social change and human rights. Talking to the underprivileged, understanding their concerns, and working at the grassroots move me to achieve more in life. I have lived a privileged life and social work provides me with opportunities to give back to society and a chance to pass on lessons learned through experience.

What Inspires You in Life?

Sample Answer 1:

Music is extremely close to my heart. Listening to my favorite tracks while doing stressful tasks eases my mood and motivates me. It is a potent neurological tool that positively changes my thinking and mood. Music has also helped in altering my perceptions of the world, making it more pleasant and outgoing.

Music always brings me inner peace and aids me in dealing with the problems of my personal and professional lives. As a result, I listen to it every day, both in the morning and before going to bed.*

Also Read: How to answer the interview question - Walk me through your resume?

What is Your Inspiration?

Sample Answer 2:

Reading about people who made it big while fighting against the odds is inspirational to me. For instance, reading about Oprah, Ellen, etc. drives me to keep working and giving my best to every project that I am associated with.
Fortunately, there are many individuals that I find inspirational. I read their stories whenever I feel low and need a nudge in the right direction.

What Inspires You?

Sample Answer 1:

Being an artist, I observe the world closely. I often turn to nature for creative inspiration. I find inspiration in mundane things that escape the ordinary eye. They stir up different emotions in me such as curiosity, awe, frustration, or boredom. What exactly is it about our surroundings, environment, and nature that causes us to think creatively or feel inspired? Why is it capable of causing a change in perspective? It inspires me to find answers to these questions.

Also Read: What are some of the top phone interview questions in 2023?

Who is Your Role Model and Why?

Sample Answer 2:

My uncle inspires me the most. He was born into a poor family of farmers and sheep ranchers. Nevertheless, he built his business from scratch through hard work and with the right attitude. He is 60 years old today and continues to work with the same passion as when he started it. He inspires me to be better, to try harder, and be a good husband.

What Inspires You the Most?

Sample Answer 3:

Many people inspire me, but I feel my high school Math teacher, Ms. Winona has been the most influential in my life. Every day, she arrived at school with a grin on her face and a desire to help every student in his classroom and beyond. She challenged students to use their imagination, intellect, and expectations.

I want to work in a position where I can come in every day knowing that I'll be able to serve in similar ways. I feel that as a lead teacher, I will be able to do so daily for both my students and my department.

Also Read: What are the best questions to ask interviewers in 2023?

how to answer what inspires you

How to Approach the Question What Inspires You?

While money may be one aspect of work that motivates you to do better, this is the last thing that you must talk about while answering the interview question "What inspires you?"

Inspiration can come from various things like traveling, learning new things, and also from people, be it historical figures, family members, mentors, etc.

Given below are some tips to help you frame compelling answers to what inspires your interview question:

Be Succinct

Decide beforehand what wish to talk about- a person(s) who inspires you, or values that you uphold, or reaching your goals, etc.

That way, you can tailor your answer to be concise and crisp. Rather than talking about an array of things, focus on talking about one aspect that really inspires you to do better.

Doing so will also show the recruiters that you have prepared well.

Include Examples

Including instances from the past can help your answer to "what inspires you" become more impressive and practical.

Talk about how your inspiration drove you to perform better at work and achieve your goals more efficiently.

Because at the end of the day, what the recruiters really want to hear is how you align your inspirations with work.

Research the Company

Employers often ask candidates about their inspirations to get an insight into their values for assessing if they are a cultural fit for the company.

Therefore, by researching the company and learning about its work culture, vision, and the company's goals in general, you can align your inspiration with the company if it stands true to you.

This will also show that you know enough about the company and that you're genuinely interested in working for them.

Connect Those Values with Your Profession

Explain how the values you vouch for would help you professionally. Do those values inspire you to handle stressful situations better? Do these values bring out the best version of you?

Hiration pro tip:
Aligning your values to your role and everyday duties will help the recruiters envision you as the ideal candidate.

Practice Your Answer

Once you've identified your talking points, practice delivering your answers out loud.

However, this doesn't mean that you must mug up a scripted answer. The idea is to simply get comfortable with the flow of your answer and build confidence.

You can practice your answer in front of the mirror or before your friends and family to get feedback.

Also Read: How to answer behavioral interview questions in 2023?


Interview preparation will help you be more in control and appear calm and collected as a result to your prospective employers. Prepare well to increase your chances of getting shortlisted.

  • What kind of inspiration should I talk about in a job interview?
    It is best to talk about the inspiration that motivates you to excel in your work. This could be anything from personal goals to a passion for the industry you work in. You should focus on the inspiration that drives you to achieve your best work and contribute positively to the company.

  • Can I talk about personal experiences as inspiration in a job interview?
    Yes, you can talk about personal experiences that have inspired you. However, it is important to keep the conversation professional and relevant to the job you are applying for. You should also ensure that you are comfortable discussing these experiences in a job interview setting.

  • How do I express my inspiration effectively while answering "What inspires you"?
    You can effectively express your inspiration by providing specific examples of how it has influenced your work and contributed to your success. You should also highlight how this inspiration aligns with the company's values and goals. Additionally, using positive language and being enthusiastic about your work can demonstrate your passion and drive.

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