What Motivates You Interview Question Sales

What Motivates You Interview Question in Sales: Unveiling the Driving Force Behind Successful Salespeople


Motivation plays a pivotal role in the sales industry. It is the driving force that keeps salespeople dedicated, driven, and focused on achieving their goals. In a competitive field such as sales, hiring managers often seek individuals who are self-motivated, resilient, and possess an unwavering commitment to success. To gauge a candidate’s motivation levels, one of the most commonly asked interview questions in sales is, “What motivates you?” This article will delve into the significance of this question, explore various possible responses, and provide guidance on how to answer it effectively.

Understanding the Importance of the Question

The question “What motivates you?” is crucial for hiring managers to determine whether a candidate possesses the necessary drive and passion required for success in sales. Sales is an inherently challenging profession, with numerous rejections and setbacks. Therefore, hiring managers want to identify candidates who have a genuine passion for sales and can persevere through adversity.

Potential Responses

1. Money and Financial Rewards:
One common response to the question revolves around financial motivation. Being driven by money is a legitimate motivator, as salespeople are often incentivized with commissions and bonuses. However, it is important to emphasize that financial motivation should not be the sole driving force but rather an element that aligns with personal and professional growth.

2. Achieving Personal Goals:
Another popular response revolves around personal goals. This could include aspirations such as career advancement, achieving sales targets, or personal development. Salespeople who are motivated by personal goals often have a clear vision of what they want to achieve in their careers and are willing to put in the necessary effort to accomplish them.

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3. Helping Others:
Some individuals are motivated by the opportunity to make a positive impact on others. This response showcases empathy and the desire to provide solutions that meet customers’ needs. Salespeople who are motivated by helping others often build strong relationships and trust with their clients, leading to long-term success.

4. Competition and Winning:
For some salespeople, the thrill of competition and the desire to win serve as powerful motivators. These individuals thrive in high-pressure environments and are constantly seeking new challenges. They are driven by the satisfaction of surpassing targets and outperforming their competitors.

5. Personal Growth and Learning:
Continuous personal growth and learning can be a potent motivator for salespeople. Individuals who value personal development are motivated by the opportunity to learn new skills, acquire knowledge, and enhance their expertise. They are driven by the belief that knowledge and growth lead to improved performance and success.


1. Can I mention multiple motivators during the interview?
Absolutely! It is perfectly fine to mention multiple motivators that resonate with you. In fact, this demonstrates a well-rounded and multifaceted approach to motivation. However, it is crucial to prioritize and explain why each motivator is significant to you.

2. Should I mention extrinsic motivators like recognition and awards?
While it is acceptable to mention extrinsic motivators like recognition and awards, it is essential to emphasize that these should complement intrinsic motivators. Extrinsic motivators alone may not sustain long-term motivation. It is advisable to focus on internal drivers that align with personal values and aspirations.

3. How can I demonstrate my motivation during the interview?
To showcase your motivation, provide specific examples from your past experiences where you have displayed determination, resilience, and a strong work ethic. Discuss instances where you have gone above and beyond to achieve sales targets or overcome challenges. Highlight your passion for sales and your commitment to personal and professional growth.

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The question “What motivates you?” in a sales interview helps hiring managers gauge a candidate’s dedication, passion, and resilience. By understanding the importance of this question and crafting an effective response, candidates can leave a lasting impression and demonstrate their suitability for the sales profession. Remember, a successful salesperson is driven by a combination of internal factors, such as personal goals, helping others, continuous learning, and the thrill of competition.

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