If I were to ask you what gets you up in the morning, what would your answer be? Will it be the blaring sound of the alarm, or is it the snoring of your roommate? Well, whatever cropped up in your head might be the reason for you to roll off the bed. But, if an interviewer were to ask you the same question, giving the above-discussed answers is a big red flag. Everything changes when the person posing the question changes. It is essential to first understand the context surrounding it.
One of the most embarrassing mistakes you could make is to walk into an interview and interpret the intention of the question posed incorrectly. This question is the exact crossroad whereby choosing the right path, you can take an uninterrupted flight to the next round in your career, whereas by choosing the other way, you are sure to fall on your face. In such cases, it is obvious to panic. Leading you to derail from the right track. The best way to combat such a scenario is to be prepared for whatever is to come. This could be done by preparing in advance. You should take time to go through the queries you might encounter during the interview, and understand the objective behind asking them.
One of the most common interview questions, yet something that carries significant weightage – What gets you up in the morning?
This interrogation helps in the behavioral analysis of the candidate. A company wants only the best of the best. Someone unaware of something as basic as the motivating factor that gets them going brings nothing new to the table.
Your educational qualifications may be above the standards in the field of your expertise, yet if the factors that push you to be better do not align or complement with what the company follows, then it’s a mismatch. Interviewing in itself is a time-consuming process. Wasting the time and resources is the last thing that an enterprise wants to do. Therefore they will want to understand your priority list and superimpose it with theirs. Your role here is to beat them there first. Be prepared for their curveballs so that on their arrival, you know perfectly how to deflect them effectively.
What is the intention behind asking this question?
A recruiting manager at this point has gone through your resume. They know what your skills are. Your proficiency in executing the task. If you are thinking that the process of the interview involves only verifying what you have already sent through your cover letter, then you would truly be surprised to hear the kind of questions asked and the real purpose attached to it. More reasons for you to continue reading why do hiring managers ask this question – What gets you up in the morning?
In simple words, an interviewer would want to know if you are a perfect fit for them or not. The intent is to decode how you look at your career and the set of values that you hold yourself accountable to. The factors that fuel the passion for your work. If there is no self-motivation for you to get up and walk to your desk, brainstorm with your colleagues, solve the queries of clients, and climb the ladder of success, then your professional journey could be a short one. Companies want to avoid these individuals.
Using this question, they want to comprehend the gains you are looking for from this job position. Not in materialistic terms, rather, one that feeds your soul. They want to grasp where this hunger for your passion rises from and what is the possibility of you never giving up on it.
If you don’t know your truth how would you hold your individuality in the sea of similar kinds? This mark is used to pick out the best-suited person for a position. An authentic, responsible, and reflective individual whose actions are governed by a set of values. The beliefs that make them work. Someone that has figured out at least the part – Why am I here doing this?
Alternatives with the same goal
This question is used to assimilate knowledge about various aspects of a candidate through a single query.
The things you find inspiring, how you stimulate yourself to maximize productivity, the factors that drive your improvement at every point in life.
Thus, it can be often framed in different ways but do not get confused by the words and stick to your original thought process for answering it.
Below are a few examples of queries that should be understood the same as the question – What gets you up in the morning?
- What is it in this job that you are the most passionate about?
- What are your motivations in the professional field that drive you to achieve more?
- How does your motivation guide you in fulfilling your role in the workplace?
- Why would you never give up on this profession?
The words of caution
Damage can only be prevented when one knows what not to do. Knowing what should be done is important but what is equally essential is what should not be done. The red highlighted words of disclaimer, therefore, hold the truth that can help you get closer to your goal. Now, we will be looking at a few pointers to keep in mind about things that must be avoided while curating the best response to the question.
- Ridiculing isn’t the right way out
Some of us may feel that this question does not have enough caliber to be used while interviewing. Hold back that thought. Reflect on it. A hiring manager would never waste time projecting queries that hold no significance.
- No space for ambiguousness
Do not shy away from expanding on your thoughts. Owning them up and speaking about it confidently with specifics involved. Do not attempt to give blurry and vague answers. It can irritate an interviewer and make you seem like an individual that isn’t sure of themselves. Also, as someone that doesn’t value time. If you are using a personal experience to talk about your motivation, then elaborate on the necessary specifics.
- No Drama
It has often been recommended that using personal incidents while answering interview questions can prove to be beneficial. But, be objective in choosing the episode you are about to mention. Recognize the purpose of this query. Do not fall into the trap of futile emotions and start on an escapade of dramatic monologues.
How to answer the question – What gets you up in the morning?
The answer is meant to unravel the reason for which you are sitting in the interview. Well, one of them is the paycheck. But, the question aims at determining the core values that influence all the happenings. Nobody can know you better than yourself, so it is your responsibility to present yourself in the most authentic way possible.
Now that you know the reason behind asking the question and what steps should be avoided, it is finally time to decipher how to frame the best answer.
Determine the motivation
At the start of the response itself, you must first mention the factors that push you to keep putting in efforts. Highlighting them, in the beginning, would give an interviewer clarity about the values that you hold dear to yourself. From then on you could go and build your answer around the core. Doing this will portray you as someone that has cognitive resonance. It will show that you can rearrange your thoughts appropriately by prioritizing the right things.
Backing it up with experience
Once you have marked the factors that make your mind run its wheels, you must back it up with some experience. This could be a professional experience or a personal one. The point to consider if choosing the latter is that it should still reflect the impact of the motivation in the prospect of your working ability. Remember that this is about you and your job. So, the retelling of an incident should only be done if the conclusion highlights where the motivation stems from and why it is important to you.
Be ready to incorporate modifications
Planning is different than learning the answer and irrespective of the context just blabbering it out. The goal to understand the intention behind the question, what not to do while answering, how to answer, is so that you could comprehend the bigger picture. The smaller details may change during the interview. Therefore, it is important to predetermine a few pointers for yourself, yet always ready to modify.
The final connect
Now, framing the answer in a story-like format offers advantages. But do not forget the main intention. You should focus on the pragmatic part of learning and reasoning. How it applies in real life when you are at your workplace. If you can then try to associate it with the job position you have applied to. How it helps you work better at what you do. How it plays an active role in accelerating your commitments to your professional role. And lastly, how would it contribute to achieving your long-term career goals.
There is a vast gap between theory and practicality. Knowing what to do and being able to execute it are two completely different things. So, we will try and understand how to exactly answer the question by looking at a few examples given below:
- I believe curiosity and survival instincts are the factors that help me get up in the morning. These factors govern my professional growth. Curiosity drives my life. Thirst for knowing, understanding, and finding more, makes a day worth living for me. It ensures that my mind never falls into the trap of boredom. Even in a dire situation, I don’t lose sight of my destination. When failure arrives I do get disappointed and frustrated when, yet you will always find me relentlessly moving forward.
- For me, I must make the system better than what I had inherited. Growing up I always wondered how easy it would be if the limitations pulling me back just disappeared. This thought never left my mind and became something that I reflect on often. Before walking into my office, I assimilate and remind myself that I am here to make things better than what I was given. Progress can’t be attained by simply wishing for it to arrive. Therefore, I believe in working for it.
- The power that communication holds and the willingness to learn how to use it effectively is something that fuels my passion. As a team leader, I want to be able to connect with my colleagues. Understand their inputs while ensuring that the intent of my thoughts aligns with the impact when executed. Communication bridges interaction between the diverse amount of ideas that exist. It is an undervalued skill that I as a prospective manager want to master to minimize the difference and maximize the harmony in the corporation I work in.
- Replacing equality with a more appropriate alternative known as equity gets me into the mode of taking challenges. I want to collaborate with people that believe in a pragmatic approach. I want to share my vision of a future, where the namesake equality is replaced by the reality of equity. Underprivileged must be equipped with tools that help them fight for what they deserve. I want to work for a company that is actively taking steps to ensure its workforce is a true reflection of all the communities. I believe this enterprise is the perfect place for me to live my passion while giving it the right direction.
Reasoning is an integral part of being human. If you stop wondering why you are doing what you are doing, then it indicates that you could never be a problem solver. Discover your reasons, and ensure you focus on them whenever you feel lost. Be it an interview or some phase of your life, if you know why you are there, then it’s enough. Be honest with yourself and convey it appropriately. Fulfilling what gets you up in the morning will give you a peaceful sleep. So work for a good start and enjoy the beautiful end.