May 11, 2016 08:41 AM EDT

What Motivates You? This Job Interview Question Can Be Answered Effectively

By Jane Reed

So you're facing the hiring manager and suddenly you are faced with a question that can stump you to the core. He asks, "What motivates you?"

How will you answer that question safely and appropriately? Are you going to say "My partner in life?" or "My mortgage that needs to be paid?"

It's a common interview question but why are job candidates having a hard time answering it. Glassdoor noted that it's almost always being asked in every interview.

Workplace Expert, Lynn Taylor said, "This one (question) can easily catch you off guard." She further explained that your response can speak a lot about you. Employers can figure out your personality, ambitions, skills, enthusiasm, expectations, and how you think or act.

So how do you answer the question? Consider these tips when developing your response, as listed by the Business Insider:

1. Self-reflect: Taylor suggests you to think about what kind of things make you get up in the morning when you think about work. "What types of projects have given you the greatest job satisfaction, and why? When in social situations, what do you talk about when you're inspired about your job?" Think of the most rewarding thing for you.

2. Avoid generalized responses: Avoid saying things like "I love people, and really enjoy making the job fun for everyone." Hiring managers would want to know more. Taylor suggests relating to your motivational drivers when it comes to the job role. Say, "I love building a sales team and establishing goals... "

3. Be true to yourself: Interviewers want to find out if you're sincere through your body language. So be yourself. Show your true self. If you're happiest behind a computer and love being analytical, but the requisite PowerPoint presentations are keeping you awake at night, don't sweep that under the rug.

4. Have concise message points: Know your top motivators and prioritize them. How you answer will show your ability in thought organization. Offer concise supporting statements when needed.

5. Be upbeat: Enthusiasm is welcomed with this question. Taylor suggests. "You don't have to be giddy, but it's hard buy into your passions if you say in monotone, 'I really, really like working with a team,' but look like the sky is falling."

6. Tie in your successes: As you talk about what incentivizes you at work, you have a great opportunity to also tout your accomplishments. "It's assumed that you enjoy what you excel at - who doesn't like something to show for what they love doing?" she says.

7. Whatever you do, don't say it's money: Compensation is important but it's a turn off for employers.

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