How to Answer 'What Gets You Out of Bed?' Interview Question

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

During the interview process, hiring managers may ask personality or behavioural-related questions to gain insight into your motivations and goals. An open-ended question like, 'What gets you out of bed in the morning?' is common to determine what drives you. Learning how to answer this question can help you leave a lasting impression on your interviewer. In this article, we explain why hiring managers ask this question, list the steps to take to craft your answer and provide sample answers and additional tips you can refer to.

Related: How to Answer Open-Ended Interview Questions (With Samples)

Why do interviewers ask the 'What gets you out of bed?' interview question

If you're applying for jobs, a hiring manager may ask you a variation of the 'What gets you out of bed?' interview question. Interviewers typically ask this question to evaluate your passions and career goals. Your answer can help them determine your job responsibilities. It can also help them plan your career growth in the company and assign specific projects that align with your goals.

Related: Interview Question: 'How Can You Contribute to The Company?'

4 steps to answer 'What gets you out of bed in the morning?'

There are a few angles you can pursue when crafting your answer. Consider your career progress and professional achievements. It can be helpful to decide if you're more motivated by personal or professional goals. This keeps your answer focused and concise. Here are the steps you can take to create an effective response:

1. Consider your motivations

Your response may highlight your personal and professional motivations. Spend time to reflect on your personal and professional journey. Consider writing your achievements and goals for the future. This can give you a clear idea of what motivates you and give you an angle to craft your response. You can include personal motivations like providing for your family or saving enough to travel the world. You can also combine your professional goals with your answer. For example, you might be motivated by opportunities to implement new work processes or manage creative projects.

2. Identify an overarching personal or career goal

The second step is to connect your motivations to a key goal. This keeps your answer focused and demonstrates that you've thought about the future and the steps to take to reach your goal. For example, if you're motivated by managing creative projects, you might have the goal of sourcing for innovative ways to reach a wider target audience or advancing to a managerial position in the company. This gives you the chance to talk about projects or initiatives you've started when elaborating on your motivations.

3. Discuss your action plan to reach your goal

After you've decided on your overarching goal, you can list and elaborate on your action plan. Include details of what you've done throughout your career to bring you closer to your goal. This shows that you're goal-oriented and committed to working towards your goals. For example, if your goal is to advance to a managerial position by a certain age, you can elaborate on instances where you took the initiative to lead projects or coordinate information between different teams to ensure the smooth execution of projects. This shows your leadership skills and effort to gain leadership experience.

Related: How to Answer 'What Is Your Greatest Achievement?' Interview Question

4. Describe your vision for the future

End your answer by describing your vision for the future. Ensure that your answer is coherent and connected. Tie your vision to your motivations, goals and action plan. This enables your interviewers to identify your thought process and decide on your role in the company. It can be helpful to share how you hope the position can contribute to your vision.

You can talk about the type of responsibilities and projects you want to handle. Letting your interviewers know about your job expectations can help them plan your growth in the company. It also demonstrates that you take the interview seriously and want to secure the job.

Sample answers to 'what gets you out of bed in the morning?'

Reviewing sample answers can help you plan and write your own. Here are some example answers from candidates in different professions to help you:

Example 1

This example is relevant for a professional applying to a role in education:

'I'm motivated by igniting change in my local community. I want to live my life to better the lives of others. The desire to change lives is the reason why I've spent the last five years as a programme coordinator at a local non-profit organisation working towards providing groceries and educational materials to low-income families. I cherish the time I spent talking to people from different backgrounds, understanding their needs and improving their lives.

My personal goal is to start my own non-profit organisation to cater to young children from low-income families. I want to provide free tutoring services to help them progress in their education. My passion lies in enriching the lives of young children and I hope to achieve my goals as an educator in local schools. I want to improve the education system and learn how to create effective lesson plans that drive students to enjoy learning.'

Related: Interview Question: 'Why Do You Want This Job?' (With Answers)

Example 2

This example from the fashion industry connects to a personal motivation:

'As a mother of five children, I'm motivated by providing for them and helping them to achieve their dreams. I want to give them the resources to succeed and what gets me out of bed every morning is knowing that I get to spend another day with them. My goal is to inspire them to pursue their goals, regardless of any obstacles they face. They're the reason I made a career shift from the technology sector to the fashion industry. I enjoyed working in tech but my passion lies in creating unique clothes and accessories for the masses.

As such, I spent the past two years getting a fashion degree, hoping to achieve my dream of becoming a fashion designer. When I was a tech professional, I spent my free time developing my fashion drawing skills and staying updated with the latest trends and news. I hope to secure a job as a fashion designer at Ruby Apparel to prove to my children that hard work pays off and nothing is impossible.'

Example 3

This example shows how a professional applying for a human resource (HR) role might answer this question:

'I found my previous job as a headhunter for seven years very fulfilling and what motivated me to get out of bed every morning was knowing that I had the opportunity to match talented professionals to potential job opportunities. I enjoy identifying skilled professionals and connecting them with companies that value their experience and skill set. Observing how job security and satisfaction can motivate professionals to perform better and advance in their careers makes me excited.

This is the main reason why I've decided to pursue the role of human resource manager. This position allows me to set and improve the company culture. I hope to create an inclusive culture that encourages team bonding and collaboration. A company's culture and training programme can affect the employee retention rate and growth. My experience as a headhunter has motivated me to take a more active role to develop others' careers and offer them resources to help them succeed.'

Related: How to Answer 'Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?' Interview Question (With Examples)

Tips to answer the interview question

Here are some additional tips to guide you on crafting your answer:

  • Give detailed examples. Elaborate on your work experience and skills to support your points. You can also include relevant personal experiences.

  • Be honest. Spend time creating your answer and ensure that it accurately reflects your personality and motivations. You can get a friend or family member to read your answer and make edits for you to help.

  • Be creative. Hiring managers are more likely to remember candidates with unique and creative answers. Try to think about interesting experiences or challenges you can share to make your answer more interesting.

  • Consider big goals. Being confident about your goals and going after bigger goals can impress interviewers. Ensure that you talk about your action plan to achieve them to show that you're serious about achieving them.

  • Connect your motivation to your career path. Link your answer to the job you're interviewing for and explain how it suits your career goals in the company.

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