When you’re looking for a new job in the promo industry, you might get asked the question, “What motivates you?” Employers want to know about your background and experience, but they also want to gauge how well you’d fit in and if you’d be happy in the role.

If you’re posed this question, Stav Ziv, the former deputy editor of The Muse, says you have a chance to knock the socks off your interviewer. Keep reading this issue of PromoPro Daily for Ziv’s suggestions on how you can nail this common question.

Think back on your past experiences. Ahead of a job interview, reflect on what you found gratifying or exciting in your previous jobs. She recommends making a list to make it easier to see the aspects you enjoyed. Whether you particularly liked talking with clients, spearheading initiatives or seeing your name at the top of the sales leaderboard, you can use these experiences to pinpoint what motivates you.

Align your motivation with the position. Always tie your motivation into the promo industry. Ziv suggests picking one career-focused idea that’s relevant to the role and company. Look at the job description and make a list of what you would find most rewarding from the tasks and responsibilities involved.

Always be honest. When contemplating how you would respond to, “What motivates you?” be careful not to get so carried away crafting the perfect response that you lose sight of what actually motivates you. Your answer might sound fantastic but could end up costing you the job if the interviewer can tell you’re not being authentic. Or, worse yet, you could get the job only to be miserable because you weren’t true to your real motivations.

Tell a compelling story. Maybe you’re new to the promo industry or you just don’t have much work experience yet. Don’t worry about not having a huge story to tell – like how you saved your last company $2 million or helped a client triple their profits in 30 days. Ziv says your story doesn’t have to be fit for a superhero blockbuster, but it should highlight why you’d be a great choice for the role.

In any interview, it’s important to highlight your passion for promo and what you could bring to the role. And when you plan how you’ll answer the “What motivates you” query, you can differentiate yourself from other candidates and impress the employer.  

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Stav Ziv is a New York City-based journalist and former deputy editor of The Muse.