Top Culture Fit Questions

How to Answer: What Gets You Up in the Morning?


One of the most common questions you’ll encounter during an interview for an internship or entry-level job is: “So, what gets you up in the morning?” This question is meant to give the hiring manager an insight into what inspires you and gets you going.

Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing your answer.

Talk about what motivates you personally and professionally

The hiring manager is interested in more than your previous internship experience or the classes you’ve taken. They want to know what motivates you to get up every day, so be sure to tell them that. If you’re interested in leading your own team one day or learning a specific kind of skill, mention it and explain why it’s important to you.

Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to talk about big goals. After all, there’s no better way to show that you’re truly motivated to succeed.

Give specific examples

Talking about what inspires you is a great start, but it’s important to back it up with concrete examples. Be sure to explain why it’s meaningful to you and how you plan to work it into your life. This is especially important if the goal is career related since you’ll want to show the steps you’re taking to achieve it.

Say something like: “I’m really motivated by helping kids from low-income backgrounds and I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in this area throughout my time in college. It’s easy to be passionate about something so meaningful, but it’s especially important to me because of my background and where I’m from.”

Explain how it has shaped your career path

Once you’ve explained your goal and outlined your plan for achieving it, connect your answer back to the position you’re applying for and show why you’d be an asset to the company. Be sure to demonstrate that you’ve truly thought about the position and how it will fit into your life.

Say something like: “I know I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the help of mentors from a local organization in my hometown. In fact, this volunteer work has been a major driver in my decision to start a career in elementary education and I’m looking for a position where I can develop the skills that will allow me to do that successfully.”

By talking about your future goals and how they inspire you, you’ll show the interviewer that you’re thinking ahead and taking proactive steps to shape your career. This is a great way to stand out from the crowd and help potential employers see your value.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How Do I Get a Job in Another City or State? and find answers to common interview questions such as Tell Me About a Time You Went Above and Beyond the Requirements for a Project.