What Makes You Tick Interview Question: Unveiling the Depths of Your Passions


Career Consultant & Blog Writer

Published: June 11, 2023 | Updated: February 17, 2024

The “What makes you tick interview question” aims to uncover the core elements that drive an individual’s passions and motivations. It seeks to understand what truly excites and energizes the interviewee. When faced with this question, it’s an opportunity to showcase your authentic self and provide insights into your personal and professional aspirations.

In response to this question, one should reflect on their passions, values, personality traits, and the factors that contribute to their professional goals. It’s crucial to highlight what brings fulfillment and a sense of purpose, both personally and in the context of the role being interviewed for. Crafting a response that aligns with the company’s values and culture can make a strong impression on the interviewer and increase the chances of a successful outcome.

In this article, we will discuss the intricacies of the “What makes you tick” interview question and explore how you can craft a compelling response that showcases your unique qualities.

Understanding the “What Makes You Tick” Question

The “What makes you tick” question can be interpreted as an inquiry into what truly excites and energizes you. It aims to uncover your passions, values, and personality traits that shape your professional journey. While it may appear daunting at first, this question presents an opportunity to showcase your authentic self and align your personal and professional aspirations.

Job interviews serve as gateways to new opportunities, allowing employers to gauge candidates’ suitability for their organizations. The “What makes you tick” question goes beyond evaluating your skills and experience; it aims to uncover the core elements that drive you as an individual. By understanding your motivations, hiring managers gain deeper insights into your potential for success within their company culture.

Importance of the Question in Interviews

Employers recognize that individuals who are genuinely passionate about their work are more likely to be engaged, driven, and fulfilled. By asking the “What makes you tick” question, interviewers aim to assess your compatibility with their organizational values, culture, and the specific role you’re applying for. It helps them identify candidates who will not only perform well but also contribute positively to the company’s growth.

Key Factors that Make You Tick

#1. Self-Reflection and Identifying Your Passions

To effectively answer the “What makes you tick” question, it’s crucial to engage in self-reflection. Consider the activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, both personally and professionally. Identify the areas where you excel and the tasks that energize you. This introspection lays the foundation for articulating your passions during the interview.

#2. Values and Their Influence

Your values shape your decisions, behaviors, and priorities. Understanding your core values helps you align your personal and professional life, contributing to a sense of fulfillment and purpose. When responding to the interview question, consider how your values connect with the company’s mission, vision, and culture.

#3. Personality Traits and Motivations

Your unique personality traits play a significant role in what motivates and drives you. Are you naturally inclined toward problem-solving, creativity, or collaboration? Reflect on how these traits manifest in your work and discuss how they contribute to your overall motivation and success.

#4. Identifying Professional Goals

Having clear professional goals showcases your ambition and dedication. Reflect on the milestones you aspire to achieve in your career and how they align with the position you’re interviewing for. Demonstrating a well-defined trajectory highlights your commitment to personal and professional growth.

#5. Aligning Personal and Professional Passions

The ideal scenario is when your personal passions align with your professional pursuits. Highlight how your hobbies, interests, or causes you care about complement or overlap with your career path. This alignment demonstrates your genuine enthusiasm and commitment to your work.

#6. The Role of Culture and Environment

The work environment and organizational culture significantly impact job satisfaction. Discuss how you thrive in collaborative or autonomous settings, or in fast-paced environments. By showcasing your adaptability and fit with the company’s culture, you enhance your chances of making a favorable impression.

#7. Communicating Your “What Makes You Tick”

When formulating your response, ensure clarity and coherence. Clearly articulate your passions, values, and motivations, providing specific examples to support your claims. Demonstrate enthusiasm and conviction, allowing your authentic self to shine through your words.

#8. Crafting an Effective Response

Crafting an effective response involves striking a balance between self-expression and relevance to the role. Tailor your answer to showcase the qualities and skills that make you an excellent fit for the position. Use storytelling techniques to engage the interviewer, vividly illustrating your passions and motivations.

Sample Responses and Examples

What Makes You Tick Interview Question

To inspire you, here are a few sample responses to the “What makes you tick” question:

"I'm deeply passionate about problem-solving, and I thrive in challenging situations that require innovative thinking. During my previous role at Company XYZ, I was tasked with revamping our internal processes, which ignited my creativity and allowed me to streamline operations, resulting in significant cost savings."
"As an avid advocate for sustainable living, I'm passionate about working for a company that prioritizes environmental initiatives. Your organization's commitment to reducing carbon emissions and promoting eco-friendly practices deeply resonates with me. I firmly believe that my dedication to sustainability aligns perfectly with the goals of this role."

Preparing for the Interview

To excel in your interview, thorough preparation is key.

  • Research the company, its culture, and the specific requirements of the role you’re applying for.
  • Anticipate potential questions and practice your responses.
  • By doing so, you’ll enter the interview room with confidence and a clear understanding of what makes you tick.

Final Thoughts

The “What makes you tick” interview question provides a unique opportunity to showcase your passions, values, and motivations. By authentically expressing your enthusiasm and aligning your personal and professional aspirations, you enhance your chances of leaving a lasting impression on the interviewer. Remember, it’s not only about securing a job but finding a role that resonates with your true self.

FAQs with Answers about What Makes You Tick Interview Question

# 1. What are the 3 things that make you tick?

Passion: Having a genuine passion for something is what truly makes me tick. When I engage in activities that align with my interests and values, I feel a deep sense of fulfillment and motivation.
Challenge: I thrive on challenges that push me beyond my comfort zone. The opportunity to tackle complex problems and find innovative solutions excites me and fuels my drive to excel.
Impact: Making a positive impact and contributing to something larger than myself is incredibly fulfilling. Whether it’s through my work, volunteering, or personal relationships, knowing that I can make a difference drives me to give my best.

#2. When someone asks you what makes you tick?

When someone asks me what makes me tick, I believe they are interested in understanding the core elements that drive me as an individual. They want to know what truly excites and motivates me, and what gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment in my personal and professional life. It’s an opportunity for me to share my passions, values, and the things that bring out the best in me.

#3. What makes me tick in the workplace?

In the workplace, several factors contribute to what makes me tick:
Meaningful Work: Engaging in meaningful work that aligns with my values and allows me to make a positive impact is essential. When I can see the purpose behind what I do and how it contributes to the overall goals of the organization, it drives me to give my best.
Continuous Learning and Growth: I thrive in environments that foster learning and growth. The opportunity to acquire new skills, take on challenging projects, and expand my knowledge motivates me to push my boundaries and constantly improve.
Collaboration and Teamwork: I am energized by collaborative settings where I can work with diverse individuals who bring unique perspectives and expertise. Being part of a supportive team that values collaboration and fosters a sense of camaraderie is crucial in keeping me motivated and engaged.

#4. What makes you stand out best answers?

When asked what makes me stand out, I would highlight the following qualities:
Adaptability and Flexibility: I have a proven track record of adapting quickly to changing circumstances and embracing new challenges. This allows me to navigate uncertain situations with ease and find creative solutions.
Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication is one of my strengths. I can articulate my thoughts clearly, actively listen to others, and foster open and constructive dialogue. This skill helps me build strong relationships and collaborate effectively with colleagues.
Problem-Solving Abilities: I have a natural inclination toward problem-solving. I approach challenges with a solution-oriented mindset, analyze problems from different angles, and find innovative ways to overcome obstacles. My ability to think critically and strategically sets me apart.
Leadership Qualities: I possess leadership qualities that enable me to inspire and motivate others. I lead by example, encourage collaboration, and empower team members to reach their full potential. My ability to navigate complex situations and make informed decisions contributes to my effectiveness as a leader.