Excitement is a amazing emotion. The only problem is that we are rarely excited about something at work, unless we talk about an attractive colleague we hope to go out with for a date one day. Or perhaps about a salary raise they have been promising to us for the past six months, and yet nothing has happened. Most people do not go to work because they are excited about something. They go to work because they have to earn money to live, and perhaps to be able to spend some on stuff which actually makes them excited. As you can imagine though, hiring managers are looking for something else in your interview answer. But what exactly?

Let’s start with 7 sample answers to this intriguing question. I tried to include all sorts of answers on my list, fitting for different interview scenarios and different jobs, including some unconventional choices. Do not forget to read also my notes below the list of answers, for additional explanations and hints.


7 sample answers to “What are you most excited about at work?” interview question

  1. I am most excited about the proposition of making a positive difference in the lives of children. It attracted me to teaching originally, and my excitement has not faded yet. Because I understand well that almost every second family is broken, and that children often need more than a teacher–they need a role model, someone who actually cares for their future, someone they can look up to. It excites me to think that I can be the person. Of course, I know I won’t make a positive difference in life of every single pupil. And I know I may fail with some children. But the sheer proposition of having an opportunity to have a significant positive impact on someone’s life excites me.
  2. I am most excited about the financial possibilities in banking. One can make a lot of money if they work hard and follow their goals, more than you can make in any other career field. And I dream of a great lifestyle and big house, and it excites me to work in a field in which I can realize all my financial dreams. Having said that, I do not see this job just as a means to an end. I like working with numbers, and believe that I will enjoy the job in this bank.
  3. At the moment, I am not excited about anything at work, and that’s exactly the reason why I am here with you today. I still feel passion for quality management, but the workload with my present employer is unbearable. The place is understaffed, they have assigned me one too many projects, and I just cannot do them as well as I would like to. Speaking honestly, the only thing I am excited about at work right now is finally quitting, and starting to work somewhere else, in a company with a better management.
  4. This is my first job application, so I cannot say exactly what I am excited about when it comes to work. When you are young, however, everything looks exciting and promising. Just a proposition of belonging somewhere, to a diverse team of employees, learning new stuff, meeting people, earning your first real salary. I can assure you that I am looking forward to start working, after spending long years studying, and getting ready for this very moment. What’s more, I really like what you do in this company, and it will be a dream come true to get a chance to work for you.
  5. I’m most excited about the nature of the job. My job is my passion–I am one of the lucky few who can say that. Just me and the truck and hundreds of miles ahead, enjoying the life on the road, and the simple daily routine, without too much stress. What is more, your list of destinations is incredibly attractive to me, because I always wanted to drive to southern France and northern Spain. And that’s the reason why I am here today, though I already have the job of a truck driver with another company.
  6. Let’s be honest. Nothing excites me in this job. Because nobody dreams of working as a cashier in some big retail store. But it doesn’t mean that I do not want the job, or won’t try hard. On the contrary, just like many others, I struggle with bills and sometimes even with meeting my basic needs. I cannot afford staying without a job, and regular monthly income. In my opinion, 90% of jobs aren’t exciting at all. But still someone has to do them–it is simply exchanging part of our time for money, for a salary which allows to to exist and enjoy some pleasures over the weekend. And I am perfectly fine with such a trade, and ready to do it at any time. But I am not going to fabricate any fancy stories here, about being excited about the proposition of delivering an amazing customer service or anything similar. Because that’s bullsh*t. Let’s keep this talk honest.
  7. I am most excited about meeting big goals. I am just that type of a person–I like to have goals to follow, ideally big ambitious goals. Who would not want to put a dent to the Universe after all, leaving some mark on this planet? Working for Google–if I get a chance to work here–I will work on products and applications billions of people use every day. It is beyond exciting to me, just to imagine the impact I could have in this job. Before it can happen, however, I have to succeed in this interview with you, and I am sure it won’t be easy….


Connect your excitement with your new job

At the end of the day, hiring managers are trying to assess the level of your motivation. Will you enjoy your new job? And how long will you stay? Won’t you rush out of the door with the first challenge, or first crisis of motivation? Will you bring some positive energy to the workplace, or, on the contrary, will you drain the energy of others with your negativity?

In order to make the workplace better for everyone, you should have some excitement for the job. Of course, our priorities change with age. It is easier to get excited when one is twenty-two, applying for their very first job, than when one if fifty-five, and after several burnouts. Still, try to find something exciting. It can be your duties, things you will learn in the job, or goals you can achieve on this or that position. Check sample answers no. 1, 2, 5, and 7 for good examples.

* Special Tip: This isn’t the only difficult question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 50 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!

Lacking excitement can be the reason why you are quitting

You can actually turn the question upside-down, citing the lack of excitement as the exact reason why you are interviewing for jobs, and seriously considering leaving your present employer. Or why you have already left them. If you do so, however, try to avoid excessively negative remarks about your former colleagues or duties.

Objectively describe what’s going on, and why you have lost your excitement. Perhaps the workload is too heavy and you cannot deliver the quality you’d like to deliver. Or the place is rotten with internal conflict of managers and employees and the atmosphere is almost hostile. Or you have simply been in the same field for long enough, and need new challenges to find motivation and excitement again. Check sample answer no. 3 for a good example of describing this attitude.


Brutal honesty can set you apart from other candidates

Of course we say things we do not really mean in the interviews. Trying to make an impression on the hiring managers, we say what they want to hear (or what we suppose they want to hear). The game is going on and on. We are acting in the interviews, just like we are acting in our relationships. Sad but true…

However, you can surprise the hiring managers with being brutally honest about your life and work. This technique can do wonders for you especially when you are applying for some mundane repetitive job. Think cashier, stock clerk, data entry clerk, and so on. We typically do not apply for such jobs because we enjoy doing them. We apply for them because we need to have a job, and earn money to survive, live, and perhaps one day thrive.

Why not saying so in an interview? Check sample answer no. 6 on my list for a great example. It is not a typical interview answer, and not something many people will say. But you can stand out with it, and they can easily decide to hire you, instead of someone else, because you will be the only honest job applicant…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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