People say that life is a ruthless competition. You have to outclass other job seekers to succeed in an interview. Second best is quickly forgotten. From our parents to our teachers and managers, everyone says that we should strive to be the best, and end up proud of our achievements. But just as things aren’t only black and white in life, the hiring managers may take you by surprise with a different attitude and some questions you’d hardly expect. “What are you grateful for in life?” is definitely one such question. You may face it when applying for a job in an NGO, or in another organization where cooperation matters more than competition, and they are looking for people with a specific mindset.

Before I proceed to 7 sample answers, I want you to realize something. Being grateful for what you have in life is the key to achieve long-lasting happiness. Because there will always be someone better than us, in whatever endeavor, and we never have things fully under control. Sometimes we fail, and sometimes we are simply unlucky. But while we can breathe, walk, pursue interesting careers, while we are free men and have someone or something we love, we are in fact incredibly lucky, and always have something to be grateful for. Such an attitude helps a lot to cope with any disappointment we may experience, be it at work or in our personal life.

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this interesting interview question. I tried to include a variety of answers on my list, including some unconventional choices. Do not forget to read also the notes below the list of answers, for additional hints on how to make the right impression on the hiring managers.


7 sample answers to “What are you most grateful for in life?” interview question

  1. I am most grateful for all opportunities I’ve been given in life. Honestly speaking, if I wasn’t born in this country in a loving family, I’d hardly have a chance to study at the school where I studied, and to apply for such an amazing job. Sure enough, I also had to try hard, and study hard, but many people never get the opportunities I’ve got in my young life. Grateful for everything, I hope to pay back the favor with excellent service for society, ideally while working for your organization, helping the most vulnerable.
  2. I am most grateful for people I’ve met in my life. Everything starts with my parents and my mother especially, who taught me the right values, and always supported me on my way. But I cannot forget on my schoolmates and friends, who accompanied me on my way up to this point, and helped me when I needed it the most. Last but not least my role models, people who inspired me in life, not only with the results their achieve in their professional careers, but also with their attitude towards life and other people. There’s a lot to be grateful for, and it is important for me not to forget these people.
  3. It may sound strange, but I am incredibly grateful for the challenges I faced. You know, I struggled a lot in life. Had some serious health issues when I was young and spent long months in hospital. Faced bullying at school, struggled with money. At one point in my life I had to do two part time jobs while still studying, to be able to support myself and pay my bills. And though I was often upset about the situation, and my “bad luck”, now I see it differently. Facing these challenges made me much stronger as a person. I did not give up, and here I am today, ready for the next one. Thinking about most of my friends and present colleagues, who easily get upset and struggle to leave their comfort zone, I see how different I am. But it wouldn’t be the case without all the challenges I’ve faced and had to overcome.
  4. I am most grateful for my good health. So any young people suffer from all sort of allergies, food intolerance, auto-immune diseases and what not. That is the consequence of the terrible way we treat our environment, and of course also of our diet. In my opinion, you cannot really enjoy life when you struggle with health and visit doctors all the time. But I’ve been lucky to grow up in the mountains, in the fresh air, eating healthy, moving a lot. Now I am thirty-five but look younger than most people who are twenty-five. And I haven’t visited the doctor a single time in the last seven years. I am incredibly grateful for this, because I know that things could have ended completely differently, if I was born in some big city and if my parents weren’t on whole-foods plant-based diet.
  5. Actually I am grateful for being born in the 70ties, growing up without mobile phones, social networks, artificial intelligence, and all these things that basically destroyed normal human interactions. Many young people are completely enslaved by these technologies, and they do not even realize it. But I had a normal childhood. We played, we talked, looked each other in the eyes. It was easy to make real friends, and to meet your life partner. I am super grateful that I wasn’t born in the 21st century…
  6. Speaking honestly, so far there’s not much to be grateful for. I spent last seven years in refugee camps, vainly trying to get to Europe, escaping war and poverty. And I can assure you I wasn’t treated well, often struggled with food, and lived in terrible conditions most of the time. Probably the only thing I can be grateful for is that I am still alive, though also that is questionable, considering that death is perhaps the most liberating experience of all. But I do not want to sound bitter. I am here, in another immigration interview, after struggling all those years. Maybe my luck will finally change, you will accept my application, and I will start a new life in this beautiful country. We will see.
  7. I am grateful for absolutely everything. To be able to walk, see, hear, to be able to breath the air, live on this beautiful blue planet. Because I know many things happened before I was born, many pieces of the puzzle had to come together, many people had to meet and make love–my parents, grandparents, parents of my grandparents, and so on. If a single piece of the puzzle was missing, I would not be here today. This realization means two things to me. First of all, I take nothing for granted, and am grateful for every day. And secondly a deep realization that I am perhaps where I should be, and that I also have some mission in my life. And I believe I can pursue it working for your organization…

Show your gratefulness and positive attitude towards life

Remember that when they ask about gratefulness, it means that they are looking for people who are grateful, people who can appreciate others, people who always see the glass half-full. And that’s exactly the attitude you should try to show in your answer.

It doesn’t matter whether you are most grateful for your parents, education, country, century, or even for the hardships you went through (and they made you stronger). As long as you show gratefulness, and a desire to pay back for all the blessings you’ve got in life, perhaps with a good service in their organization, they will be satisfied with your interview answer.

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

Matthew Chulaw
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