How do you motivate students? Interview Question with Answers

Are you preparing for a teaching job interview? One of the most common teacher interview questions is, “How do you motivate students?” This question will be crucial because every student is unique, and what motivates one student may not work for another.

In this article, we’ll share sample answers to the “How do you motivate students?” interview question that you can use as a guide. These answers will help you understand the interviewer’s perspective and show that you are a thoughtful and dedicated educator who cares about your student’s success.

The Importance of Motivating Students in Learning

Before diving into the strategies, let’s discuss why motivation is essential in learning. When students are motivated, they’re more likely to:

  • Be engaged in the learning process.
  • Be willing to put in the effort to learn.
  • Be more likely to retain what they’ve learned.
  • Be more likely to succeed academically.

On the other hand, when students lack motivation, they may:

  • Be disengaged in the learning process.
  • Be reluctant to put in the effort.
  • Struggle to retain what they’ve learned.
  • Be more likely to struggle academically.

Now that we’ve established the importance of motivation in learning let’s dive into some strategies that can help you motivate your students.

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How to answer “How do you motivate students?” teacher interview question with examples

Set clear goals and expectations

Setting clear goals and expectations helps students understand what is expected of them and gives them a sense of purpose. For example, I recently set a goal for my students to read at least one book per month, and I provided them with a list of recommended books to choose from. This goal has motivated them to read more and to engage more deeply with the material.

Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for motivating students. For example, I recently gave a student a small reward for completing a difficult assignment on time. This student was so motivated by the reward that they worked even harder on the next assignment without any expectation of a prize.

Create a supportive environment

Students are more likely to be motivated when they feel supported and encouraged. I try to create a supportive environment in my classroom by being approachable, offering extra help when needed, and encouraging students to help each other.

Use technology to engage students

Technology can be a powerful tool for engaging students and motivating them to learn. For example, I recently used a game-based learning platform to teach my students about the water cycle. They were so engaged and inspired by the game that they asked to play it again the next day.

Use real-world examples

Students are more likely to be motivated when they see the relevance of what they are learning to the real world. For example, when teaching a unit on ecology, I recently showed my students a documentary about the impact of pollution on marine life. This documentary motivated my students to learn more about the topic and to take action to reduce their environmental footprint.

Provide opportunities for self-reflection

Students are more likely to be motivated when they reflect on their learning and progress. In my classroom, I provide opportunities for self-reflection by having students write reflections on their learning and goals, and by holding one-on-one conferences to discuss their progress.

Celebrate success

Celebrating success can be a powerful motivator for students. In my classroom, I try to celebrate student successes, big and small. For example, I recently celebrated a student who had struggled with writing by sharing a sample of their work with the class and highlighting their progress. This celebration motivated the student to continue working hard and to feel proud of their accomplishments.

Make learning fun

Making learning fun is a great way to motivate students. In my classroom, I try to incorporate interactive activities and games that make learning engaging and enjoyable. For example, when teaching about the solar system, I had my students create their planet using playdough and then present it to the class. This activity not only motivated my students to learn about the solar system, but it also helped them to develop their creativity and public speaking skills. By making learning fun, students are more likely to be motivated to participate and retain the information they are learning.

Fostering a Growth Mindset

Fostering a growth mindset within my students is another powerful way to motivate them. I’ve seen my students become more motivated and resilient in their learning by encouraging them to embrace challenges and focus on their progress rather than perfection. In addition, by emphasizing the importance of effort over outcome, I’ve seen my students become more open to trying new things and less willing to give up. This has helped them to become more motivated learners overall.

Using Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated instruction is an effective method for motivating students of all abilities. By providing individualized instruction, activities, and assessments tailored to my student’s learning styles and needs, I’ve seen them become more motivated to participate in class, take risks with their learning, and have greater accomplishments. This has helped create a more positive learning environment and empowered my students to become lifelong learners.

Building Strong Relationships with Students

Building solid relationships with my students is critical to motivating them. I strive to create a classroom environment where students feel safe and respected, and their ideas and opinions are valued. By getting to know each of my students individually, I can understand their needs better and motivate them in a way that speaks to them directly. This has been an effective way to foster a sense of connection and engagement in my classroom.

Sum up Example Answer

“To effectively motivate students, I believe in creating a positive learning environment where each student feels valued and supported. I take the time to get to know my students and understand their interests, goals, and challenges. I then tailor my teaching approach and materials to their individual needs.

One example of how I motivate students is by incorporating interactive and hands-on activities into my lessons. For instance, in my last teaching experience, I organized a science experiment where students built their model volcanoes and learned about the science behind volcanic eruptions. This activity engaged students and helped them understand complex scientific concepts in a fun and meaningful way.”


In conclusion, the “How do you motivate students?” teacher interview question is a crucial question that every teacher should be prepared to answer. Using our seven sample answers, you can demonstrate your commitment to creating a positive learning environment and helping your students achieve their goals.

Remember that every student is unique, and what motivates one student may not work for another. As a teacher, your role is to be flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of all your students.

By creating a positive learning environment, using positive reinforcement, setting clear expectations and goals, making learning fun and engaging, using differentiated instruction, encouraging student autonomy, and connecting learning to real-world applications, you can help your students develop a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

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