Answers to “Who inspires you?” (5 examples) – News Couple

Answers to “Who inspires you?” (5 examples)

In a job interview, employers don’t just want to know you can do the job; They want to know about your life and interests.

So they ask interview questions like, “Who inspires you in your life?” or “Who is your greatest inspiration?”

And if you struggle to answer or give an answer they don’t like, it could cost you the job.

Keep reading for tips on how to answer, “Who inspires you?” With eg responses, mistakes to avoid, and more.

How do you answer the question “Who inspires you?” interview question

First of all, this is an incredibly open-ended interview question.

And while there are no wrong responses… some answers are better than others.

You can answer that your mother or father is your greatest inspiration. This would be a good answer.

but I recommend you Look beyond personal or family contact when answering, and think about the specific job you are interviewing for.

Because the next question you’ll be asked, assuming you’re not expanding on it in the first place, is “Why?”

What did your mom, dad, college teacher, or other personal connection do that was so inspiring? Was it their work ethic? Driving skills?

Again, any of these answers are correct, but your answer will stand out and resonate more with the interviewer if you go into detail and ideally, tailor your answer to the attributes required in the position you are discussing.

Here’s a good example of how to answer this interview question by matching your inspiration to the job.

Imagine that you are looking for a job at a non-profit organization whose goal is to provide assistance to the homeless, the sick, and the poor.

Claiming that Mother Teresa is your greatest inspiration would be a reasonable answer to the question.

She devoted most of her life to charity to help the homeless, the sick and the poor.

Or, if you are interviewing for a leadership position, you could use a past or present person who has demonstrated exemplary leadership as your inspiration.

Just make sure you pick someone you really like because there’s a good chance your body language will give it to you if you’re lying.

And yes, don’t be surprised if the recruiter or manager has some skill at reading body language.

The point is that your answer not only provides insight into the person you aspire to, but also highlights the kind of behavioral patterns and attitudes you respect and admire.

This will translate into the type of person you will be in the job.

Here’s another example of thinking about the job when answering “Who inspired you in your life?”

Imagine you are interviewing for an accounting job. The soft skills you will need are:

  • solving problems
  • Strong communication skills, written and verbal
  • critical thinking
  • time management

You could use some famous accountant as your answer, perhaps someone like William Deloitte or William Cooper, founders of Deloitte & Touche and Price Waterhouse Coopers respectively.

Or you can think outside the box and use as an inspiration someone who has been or is well known for your critical thinking or problem-solving skills.

Of course, if you go this route, you need to clearly communicate your reasons to your interlocutor.

If you were to cite Albert Einstein as your inspiration, it might not make sense to the person or people who meet you because he is a known physicist. But dig a little deeper and he’s also famous for being a problem solver and critical thinker, so you can talk about how he inspired you in those areas.

Throw an answer like that and trust me, you’ll get some serious credibility points.

As you can see, there is no single “correct” answer to this interview question. The key is to be able to explain why you chose the person and connect the dots between their story and your career and life goals.

Who inspires you? Answers for example

Next, we’ll look at who inspires examples using people, past or present, who have lived lives that align with your career path and interests.

Example #1 to inspire you: Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is the one who inspired me in my personal life and my work. She has dedicated her life to helping those less fortunate, and I would like to make a similar story when I look back on my life. Also, I think her desire to help others made her a great leader, although few would think of her that way. One of my favorite quotes is, “Do not go where the path may lead. Instead go where there is no path and leave a trail.”

This model answer would be excellent if you were interviewing for a job at a charitable organization or other socially conscious organization.

It’s also a good answer for any role with soft skills like leadership, empathy, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and more.

Regardless of your religious beliefs (and I would recommend that you not address them in a job interview), using this example answer with the reasons above will work in your favor and help you land any leadership role in an organization that values ​​helping others.

Example #2 for someone who inspires you: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein inspired me in my career. His theories and insights enabled some of the technologies we take for granted today, such as GPS, lasers, atomic clocks, and much more. He also struggled and had to overcome self-doubt, as so many people do. The fact that he even faced self-doubt is inspiring and reminds me to be persistent and believe in myself.

Albert Einstein would be a great choice for “who inspires you” interview question for anyone looking for a job at a company that requires creativity. for example:

  • What kind of artist
  • Authors/writers
  • Undergraduate art, drama or music teachers
  • Editors, print or video
  • Fashion designer
  • industrial designer
  • landscape architects

Example #3 for someone who inspires you: Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan inspired me. He was talented, but most importantly, he was willing to beat the competition and focus hard on his goals. He was tough and never stopped pushing himself to get better. One excellent tip he shared was to never forget the basics. “The minute you step away from the basics, whether it’s proper style, work ethic, or mental preparedness, the bottom of your game, your homework, your work, and whatever you’re doing can fall to the bottom of your game.”

This is an interview answer that you can use for almost any type of job.

In the corporate world, there are fundamentals critical to your success. Each job position will have its own essentials, but Jordan’s advice is that whatever they are, keep them.

He also didn’t let failure stop him, which you can also say was an inspiration to you. Ironically, when he was in high school, he was left out of the college basketball team because he wasn’t tall or good enough.

what did he do? Well he eventually grew but more importantly he practiced until he was good enough.

All of the above factors make Michael Jordan an excellent choice for someone you find inspiring.

Note that you can also choose a newer athlete like Kobe Bryant if you prefer (who also happens to have a similar mindset, competitive ability, and mental toughness to Michael Jordan).

Example #4 for those who inspire you: William Deloitte

Since becoming an accountant, I have been inspired by William Deloitte, one of the fathers of accounting. I have been inspired by his creativity, leadership and personal skills. These traits allowed him to make strong connections and accomplish a tremendous amount in his career. He was ambitious and high-minded as well, values ​​that are important to me. He started his career at the age of fifteen and opened his own practice at the age of twenty-five. He went on to found one of the largest accounting firms in the world, so his story is a reminder to stay ambitious and motivated in life.

This is a good answer to the question “Who inspires you?” If interviewed for any position in accounting or bookkeeping.

Remember that it is always a good idea to consider the job you are discussing when you answer this interview question.

Example #5 for someone who inspires you: your father

My father is the person who has inspired me all my life and is the reason why I got into the marketing industry. When he was 19, he started a small local marketing company and grew it to the point where it had 200 clients across the state. He realized that building strong relationships is just as important as efficiency in your business, and became excellent at both through continued effort. He was also an inspiration because no one asked him to go the marketing route, and he didn’t study marketing in school. Instead, he read local newspapers, saw opportunities to help businesses better market themselves in the local community, and went door to door to get his first customers.

You see, it’s okay to say that a personal connection or a family member inspired you.

But if you choose friends, parents or other relatives/personal relationships, you have to be prepared to show something extraordinary they did and how exactly that was an inspiration in your life and career. Otherwise, choose another person as your inspiration.

Now you have 5 examples of the question “Who inspires you?”

I’ve mentioned many times that there are no wrong answers to this interview question. But there are some mistakes that you should avoid when giving an answer to an interview…

Mistakes to avoid when answering “Who inspires you?”

The number one mistake to avoid when saying who inspires you in an interview:

If there’s anything we’ve learned in the past several years, it’s that there are some quite polarizing subjects and people. Many people are one hundred percent with or against something or someone.

Why is this important?

Because you have no idea where your interviewer is standing on this topic. And if you express your strong likes or dislikes in contrast to their voice, that might count for you.

So it is best to stay away from anyone or anything that is controversial or polarizing, such as most political figures or issues.

More mistakes to avoid:

  • If you choose a famous person, make sure that it is someone you really respect and admire. Otherwise, you will not look convincing.
  • Do not give an answer longer than 60-90 seconds. Be selective in sharing why you inspire someone and choose only a few key points to share. You do not need to share every detail that you have read and researched about this person, and if the interviewer wants to hear more, he will ask.
  • Never answer without having a reason ready. If you choose your mom, dad, friend, or someone related to you, make sure there is an appropriate reason.

8 types of people you can say inspire you

To help you gather more ideas for possible answers to “Who inspired you in your life?” Here are some general types of people you can cite as inspiration.

  • Artists
  • athletes
  • Authors
  • historical symbols
  • Mentors / Coaches
  • Noteworthy people in your community
  • Parents, family and friends
  • teachers


If you follow the steps and sample answers above, you’ll be ready to answer “Who inspires you?” at your next interview.

If you can’t think of someone’s name and the above examples aren’t working for you, don’t panic.

Google is your friend to provide more answers and the people you find inspiring.

If you’re not sure which skills and attributes are most important for the position you want to meet, you can do a search for something like “soft skills needed for…” and just fill in the field or role you hope to hire.

Also look at the job description before the interview. Note the skills and traits that are mentioned first and/or most often.

Then, you can try to find a motivational person who matches the soft skills required for the job. Try something like looking up “examples of people with a good work ethic.”

This setup will help you impress the interviewer so you can get the job.

Related interview questions:

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