You've landed an interview for a job you really want! You've researched possible interview questions and rehearsed your answers.

You answer all the questions confidently until...the interviewer asks, "Are you a thinker, a planner, or a doer?"

Dwight from The Office at a desk with a clipboard. He looks confused.

When interviewers ask this question, they really want to know about your motivation.

Before answering that question:

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  • Explore each type of motivation

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  • Read sample answers for each motivation

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  • Determine which motivation you align to

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  • Prepare to answer the question confidently for your next interview

The Thinker...

Flying thinking emojis on a white background.

Thinkers are:

  • Explorers of ideas

  • Good brainstormers

  • Good at breaking down ideas

  • Deep thinkers about problems

  • Open-minded

  • Critical thinkers

  • Imaginative and creative

  • Seekers of information

  • Problem solvers

  • Detailed-oriented

If this is you....

You might answer the question by saying...

"I gather information and consider all the possibilities. I look for ways to create new ideas and find answers to problems. I deeply consider problems and find the best solutions. I consider different viewpoints."

Specific Examples: 

  • Explorers of ideas: "I came up with a new idea for a project that I'd like to share."

  • Brainstormers: "I jotted down several topics we could discuss at our first meeting."

  • Breaking down ideas: "I prioritized our staff meeting into specific categories."

  • Deep thinkers: "I've given this a lot of thought and I've come to the conclusion...."

  • Open-minded: "I'm willing to consider the CEO's perspective on the project."


Which statement represents a "thinker"? Select all that apply.

The Planner...

The battle plan from Home Alone

Planners are:

  • Organizers of systems and processes

  • Strategic in finding desired outcomes

  • Adaptable to changes

  • Dissectors of problems

  • Driven by goals

  • Masters of time management

  • Strong communicators

  • Proactive with their methods

If this is you...

You might answer the question by saying,...

"I create structured plans and organize lists to accomplish goals. I outline the best way to execute my plans to reach my goals. I consider possible unexpected events. "

Specific Examples:

  • Organizers: "Here is a system that I created to increase productivity."

  • Adaptable to changes: "I have a contingency plan in case something goes wrong."

  • Masters of time management: "I created a time line for the completion of our project."

  • Driven by goals: "My goal is to become settled into the team by August."

  • Strong communicators: "In my presentation, I considered my audience and used language relevant to them."


Which statement represents a "planner"? Select all that apply.

The Doer...

Beaver gnawing wood with the saying, The Doer doesn't dither.

Doers are:

  • People who prefer to "get things done"

  • Self-starters

  • Overcomers of obstacles

  • Lovers of hands-on projects

  • Practical, no-nonsense people

  • Quick to find solutions to problems

  • Fast paced workers

  • Independent workers

  • Thrivers in active environments

  • Those that value results

If this is you...

You might answer by saying,...

"I take quick action to get things done. I enjoy a fast paced environment where quick thinking is key. I thrive with hands-on tasks.I overcome obstacles to get a job done. I'm a self-starter and independent worker who also values teamwork."

Specific Examples:

  • Getting things done: "I completed the project ahead of schedule."

  • Self-starter: "I'm comfortable working on my own and getting started right away."

  • Lovers of hands-on projects: "I'll be glad to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty."

  • No-nonsense: "Let's cut to the chase and just focus on what's important."

  • Those that value results: "I'm excited when the ratings increase on our site!"


Which statement represents a "doer"? Select all that apply.

Take Action

Film action board clapping This can be a tricky question if you don't know which one you are.

Take steps to prepare your answer:


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