The movie Julie & Julia revolves around the lives of two women—Julia Child and Julie Powell—who shared a common passion for cooking. Child was a major figure in influencing the way people consumed French cuisine. Besides delectable recipes, you can learn a lot from her entrepreneurial spirit as she opened a cooking school at the age of 40!

Passion is a powerful motivator to pursue and achieve goals. Maybe this is why interviewers are so keen to understand what individuals are passionate about i.e., what drives them. Interviewers often ask the question ‘what do you like to do outside of work?’ during the hiring process.

Let’s dig a little deeper into why you should be thinking about your passions before you walk into an interview.


  1. Unpacking The “What Are You Passionate About” Interview Question

  2. How Do You Answer: What Are You Passionate About?

  3. Example Of A Standard Response To The Question

Unpacking The “What Are You Passionate About” Interview Question

If you’ve appeared for a job interview, then you’re probably accustomed to a set of standard questions that interviewers love to ask. Many interviewers try to learn more about your personality as it helps to evaluate whether you’re the right fit for the organization. “What are you most passionate about” is a frequently asked question. It helps employers see if you’re a well-rounded person beyond work. In fact, they’re actually trying to know more about:

  • Things that motivate you

  • If you’re cognizant of your strengths

  • Your professional and personal interests

The “what are you passionate about in life” question can catch you off-guard. Finding effective answers in advance and going prepared for your interview will help you stand out among the rest.

So, How Do You Answer: What Are You Passionate About?

You may ask yourself: what does my passion have anything to do with my job? Should you provide instances from your personal life or your professional experience? Hiring managers have an agenda when asking ‘what are you passionate about?’ and oftentimes they want to know you better and build rapport. Here are some effective tips that’ll help you build the perfect response.

  1. Keep It Real

Talk about something that genuinely excites you. Your answer shouldn’t come across as unauthentic. Don’t overthink it and simply provide a response that gives adequate insight into your personality. Think about a story that conveys how you learned skills and hobbies, what you enjoy about them and how they’ll help you excel in the role.

  1. Identify Key Points

Once you identify what you’re passionate about, think about a few instances or anecdotes that you can share. Make sure that you don’t overshare any details and continue to monitor your tone and body language. Provide details that employers can remember you by.

  1. Connect The Dots

Always explain why you’re passionate about something. Select a few hobbies or passions that are closely connected to your skills and personal values needed in the role you applied for. For example, if you’re passionate about scuba-diving, connect it to your risk-taking skills and the ability to follow instructions.

  1. Show Your Dedication

An interviewer will find your answer credible when you can communicate how something fits into your life. In other words, tell them how your passions have driven you to succeed. For example, Rohan loves beaches. He started a ‘clean the beach’ drive because he wanted to preserve the beauty of nature.

  1. Prepare For Follow-Up

Typically, recruiters have follow-up questions because they want to know more about things that motivate you and what you do to pursue them. This gives them a glimpse into your personality and they’re able to assess you better. Remember to prepare for other questions that are bound to follow. If any question throws you off, take some time to think and reflect before you respond.

Here is an example of a standard response to the question, what are you most passionate about?

Ever since I was a little kid, I have been fascinated by cooking. I used to accompany my grandmother in the kitchen and she eventually started educating me about different recipes, spices and ingredients. I took to baking as a teenager and have been trying out different recipes for many years. During the Christmas season, I host a small bake-off and friends, family and neighbors participate. It gives me great joy to see them engage and have fun.

In this response, you get an opportunity to share both your technical skills and foundational skills like paying attention to details, communication and interpersonal skills.

Therefore, answering what you’re passionate about is a fantastic way to highlight details of your life that aren’t evident on your resume. In addition to showing that you’re a well-rounded person, you get to tell them how you can set and achieve goals. Harappa Education’s Ace The Interview course will teach you how to go beyond the resume and impress potential employers. Add color and life to your answers and deliver engaging responses that leave a lasting impression.

Explore topics such as General HR Interview Questions, Top Interview Skills, How to Answer “What are Your Hobbies?” & How to Prepare for Mock Interview from Harappa Diaries and crack your next interview.

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