Everyone has interests outside of work. Even if you enjoy what you do, you likely have hobbies you follow for fun, to let off steam or pursue your passion.
One interview question employers tend to ask is “What are your hobbies?” or “What do you like to do outside of work?”. With this, they’re trying to understand your passion or drive for things that aren’t directly related to your work. Your hobbies are a reflection of you. They show that you’re someone who’s not afraid to follow their dreams.
Find out how you can answer the what are your hobbies interview question with sample answers.
Interview Question: What Are Your Hobbies?
Talking about things you love to do may be easier because you’re confident about them. Your interests can range from traveling to reading or volunteering. Maybe you’re someone who’s passionate about hiking or adventure sports. There’s a wide range of hobbies that you can cover for this interview question. But how do you craft a response that’ll leave a lasting impression?
You can do that by relating your answer to the job requirements. The purpose of your interview is to evaluate whether your skills, experiences and motivations align with the organization. Even if you’re talking about something personal like your hobbies, you have to relate them to your job.
Take this situation, for instance:
Interview: What are your hobbies?
Candidate: My hobbies are reading, watching movies and listening to music.
This is a standard response that many of us have used in an interview. It’s not wrong to say what your hobbies are. But this is definitely not enough—and it doesn’t serve the purpose of this question.
What you need to do is be mindful of the following tips:
List hobbies that align with the organization’s values or even the job requirements
Give examples where you can quantify your answers
Read about what the organization does in terms of volunteer work, social events and non-business projects
Tailor your answers to help the interviewer recognize your potential
Read the job description and required skills to figure out which hobbies to talk about
The point is to answer this question to the best of your abilities. Think of it like every other interview question that you have to prepare for.
How To Answer The Hobbies Question
Preparing your answers before the interview will help you stay calm and respond without being nervous. Consider the following steps to determine the best what is your hobby answer:
Identify Your Hobbies
The first order of business is to list your hobbies. What you like to do in your free time and activities that give you joy. It can be painting or learning a language, team sports or playing computer games. If you like to volunteer, you can highlight this in your answers. Other activities you can mention include going on heritage walks around your city. Be sure to pick something you’re genuinely passionate about. This way your answers will be more authentic and insightful.
Assess Relevant Skills And Strengths
Map your hobbies to skills that you learned as a result. For instance, if you’re interested in team sports, you can highlight skills like teamwork, leadership and interpersonal relationships. These foundational skills help you stand out in a sea of applicants. Your unique skills or a combination of skills are ideal to leverage your answer to the hobbies question. You can even go through the job requirements to pick up some skills that the organization’s looking for. It’ll be much easier to hash out relevant qualities for the role.
Map Your Skills To The Job
After you’re done identifying the skills based on your hobbies, it’s time to figure out how to relate them to the job. For instance, if the organization is big on green initiatives and you often volunteer for tree plantation drives, you can combine the two for your answer. The organization’s social media pages are a good source of information. Find out about additional initiatives such as podcasts, programs or campaigns they’re running for their teams. This can give you a lot of ideas about how you can pick up on things the organization values.
Substantiate Your Answer With Examples
Simply saying what you enjoy doing isn’t enough. You have to go a step above and support your claims. If you say you enjoy writing, you can talk about participating in writing competitions or something that you’ve published. If you say you enjoy hiking, you can mention a particular experience during one of your hikes. Mention the hobby only if you can give them a reason for why you love it, how it relates to your job and what you learned from it. Only then can you give proper responses to this question.
Ask How You Can Use Your Hobbies In Your Role
When you’re ending your answer, you can ask relevant questions about how you can integrate your hobbies into your role. For instance, if you’re a storyteller, you can inquire whether the organization has an internal newsletter that you can contribute to. If you enjoy stand-up comedy, you can talk about livening up Friday nights at the office. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going so the interviewer can participate as well. A conversational interview is in the interests of both you and the interviewer.
You can use these helpful tips to prepare impactful answers. Consider it as a breather between complex or challenging questions. After all, you’re being asked to discuss things you like to do—things you enjoy.
Creating Answers On The Spot
There are times when we don’t exactly prepare answers to every interview question. Of course, the most helpful tip is to be well-versed with the organization so you can tailor your responses on the spot. But for a question like “what are your hobbies?”, you may get thrown off track if you’re not prepared. Here are some ways to improvise relevant and appropriate answers:
If you least expect it, it means that the interviewer wants to know if you can think on your feet. Take some time to think about your answer before jumping the gun.
Rather than focusing on what the interviewer might want to hear, answer the question to the best of your abilities.
You can ask the interviewer for a few seconds to think about how you can answer.
Treat the question as a chance to communicate with the interviewer. As mentioned, you can ask them questions to keep the ball rolling so they can contribute.
You don’t have to mention multiple hobbies, try to think of one that you’re most confident about. Focus your response on that hobby and think about ways to weave a story to make an impact.
Answering questions on the spot may be scary, especially for a job interview. But if you take a moment to think about your answers, you’ll find yourself in a better position. You have to be confident in your abilities to answer well. If you’re collected and composed, you stand a much better chance at making your voice heard or getting your point across.
Samples Hobbies Questions And Answers
Now, let’s look at some ‘what are your hobbies example answers’ to see how they play out. You can pick up a few things that you should or shouldn’t add to create your own responses.
I am really passionate about team sports. On the weekends, I play football with my neighborhood team and I haven’t missed a single match. We have often participated in local competitions and we’ve even traveled to other cities for matches. Playing with a team taught me how to handle people who have different perspectives. My communication skills have greatly improved with time. It also taught me the importance of teamwork and team-building.
I enjoy giving guided tours to tourists in my city. I volunteer at a local travel company that organizes heritage walks to nearby places. I enjoy learning more about my city’s history, architecture and art. This helps me broaden my knowledge, meet people from across the world and polish my communication skills. Sometimes things can get lost in translation, which taught me how to pace myself to improve comprehension.
Both of these examples elaborate on the candidate’s hobbies, experience and skills. They mentioned what they enjoy doing outside of work, how they keep themselves engaged and what they learned. You can create your own sample answer to practice before your next job interview!
Make Learning A Hobby With Harappa
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