What should your hobbies and interests be in a job interview?
When a potential employer asks you about your hobbies and interests outside of work, they don't want to chat. The interviewer wants to get to know you more as a person, including how complete your life is and how your thinking works, and how your personal qualities can contribute to job performance. Prepare for this kind of talk by thinking about what the employer is trying to assess with their questions.
Team or self-employmentIf you have multiple hobbies that you enjoy alone, such as reading, painting, writing, or gardening, your hiring manager may see you as independently motivated and preferring to work alone. These are good hobbies to talk about if you're applying for a position where independence is an essential skill.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a job that requires a significant amount of interaction and teamwork with colleagues, this type of response can make you look like someone who prefers solitary tasks over teamwork. In this instance, the employer will be more interested in hearing about team sports, volunteer activities, or any other endeavor that involves a joint effort.
Cerebral or creativeAnother reason an employer asks about hobbies is to learn about your mental processes, the way you think and reason. For example, your passion for solving Sudoku games, playing chess, or doing crossword puzzles marks your ability to concentrate, analyze, and solve problems. On the other hand, if you enjoy cooking, embroidering, or making crafts, you show a more creative side.
High or low riskTalking about dangerous hobbies is a danger in itself. If you enjoy doing activities like skydiving, car racing, or surfing, you will come off as fearless and motivated. This can be positive in jobs like sales, where motivation and ambition are essential. These characteristics can hurt you in healthcare or accounting jobs, where meticulous attention to detail and conservative strategies are more appropriate.
TipsWhen discussing your hobbies and interests in a job interview, don't lie or mislead the interviewer. You should think well about what you will say and base your answers on what you think the interviewer wants to know about you.
Share a variety of interests that demonstrate capabilities related to the position. For example, if you're interviewing for a job as a nurse, share hobbies that show you have organizational skills and caring skills, such as putting together puzzles and growing hybrid roses.