Although most of the questions you will be asked in a job interview will pertain to the position you are applying for, you should expect some to be about your own personal preferences, so do not get caught off-guard where you are asked, “What are your outside interests”
This may seem like an easy question to answer at first, but there are certain things to keep in consideration. The hobbies you tell the hiring manager should be interesting and relate to the position you are applying for. This is also a great chance for the interviewer to learn a little more about you than just what is on your resume.
Points to Emphasize
Talking about your hobbies is a great way to make yourself stand apart from the other candidates, so use this question to your advantage.
- Discuss hobbies that would help you with this job
- Use hobbies to build up your experience
- Discuss the skills you have learned through these interests
- Talk passionately about your hobbies
Most companies will want well-rounded individuals who have something unique to add to the organization. Your outside interests show that you are bringing something different to the table.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There is not necessarily a bad hobby you can mention, but the way you go about answering the question could potentially hurt your chances.
- Don’t talk about a vague hobby (example: listening to music)
- Don’t list too many hobbies that show you are all over the place
- Avoid being too passionate
- Avoid saying that you don’t have any hobbies
There must be something that you do when you are not on the clock. Talk about your interests in a way that shows you are well-versed in a number of endeavors.
Your response should be customized to reflect your own unique interests, but it should go something like this:
I enjoy running and staying fit. I actually finished a half-marathon last week. I am also a board member of a local charity group that organizes community service programs like feeding the homeless and cleaning up trash off the streets. Our City Sweep last October had the biggest turnout we’ve ever had.
Only mentioning a couple hobbies is perfectly acceptable and preferable since it shows you have a life outside of your work but that you are not too spread out. No one is purely devoted to their work, so talking about your hobbies is a great way to show the employer your individuality and the skills you could potentially incorporate into this line of work.