With this question, your interviewer is trying to get a handle on the type of person you are outside the job. Not only are they finding out more information about you, your habits and dealings outside of work, they are also looking to see if yours is the type of personality that would match their other team members currently employed at their company.
Finding out what someone does in their spare time can often be very telling about their overall persona, which is why answering this comfortably with a statement that you have prepared ahead of time is so important.
Points to Emphasize
When you respond to this question, it is vital that you showcase hobbies and activities that shed a positive light on you and your work performance.
- Highlight any volunteer experience that you have had recently and that you continue to do on a regular basis.
- Take your favorite past-times and be specific about what you do and why.
- Share experiences that you've taken a leadership role in, even if it's just performing as captain of your city-league basketball team.
- Choose hobbies that show that you're a well-rounded individual and explain why you enjoy spending your spare time participating in them.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Answering any interview question can be tough if you're unprepared. Keep the interview going smoothly by avoiding these common pitfalls.
- Never lie to your interviewer by throwing in hobbies that you think that they want to hear.
- Do not present yourself as a one-sided person by answering with activities that are all related to each other.
- Don't cop out by being so general in your answer that any of the potential candidates could have answered in the same way.
- Do not give an answer that has to do with specific political party affiliations, ethnic groups, your particular religion or sexual orientation.
One way to answer this question excellently would be as follows:
I'm a big family person and pride myself on spending every Sunday with our large extended family. I love any and all sports and grew up in New York, so while it may be by default, you won't find a bigger Mets fan than me. I feel passionately about taking care of myself physically and like to get out for a run several times a week. I also organize several volunteer groups at many of our local 5k and marathon races.
When it comes down to it, answering this question in the best way possible involves making yourself shine, both personally and professionally, while being 100% truthful about each of your activities.