As a full-time employee, you spend around 40 hours of your week at work. Knowing this, your potential employer wants to know more about how you spend the rest of the week by asking "What do you like to do?" or "What do you enjoy doing?" With so many ways to answer this question, how do you know which way is the right way?
When asking this slightly problematic question, you may think that your interviewer just wants to know about your hobbies. That, however, is not always the case.
While they do want to learn more about you, the company you're interviewing with is actually asking to get a better feel as to why you do the things you do and what effect your presence would have on the company.
Points to Emphasize
Answering this question gives the hiring manager a real glimpse into your personal life. Take into account the following highlights to really help yourself shine:
- Show your passionate side by only listing hobbies or activities that you really love to participate in.
- Choose activities that talk you up, such as lead volunteer at the local marathons.
- Always be honest when answering; making up the fact that you love golf to fit into the corporate world won't get you anywhere.
- Know what your potential employer is looking for in their candidates and shape your answers to better fit that expectation.
With a confident, open response, you can show your interviewer what it would be like to have you as a member of their team.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Escaping dreaded interview pitfalls is easy when you dodge these common mistakes:
- Don't answer with the same boring and scripted answers that others do; be yourself.
- Do not list hobbies that are contradictory to what the company represents.
- Don't share things that make you come off as self-centered or addictive in nature.
- Do not give a short, vague response that doesn't let the hiring manager know what you're really like.
Overall, not painting yourself in a positive light is the worst mistake that you could make in an interview.
Finding your perfect answer to this hobbies question is easy with this example response below:
Even though I spend most of my early mornings running and training for my next marathon, I enjoy all things outdoors. I love to take my young family camping and to just be outside to experience nature. As captain of my local writing association, I am sharpening my leadership skills and am excited to put them to good use at your company.
Remember, with a great response, you can show your interviewer more of who you really are.