Being asked "What do you like to do for fun?" or "What do you like to do in your free time?" may seem like easy questions to answer, but there is something specific the interviewer is looking for.
A hiring manager asking this question is trying to figure out how you would fit into the company culture. After all, there must be something you enjoy doing when you are not at the office. Not all of your interests have to apply to the specific career field you are applying for, but you should be able to talk about them passionately to show your commitment to the things you love.
Points to Emphasize
This question is a chance for you to talk about yourself as an individual, so it should be fairly easy to answer.
- Go into details regarding your interests
- Talk about hobbies that are unique to you
- Remain professional
- If possible, talk about interests that would benefit you in the position
Your answer to this question is a great way to set yourself apart from the other applicants, so put some thought into it beforehand, so you will be ready.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Although you are essentially just talking about yourself, there are certain things you should watch out for when answering this inquiry.
- Avoid talking about unprofessional hobbies (for example: partying in the club every night)
- Avoid saying you don't have any interests outside work
- Don't be vague
- Don't lie about your hobbies
Avoid listing off interests that you think the interviewer wants to hear. If you are given the job, your employer is going to know you were lying pretty quickly. As long as you are passionate about what you do, it will not matter what specific hobby you have.
Your response should reflect your own unique interests, but here is an example of how to talk about something you love.
Honestly, I love playing bass guitar. I'm actually in a jazz band, and we perform around town at various small venues. We usually meet up at least once a week to rehearse. Sometimes I will practice on my own if there's a new song we're trying to learn and I need the extra preparation.
Your response should be interesting but also show that your hobbies will not distract you from your job. Instead, your hobbies should work in conjunction with your position to make you a well-rounded person.
This is your chance to show you are an individual who has a lot to contribute to the position other than what is directly required.