Hiring managers want to get a feel for the real you in an interview. They will ask questions about your work interests and passions to gain a better understanding of your work persona. They might ask questions like "tell me about a favorite project you have worked on in the past" or "what kinds of work interest you the most?"
These questions are designed to have you expound on your favorite aspects of work, what you really enjoy doing and why you enjoy it. This allows the hiring manager know where you would belong on their team, as well as what responsibilities you might enjoy doing.
Points to Emphasize
When you form a response for the hiring manager, make sure it is positive and focused solely on the work you most enjoy doing. Expound on one or two key responsibilities or projects that you have successfully completed and that made a positive contribution to the company you work for.
Make sure to mention the following points:
- Specifically mention a project you oversaw that had a positive result, preferably one where you oversaw at least one other employee.
- Provide the hiring manager with details on why you enjoyed the project.
- Describe the skill set you need to perform well on a project like that, and assure the hiring manager that you have the personality traits and work ethic necessary to complete a successful project for this organization.
- Provide an example of how you plan to use specific skills and traits within your new role.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
As with any question from a hiring manager, it's easy to be caught off-guard and stumble through an answer. Remain confident throughout the interview and take a second to gather your thoughts before replying. It's also important that you:
- Don't give a lengthy response. Keep your response brief while providing only the necessary details. Hiring managers don't need a long list of all your favorite work projects, one or two will suffice.
- Do not speak negatively about other aspects of your job.
- Do not provide any private or unessential details to the hiring manager. This could be in violation of privacy laws.
- Don't end your response suddenly; instead have a well-formulated ending that includes how you plan to utilize your various work skills within the new position.
You might consider answering a question like this with a response similar to this:
That's a great question. There are many things I enjoy about my work, and a couple stand out firmly in my mind as projects I am passionate about. The first is programming, which I have had the opportunity to do for several years now. I have always had a strong connection to mathematics and programming allows me to utilize the skills I love.
The second project I am passionate about is game design. I had the opportunity a year ago to lead a team of computer programmers in game design. We started from scratch and developed a web of ideas, eventually narrowing it down to one. Some of the people on the team had never worked in game design before, and it was neat to teach them the intricacies of this exciting field. The game we developed was picked up by a major company and is now available for sale. I am proud of how hard we worked on that project and the level of understanding I achieved by delving deeper into the world of game design.
I look forward to the chance to bring my programming skills and my game design knowledge to this company. I know it will be an asset as we work together to develop new ideas.