What do you do outside work? What are your hobbies and how do you keep rejuvenate yourself? The interviewer wants to understand you a little better.
Interviews are much more than technical assessment. It’s an engagement to evaluate you beyond the job description. And a commonly asked question in a job interview is “what are your hobbies and interest”. If not asked verbally, you may see this FAQ in some form that you need to fill.
Why is this question is asked?
Interviewers want to know how you take a break and relax is because they are hiring a human being, not a machine. We have different hobbies and ways to take a chill-pill. The interviewer checks if the candidate is fit for the job or not beyond technical expertise. If you only think about work even after going home, chances are you won’t be able to function optimally all the time (the mind needs to relax). There can be two candidates of the same age group, with the same experience, and similar academic qualifications.
Even though everything is the same, individuals differ in several other ways. Their natures differ because their interests are not the same. And this variation in interest gives rise to certain qualities and traits that may be applicable to the job requirement. This type of question is known as an “opportunity question”; it’s a chance to stand out and tell that you are the best a suitable person for this job because your hobbies will help you handle the responsibilities better.
What are the two types of hobbies that you should never mention?
First, don’t mention a hobby which you are trying to make a career of. This creates a bad impression about you and the interviewer may assume that you are not joining for a long haul. The job is simply a short stopover for you.
The second kind of hobby is the one that is contrary to the job profile. If you compromise on sleep (even on weekdays) to binge-watch on Netflix, you lose points from the interviewer. What if there’s a meeting the next day and you doze off during the presentation?
What interests should you mention?
First, mention a hobby that is linked with your job profile. For example, travelling as a hobby is good if your job involves travelling. If you love meeting new people and are comfortable engaging with them, you could make a pretty good salesman since your hobby would help in lead conversion.
Second, you can mention a hobby that demonstrates your desire to consistently learn and upskill. Reading and playing any musical instrument or spending time to learn a new language are some examples. Almost every job requires the individual to get out of the comfort zone by exploring topics and concepts hitherto unknown. This is particularly true for the technology sector. If your hobby has trained your mindset such that you don’t make excuses when it comes to becoming familiar with something new, mention it.
Next is a hobby that gives a measure of your creativity or innovation. Writing, photography, painting, and poetry fall into this category of hobbies.
How should you prepare for what do you do in free time interview question?
Be honest and list down all of the hobbies you have. Make a list of all the hobbies whether you pursue them occasionally or regularly. Don’t mention what you have never done because if you get quizzed on it…
The next step is to pick up the hobbies which match your job profile. Also, check if they align with the company’s mission and vision in some manner. If at this stage you end with multiple activities, it’s not necessary that the interviewer needs to know all. You can prioritize the shortlisted ones. Also, don’t confuse the interviewer.
And finally, don’t answer this question with a frown or grim face. It’s your hobby that’s being talked about, so show that enthusiasm!
How would you answer, “what is your hobby?” Are you aware of other important interview questions? Do comment.