“Describe a hobby or interest that you enjoy” might sound like a strange request for an interview, right? After all, what do your hobbies and interests have to do with your career?
You might be surprised to learn that they have much to do with it, depending on exactly what they are.
Why Do Hiring Managers Make Such Requests?
Hiring managers usually ask you to describe your hobbies or interests for 3 main reasons:
- To find out whether you are a well-rounded individual
- To find out whether you gained some transferable skills along the way
- To better assess your culture fit
How to Answer the Question: “Describe a Hobby or Interest That You Enjoy”
To answer the question, it is first important to provide honest answers, but be careful not to go into so much detail about the hobby or interest that it appears to threaten your commitment to the position that you are applying for.
It is important to do some research on the company before the interview to find out whether any of your hobbies or interests are compatible with the company culture. It is those interests that you need to emphasize if you are ever asked this question in an interview.
Tips for Giving the Best Response
You need to keep certain points in mind while answering the question, “Describe a hobby or interest that you enjoy,” which include:
1. Never Say No
You might get surprised by this question since it is seemingly unrelated to the job you are applying for. Still, you should not let the question throw you off your game. If you need to, take a moment to think before answering as you would any other interview question.
2. Be Honest
You need to ensure that the hobby or interest you describe is one that you truly pursue and are perhaps even passionate about. If you end up getting the job, your employer will probably remember that you claimed to love soccer, for instance, and may invite you to join a team.
Avoid getting caught in a lie. It is also important to be prepared for any follow-up question. If the hobby or interest you describe is watching movies, for example, interviewers may ask you what your favorite movie is or the last movie that you saw in theaters.
3. Get Inspired
If your hobbies or interests comprise a cluster activity, it is important to positively distribute this during the interview. Whatever hobby or interest you describe, ensure that your answers incorporate your skills and interest. This is where some inspiration comes in handy.
For instance, if you love to write, or paint, you can bring this up. It will show that you are original and have broader interests. Explain how those activities improve your ability, advance your imaginative thinking skills, and creatively loom tasks.
RELATED READING: How to Write a Small Paragraph About Your Hobbies
4. Identify the Hobby or Interest
You need to name and describe either one or several applicable hobbies or interests. If you describe just one, your answer will be short and precise, while discussing 2 or 3 lets you showcase your various extracurricular activities.
You need to keep your description of the interest or hobby brief unless you are asked to elaborate.
5. Relate the Hobby or Interest Directly to the Company
If possible, you should try connecting the hobby or interest to the job or company. This will show your deep interest in the industry.
Make it clear how your hobby or interest makes you the right fit for the company in terms of your passions or values. For instance, you may consider discussing the company’s positive employee reviews.
6. Explain How the Hobby or Interests Fits into Your Life
You shouldn’t just describe an activity as your hobby or interest and leave it at that. You should also provide a brief explanation of how you actually incorporate it into your life.
If your hobby is gardening, for instance, you may say that you own a plot in a community garden in your neighborhood and that you spend several hours there each weekend. Demonstrate to your employer that you actually follow through with your interest.
7. Explain Your Reasons for Loving It
Besides saying how you fit the interest or hobby into your life, you should also add a brief explanation of why you actually like it.
Perhaps you love gardening since you find it calming. Perhaps you play team sports since you love to work with others.
If you explain why you like a certain activity, you will give your employer a better sense of who you are and what drives you.
8. Discuss Potential Opportunities to Use the Hobby or Interest on the Job
The hobby or interest you describe may be directly applicable to the job or company. You should think about ending your response with a question about how you can potentially bring those passions or skills to the workplace.
Finding out whether your potential employer encourages community service, promotes employees’ health and fitness goals, or encourages community service reveals your interest in being an actively engaged member of the organization.
9. Keep It Brief
While you may want to include as much information as you can in your description, it is still important to keep your answer brief. Avoid going on a 10-minute monologue about your past 5 camping trips. The question isn’t intended to be a big part of the interview.
It is important to practice your interview answer beforehand so that you don’t struggle with it if an interviewer asks. Your research of the company will help you prepare for any questions about your hobbies and/or interests and how they relate to the company.
RELATED READING: How To Answer the Question: Describe a Hobby You Had as a Child
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are asked a question such as “describe a hobby or interest that you enjoy.”
Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle to respond to the question since you now have 10 effective tips for answering that question. All you need to do is put the 10 tips provided here into practice.