Questions like these happen to be popular at job interviews. More often people are embarrassed to talk about their favorite hobbies and interests and seem to be surprised.
Though, the most important task for the interviewer is to evaluate the candidate’s specific competencies for the job, when asking about your hobbies and interest s/he keens to dig deep into your personal life.
Why do they ask this question and how to answer it? Read further..
Why do they ask “What are your favorite interests and hobbies?
The employer has a simple yet vital reason for bouncing off this question. They want to get a broader perspective about you. Your life outside work may tell a lot about you.
If you hasn’t impressed the interviewer yet, you might even turn the game in your favor by talking about some impressive hobbies.
What you do in your free time may highlight interesting aspects about yo. You wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity.
Dos and Don’ts while describing your hobbies and interests:
Ideally, you should describe a hobby or interests that add value to the job in consideration. Perhaps, you have interests that drive attention to your positives in building personal relationship or you may have hobbies that prove your analytical skills.
1. Select those activities that can give you an edge over others as a candidate. Two good examples:
- If you have applied for Sales Job and the employer asks you about your interests, you may elaborate upon your involvement in your favorite sport team. This way, the employer will note that you are result orients person- An aggressive/focused player who set to achieve targets. Just like any sales annual targets.
- If you have applied for a managerial position but do not have prior managerial experience, you may talk about you were skilled to manage and initiate community service or any such social involvement.
2. Don’t use general statement to describe your hobbies: Steer away from putting forward bland, clichéd statements such as, “My hobbies are listening to music, watching television”. Such an answer distracts the attention of the employer and will not make the impression you want. Further, you may lose the chance for keeping the interest in you.
3. Try to balance in listing individual hobbies as well as being part of group activities.
4. Be careful while you state activities that can be perceived odd ones. A classic example: “I like to train spot in my spare time.” This statement might not be perceived in good light. However, if you frame it as, “I am actively involved in railway preservation”. This is sure to generate interest. Similarly, solitary activities might not interest a recruiter who is looking for a Sales Job profile.
Most importantly, be honest and back up whatever you say about your hobbies. You may even tell an interesting story – Being straightforward is always better.