Does this question about your interest sound familiar?
I bet it does, as it is one of the quintessential questions asked at interviews.
No matter which industry you may be in, which field of study you may have done and for whichever job you have applied for, the probability of facing this question is phenomenally high. But, have you really thought why does this question seem so important for an interviewer?
What is an interviewer trying to find by asking about your interests? Is it just another ‘getting to know’ kind of informal questions or does it have a higher importance?
Well, you have guessed it right. It does have a significant value attached.
Firstly, the interviewer likes to learn if you really know about yourself – Have you assessed your interests?
Secondly, the interviewer wishes to know if your interests match up to the job requirements or are stirringly opposite – Do the jobs you’re looking for relevant to your interests?
Your Interests: Can you describe your interests and hobbies? Interview Question and Answer
Having said that let us touch-base upon three important aspects while answering the question:
Knowing your interests
This is the foremost thing to do before heading for an interview. Perhaps, all you need to do is to introspect and see what all things really interest you. Is the thing that you do interests you or it’s the add-ons that come along, that attract you? It is your interests that provide deep insight into your psyche, to the interviewer.
Relevance of interests
The second most important thing is the RELEVANCE of your interests/hobies for the job under consideration. Playing baseball might interest you but it may not hold any relevance to a Research and Development job. The point I am trying to make is, you need to PICK and SHOWCASE only those interests of yours that you thing would fit-in in the job.
Describing your interests and hobbies
This is the tricky part. A lot depends on how you describe your skills with respect to the job requirements. You can surely manipulate an answer in such a way that the ‘seemingly irrelevant’ interest may sound completely appropriate in relation to the job.
Interviewer: “What are your interests?”
Interviewee: “I like to baseball or any other game that involves teams and thus, I can surely say I am a team player who is driven by targets. Further, I am pretty aggressive in achieving results, in a team.”
Clearly, the interviewee has manipulated his interests in a way that has helped him win over the interviewer’s interest.