An interview question that you might find quite daunting is ‘What do you do in your spare time?’
While there is no wrong answer, this question can give an insight into what you’d be like to work with, and if you’ll fit in with the company culture.
Candidates who are big into the sport are more likely to be competitive, those with a lot of social hobbies will be likely to get on well with people, while if you say you have no hobbies you probably won’t do well in most job interviews.
The answer to this interview question shines a light on your personality and indicates how well you’ll get on with your co-workers – an increasingly important element of interviews.
If you’re unsure of what to say, here are some good options:
How to answer “What Do You Do In Your Spare Time?”
If you have any experience volunteering you should mention it. This will show the interviewer you’re a caring and compassionate person that can add value to the work environment.
Employers are aware of the benefits of volunteering and recognise the initiative and commitment that is required to be a volunteer.
Whether you’re part of a sports team, a band or a debate team, being part of a team shows you work well with others, you have the ability to time keep (for practice or rehearsals) and practice dedication and commitment. All brilliant soft skills that employers are on the lookout for.
Instead of just saying that you like to “workout”, explain how you go to the gym a few times a week and follow a strict fitness plan or that you are running to train for a mini-marathon.
A detailed answer shows off your dedication and self-discipline. Health-conscious people also tend to have less sick days at work and have better energy levels.
Socialising with friends & family
If you’re interviewing for a company that has a strong social company culture, it’s important to show that you have good social skills and enjoy interacting with others. Assure the interviewer that you are a good people person by mentioning the importance of your family and friends.
What not to say:
“What do you do in your spare time?” is not an invitation to spend 15 minutes telling your life story. Give detailed information in the shortest time possible. Talking too much may lead the interviewer to lose concentration, especially if they don’t share your passion for a certain hobby.
Whatever you do, don’t lie. Interviewers can spot a lie, and if they notice you’re making things up it’ll ruin your chances of getting the job. Even if you did get the job, you’ll then have to keep up the pretence of loving something you have no interest in.
Whatever your hobbies and interests may be, use this part of your interview as an opportunity to show off your curiosity, dedication, and creativity. There’s always a chance that the interviewer will share one of your hobbies, so be prepared for them to stray off topic a little.