What Does What You Do in Your Spare Time Have to Do With Getting a Job?

John Krautzel
Posted by in Career Advice

As a job seeker, it's natural to rehearse answers to the most common interview questions while preparing for a job interview. However, many employers are stepping outside of the box and asking what you do in your spare time. Spotlight your professional skills during the interview while also showcasing your personality and extracurricular activities to impress hiring managers.

Your professional skills and experience are important points to discuss during a job interview, but detailing your hobbies or volunteer work can put you one step ahead of other candidates. Instead of shying away from answering these types of interview questions, dive into what makes you unique personally, too.

Hobbies Show Motivation

It is likely you have hobbies that are both related and unrelated to the position. Hiring managers are often impressed by your interests because devoting yourself to a hobby shows you are motivated and inspired. Detail during the job interview why you are passionate about your hobbies or provide some insight into why you were inspired to begin the journey. For example, if your grandfather was proficient in wood working and you worked alongside him as a child, it shows your sensitive side as well as your ability to follow directions and eagerness to learn. While you should not divulge personal information about your family status, you can reference members of your extended family who motivated you to get involved with this hobby.

Activities Show Passion

What you do in your spare time is not a typical conversation during a job interview, but if you are asked this question, it does show the employer seeks someone who is active and creative. Spotlight activities or organizations you are involved in to display your eagerness to better the community. For instance, if you are applying for a position as an accountant and volunteer at a community center during tax season, employers may see this action as a positive representation of you and the firm itself if you are hired. Also detail your efforts with professional organizations. If you served as an officer of a professional organization or helped to plan a convention or educational workshop, share this information to let employers know you value learning from members of your network immersed in the field.

Artistic Explorations Show Creativity

Highlight your creative side when asked what you do during your spare time on a job interview. Explain how painting, sculpting or decorating helps to enrich your creativity and serves as a peaceful outlet when you are not working. Detail how being involved with creative groups helps inspire you to brainstorm innovative business ideas.

Although asking about what you do in your spare time may appear to be a personal question during a job interview, it gives you an opportunity to display your creativity and your passions. Employers are assessing whether candidates fit the company culture, and by openly answering questions about your volunteer efforts and hobbies, you can further market just how professional and personable you are during the interview.

Photo Courtesy of windy at Flickr.com


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