Recently, we came across an article titled, “Talking Hobbies at Interviews.” If you are active on LinkedIn like we are, you may have seen this article trending number one on LinkedIn News. With over 3,000 readers in less than one hour of it being published, we had to take a look to see what all the hype was about.
Have you ever been on an interview and been asked, “What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?”
It is a very simple question yet many have difficulty answering. Most of the time, you may have difficulty answering because it is such an unordinary question for a job interview. However, sometimes it stumps candidates because they believe it is a question that will be judged like all the other questions on your interview. Should you not bring up the fact you binge watch every Netflix show?
If asked the question “What are your hobbies?”, which answer would you give?
- I spend my times watching football and hanging out with my college friends.
- I binge watch Netflix.
- I continue to develop my skills in my field by joining book clubs and taking classes online.
If you chose 3, you may think that the question “What are your hobbies?” is a part of the interview, but sometimes it isn’t. There are two reasons for an employer or recruiter to ask this question.
Wanting To Learn More About You
The majority of the time this question is either the first question or last question they ask you. If it is then it is more likely just small talk than anything else. Employers want to get to know you professional and personally. It is also used as an ice breaker.
If the question is asked at the beginning of the interview, usually the recruiter or manager is using it as a way to make the interview process more relaxed. If it is asked at the end, it could be used as a way for them to finish up the interview.
There is a chance that this question could be used in their decision making, but it usually isn’t. However, we suggest to keep the answer as professional as possible. Do not say you like to binge watch Netflix unless you are applying for a job at Netflix.
Seeing How You Can Relate Your Hobbies to the Job Opening
In the article on LinkedIn, several recruiters responded to the question “Why do you ask candidates about their hobbies?” One of the recruiters said they use it mostly in Entry-Level roles to learn more about a candidates skills for the role.
In Entry-Level roles, there usually isn’t much experience from a candidate for a recruiter to make a hiring decision on. That is why recruiters ask about hobbies. Someone who draws on their free time would have creativity skills, while someone who loves solving puzzles usually is organized and detail oriented.
Using these hobbies as a resume booster may be a good decision for you. If you are asked this question, be honest and consider how the hobbies you list make you a stronger candidate. Most of the time when you are meeting with a recruiter, you will not be asked this question. However, it is better to be prepared than not.
“I think having hobbies outside of work is a good sign that people are able to manage their stress levels better and are less likely to put themselves in a position of burn-out,” says David FitzGerald, an engagement manager at MatchBox Consulting Group.
If you are interested in reading more about this subject, visit LinkedIn News.
Why does this question make some people upset? Well, many people like keeping their personal life and work life separate. One comment wrote, “I don’t think people necessarily owe it to coworkers or interviewers to discuss because you’re interviewing them for a job, not a volleyball team captain on the weekend.”
So, what should you do if asked? Answer it as honest as possible. If you want to keep your personal and work life separate, you don’t have to be too descriptive!