Nailing the Interview: Smart Ways to Answer "What Do You Like Doing for Fun?

Determining how to articulate ‘what do you like doing for fun’ to an interviewer can set you apart in a job search. This guide cuts straight to practical advice on linking your leisure activities to the job you seek. We’ll show you how to match your fun with the desired skills and company culture without embellishing or oversharing.

Key Takeaways

Why Interviewers Inquire About Your Hobbies

Ever questioned why the seemingly casual question about your hobbies crops up in the intense setting of a job interview? It’s more than just a chance to lighten the mood. It’s a calculated move by interviewers to gauge whether you’re a good fit for the company culture. Your hobbies and interests can be a mirror to your personality, reflecting if you align with the company’s values and ethos.

These personal pursuits can also highlight your soft skills, such as leadership skills, which are essential in both your personal and professional life. For example, a hobby like chess could indicate your analytical thinking, while volunteering at a local charity could showcase your empathy and communication skills.

Moreover, your hobbies give the interviewers a peek into your good work life balance. How you spend your free time can indicate how well you manage stress and sustain a healthy work-life balance. This is a crucial factor for employers who understand the importance of employee wellness for productivity and long-term commitment.

Preparing to Discuss Your Interests in a Job Interview

Preparing to discuss your hobbies and interests in a job interview goes beyond a quick mention of your pastimes. It requires a more strategic approach, starting with understanding the company’s ethos and aligning your interests with its activities.

A crucial part of the preparation is self-reflection. This entails:

The next step is to present your hobbies in a way that connects them to the job related skill. This can help you to demonstrate how your personal interests contribute to your professional life, making you a well-rounded candidate with strong professional competencies.

Let’s delve deeper into these steps.

Self-Reflection: Identifying Your Hobbies

Reflecting on your genuine personal interests is a critical first step that should not be overlooked. This goes beyond a superficial listing of hobbies; it requires introspection and spending time with yourself to truly understand what you enjoy.

Start by creating a comprehensive list of activities that you enjoy and feel passionate about. These could include:

The aim is not to impress the interviewer but to present an authentic picture of your personal life.

The objective of listing your hobbies is to identify activities that can illustrate valuable skills during a job interview. For instance, activities like playing a musical instrument or writing a blog can provide evidence of your creativity, commitment, and self-motivation.

Connecting Hobbies to Job Skills

Once you’ve identified your hobbies, the next step is to connect them to job skills. This is where your hobbies can become more than just pastimes and act as indicators of your professional capabilities.

Hobbies like music, reading, or DIY projects can reflect valuable skills such as commitment, focus, and practical problem-solving. On the other hand, participation in team sports suggests teamwork skills, while engaging in arts or writing a blog can demonstrate creativity and proactive skill development.

Your hobbies can even echo your social values or entrepreneurial capabilities. For example, involvement in community work or volunteering can communicate a commitment to social values. Technical hobbies such as coding or running an online store can convey a willingness to learn and entrepreneurial capabilities.

Crafting Your Narrative

After identifying your hobbies and connecting them to job skills, it’s time to craft your narrative. This is your chance to spin a captivating story around your hobbies, one that exhibits your personality and sets you apart from other candidates.

Unique hobbies can make you stand out in an interview, leading to a memorable impression among a pool of applicants with similar skills and qualifications. It’s your chance to shine and show a side of you that isn’t reflected in your resume or LinkedIn profile.

The STAR/CAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result/Context, Action, Result) can be a useful structure for telling engaging stories about your interests during interviews. This approach allows you to narrate specific instances where your hobbies have helped you develop or use skills relevant to the job role.

Examples of Strong Responses to "What Do You Like Doing for Fun?"

A person solving a jigsaw puzzle

Now let’s look at some examples of how to effectively answer the question, “What do you like doing for fun?” Remember, the aim is not just to list your hobbies but to tell a story that connects them to your professional skills and the job role.

Discussing hobbies such as photography and volunteering can highlight your creativity and a commitment to community engagement. For instance, you could talk about how photography has enhanced your attention to detail, a skill that is beneficial for roles that require meticulousness. And mentioning your volunteering experiences can reflect your empathy and ability to work with diverse groups of people.

Engaging in team sports like basketball or soccer demonstrates your experience with teamwork and communication skills. If you’re a video game enthusiast, you can also play video games that involve solving puzzles like crossword puzzles to demonstrate mental agility and strategic thinking. These hobbies can be particularly appealing for roles that demand problem-solving and strategic planning skills.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls When Answering the Question

As essential as it is to prepare your answer, it’s equally crucial to avoid certain pitfalls when discussing your hobbies in a job interview. The first rule of thumb is to be sincere. Avoid fabricating or overstating your hobbies just to impress. Interviewers are experienced enough to see through deceit, and dishonesty can be a significant red flag.

Maintain professionalism by keeping your own answer focused and concise. Oversharing or going off on a tangent can detract from your professionalism and steer the conversation away from the main topic. It’s essential to strike a balance between providing sufficient details and maintaining brevity.

Lastly, be mindful of the appropriateness of the hobbies you mention. Steer clear of controversial subjects such as politics, religion, or personal relationships. Your aim should be to find common ground with the interviewer, not to ignite debates.

Tips for Making a Lasting Impression With Your Hobbies

A group of friends playing basketball

To ensure your hobbies leave a lasting impression on the interviewer, showcase them with enthusiasm and dedication. Articulate why a particular hobby is important to you, revealing your interests, motivations, and personal values.

Being genuine when discussing your hobbies creates a positive first impression and aligns with your personality. Select a hobby to discuss that truly matters to you, not just something you think the interviewer will find impressive.

Don’t hesitate to share specific details of how you engage with your hobby. Recalling anecdotes or achievements related to your hobby can make your narrative more personal and relatable, helping the interviewer to get a better sense of who you are as a person.

Addressing Additional Interview Questions About Hobbies

Along with the primary question about hobbies, be prepared for additional interview questions. Interviewers may probe further into your hobbies to discover underlying skills or qualities not immediately apparent. They may ask you to elaborate on how your hobbies have helped you develop professionally relevant skills.

The interviewer might also ask follow-up questions to understand your ability to balance personal interests with work responsibilities. They may be keen to know if your hobby could potentially interfere with your job commitments.

When presented with an unusual question about hobbies, stay composed and answer honestly. Try to relate your response to the job when possible. Remember, the goal is to demonstrate how your personal interests add value to your professional profile.


Discussing hobbies in a job interview is an opportunity to highlight your personality, demonstrate your skills, and establish a cultural fit with the company. By preparing in advance and crafting an engaging narrative around your interests, you can leverage this common interview question to make a lasting impression.

Whether your hobbies involve playing sports, solving puzzles, or volunteering, remember to be authentic and connect them to the job role. With the right approach, your hobbies can become a powerful tool to set you apart from other candidates and help you nail the interview.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Interviewers Ask About Hobbies?

Interviewers ask about hobbies to gauge cultural fit, uncover soft skills, and understand a candidate's work-life balance. This helps them assess the overall fit of a candidate for the organization.

How Should I Prepare to Discuss My Hobbies in a Job Interview?

When preparing to discuss your hobbies in a job interview, take time to reflect on your genuine interests, connect them to relevant job skills, and develop a compelling narrative around your hobbies. This will help you effectively showcase your personality and skills to potential employers.

What Are Some Examples of Strong Responses to the Question About Hobbies?

A strong response to the question about hobbies could involve discussing activities like photography, volunteering, team sports, or puzzles, and linking them to relevant skills. This can showcase well-rounded interests and skills to the interviewer.

What Are Some Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Discussing Hobbies?

When discussing hobbies, avoid being insincere, oversharing, or mentioning controversial hobbies to maintain a focused, concise, and professional conversation.

How Can I Make a Lasting Impression With My Hobbies?

You can make a lasting impression with your hobbies by showcasing them with enthusiasm, dedication, and genuineness, and by sharing specific details or anecdotes related to them. This will help others to connect with you and remember you positively.