How To Answer: "What Are Your Hobbies?" (Plus Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Your hobbies can tell potential employers a lot about your personality and interests. Knowing how to share your hobbies during an interview can help you communicate valuable traits effectively. Consider taking time to prepare your responses before an interview so you can answer a hiring manager's questions with confidence. In this article, we discuss why sharing your hobbies with recruiters matters, explain how to answer "what are your hobbies" during an interview and provide example answers to this question.

Why is it important to share your hobbies with hiring managers?

It's important to share your hobbies with hiring managers because it can give them a better sense of who you are as a person. Finding common interests can also help your interview feel less formal and connect you with your interviewer. By sharing your hobbies, you can show the value you'd bring to a team beyond your work experience and technical skills. This can help you make a lasting impression on employers and differentiate you from other candidates.

In addition, a lot of the skills you develop by engaging in hobbies can translate into applicable work skills. For example, being part of a sports team can show employers you know how to work well in a group to accomplish a common goal. Engaging in pursuits like painting, drawing or inventing may show you're a natural problem solver who can think of creative solutions and see things from a unique perspective. Similarly, avid writers and readers are often skilled communicators. If you think your hobbies have helped you develop skills relevant to the position you're applying for, you can share that information with employers.

Related: Common Job Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers and Experienced Professionals

How to answer: "What are your hobbies?"

In interviews, hiring managers may ask you, "What are your hobbies?" Here are some steps you can take to ensure you have the best answer to this question:

1. Decide what your hobbies are

To answer "what are your hobbies" successfully during an interview, first think about what hobbies you enjoy. Your hobbies are unique to you, so there isn't a single 'right' answer to this question. The more unique and specific you are, the more likely you are to encourage an engaged response from your interviewer. This question can be a great opportunity to share more about yourself and reveal your personality. To identify your hobbies, think of things you enjoy doing in your free time.

Consider making a list of all the extracurriculars you enjoy. You might think of activities related to sports, nature, art, travelling, culture, animals, activism or food. Some hobbies, while perfectly acceptable in some environments, aren't appropriate to share with potential employers. Remember to be culturally sensitive and politically correct when sharing certain hobbies with employers and omit any that might alienate an interviewer. Examples of hobbies you might want to discuss during an interview include:

  • Travelling

  • Writing

  • Cooking

  • Reading

  • Hiking

  • Being outdoors

  • Painting

  • Collecting

  • Gardening

  • Playing or listening to music

  • Knitting

  • Volunteering, charity work or community service

2. Identify qualities or skills

From your list, you can begin to think about qualities or skills your hobbies have helped you develop. This can help you select applicable hobbies to share in your interview. Here are some examples of skills you might gain or improve from engaging in a particular activity:

  • Planning

  • Organisation

  • Teamwork

  • Determination

  • Adaptability

  • Patience

  • Creative thinking

  • Problem-solving

  • Communication

  • Leadership

Related: 10 Best Skills To Include on a CV

3. Include hobbies on your resume

Including your hobbies and interests in your resume can give employers an opportunity to learn more about you before they bring you in for an interview. It also gives you a starting point to discuss your relevant activities in person. Create a section near the bottom of your resume for skills and interests. Here, you can include volunteer work, accomplishments related to your hobbies and interests that differentiate you from other candidates.

Related: Tips for Listing Your Interests on a CV

4. Deliver your interview answer

If you're asked about your hobbies in an interview, use your plan to articulate your answer. Be sure to relate your hobby or hobbies back to the company and highlight the skills, qualities and values your hobbies helped you develop.

Try to keep your answers casual and allow your passion for your interests to show through. Personality can be a huge hiring factor for employers. Your hobbies can make you memorable and relatable.

5. Answer follow-up questions

Your interviewer might show an interest in your hobbies and ask you follow-up questions about your specific experience. This is often a good sign because it can demonstrate interviewers want to engage with you and learn more about you. If the job you're applying to relates to your hobby, that can be a powerful indicator you'd fit in with the company's culture.

Example answers

To further help you prepare your answers for an interview, here are some example responses that identify a hobby, list its related skills and connect the activity back to the company:

Example 1: Sports

Here's an example answer regarding an interest in sports:

"I've always been very athletic, but badminton is by far my favourite sport. I joined several school leagues and actually took second place at a national badminton championship. For two years, I was captain of my team and volunteered for several youth programs. I'm really grateful for badminton because it's taught me to be a better communicator, leader and team player. I actually noticed online that you played badminton at a team event last year? Do you regularly host events like that?"

Example 2: Volunteer work

Here's an example answer regarding experience doing volunteer work:

"I love being involved in my community. Three years ago, I joined a volunteer group that cleans up hiking trails and parks. I'm a huge advocate for keeping community spaces clean and volunteering has helped me improve others' experiences and raise awareness about how important it is to preserve and protect nature. Since I've joined, our organisation's size has more than doubled. I work with the group's leadership to schedule clean-up events and talk to community organisers about our cause. It's been a really fun way to meet new people, develop my leadership skills and give back to my community.

"When I was researching your company, I saw you have a volunteer section on your website and it made me really excited to come speak with an organisation that cares so much about community and volunteering."

Example 3: Creating

Here's an example answer regarding creative interests:

"I really enjoy writing. I've published several short stories in literary magazines and am working on a novel right now. I've always been an avid reader and writing has given me the opportunity to create new and exciting worlds of my own. It's so fun to come up with plots and develop characters. It definitely forces you to be creative and think of exciting ways for your characters to overcome obstacles. Communicating all the ideas I have in my head to an audience can sometimes be a challenge, but it's so rewarding.

"That's part of the reason I was so interested in this position. I saw on the posting that you want the person in this position to help write and edit your company's marketing materials? I think my creative writing experience would help me come up with fresh and unique ways to promote your services."

Tips for answering: "What are your hobbies?"

Here are some additional tips you can use to answer interview questions about your hobbies:

Be sincere

Even if your hobbies aren't directly applicable to your job, don't feel pressured to come up with a response you think the hiring manager would want to hear. Let your personality come through to help interviewers get to know you. Invite questions and try to establish a dialogue and rapport with the interviewer.

Related: How To Make a Powerful Self-Introduction (Tips and Examples)

Use the STAR method

Consider using the situation, task, action and result (STAR) method to plan your response. This technique helps you prepare for situational and behavioural interview questions. The STAR technique can also focus your answers when you include real-life examples.

Research

Before submitting your CV or going for an interview, read as much as you can about the company. This can help you prepare more relevant answers. If there are skills on a job posting that your hobbies helped you develop, be sure to explain that to hiring managers. Use your hobbies to show employers how well you'd fit in with their company culture.

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