Home » employment » What hiring managers are really trying to figure out when they ask, ‘What are your hobbies?’

What hiring managers are really trying to figure out when they ask, ‘What are your hobbies?’

Jacquelyn Smith May 9, 2016

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Jeff Hitchcock/flickr

Don’t just say, “I love photography.” Explain why.

When you’re in the hot seat interviewing for a job, you’re answering questions such as “What’s your greatest weakness?” and “Why should we hire you?” — so a query like “What are your hobbies?” will probably seem like a piece of cake.

But before you start babbling about your lifelong obsession with horses or your newfound passion for baking, consider this: The hiring manager wants to get a better sense of who you are, so it’s important to think about which hobbies best showcase your strengths, passions, and skills — and then discuss only those in the interview.

“The employer is trying to determine whether you’d be a good fit, and getting insight into your interests, hobbies, and personality all help in evaluating that,” says Amy Hoover, president of the job board Talent Zoo.

Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” agrees: “By learning more about your outside interests, they can glean more about your personality, and even draw some conclusions about how you may thrive in the organization.”

 

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