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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