How to Answer "What are your hobbies?" Interview Question
If you’re preparing to answer this question in an interview then it can really help knowing some basics about the job role you’re applying for, the company, and if possible the interests of those in charge. The question is intended to better understand whether you have interests in other fields and therefore if you are a well-rounded person. Your interests don’t have to match the interviewer, but if you have already picked up on a shared interest in your pre-interview research or during the interview then it is worth mentioning it – it may be the reason you are remembered better than the other candidates.
Whatever you say, be honest. It’s not unreasonable to exaggerate how often you partake in the activity, but if you tell an outright lie just to impress someone it could look very negative if you are caught out during the interview or later.
“I try to run at the gym every day. It is usually about 10 miles,” is a good answer even if you only run 10 miles once every week. It’s a very bad answer if you spend less time at the gym than combing your hair in the morning, and you have not run since you were at school!
“I enjoy a bit of golf which I try to fit in every week.” Golf is considered a preferred sport of high level professionals, so if you are a keen golfer then certainly bring it up, although don’t try to impress with your score. However if you don’t know your tee from your birdie then you shouldn’t mention it.
“I like to read in my spare time, sometimes a book every week.” This is a brilliant example of something we can all do if we’re not sure that we have any hobbies and is an example of you doing something with your time which is not just watching television or ‘socialising’ a.k.a. drinking!
If you can be more dynamic with your answer than just a single hobby that you have, for example if you have a hobby which is physical such as a sport, then try to show how this or another hobby you have engages your brain. See the examples below:
Thinking and sports:
“I am a keen rugby player and enjoy writing short pieces about the games for our local newspaper.”
“I spend a lot of time improving our home, including tiling and basic carpentry. I really enjoy the planning, setting out and working through the project.”
If you think you don’t have any hobbies then perhaps you just haven’t recognised what you do with your spare time can be considered a hobby, and maybe these examples have helped you to define them. If you really don’t have hobbies then don’t lie in the interview, but perhaps it wouldn’t do you any harm to start a hobby as they are very rewarding.
One further note, don’t say, “work is my hobby” as that is not likely to impress anyone and if the interviewer has asked this question they expect you to have something outside of work.
You can also use the examples on your CV.