By Selipha Kihagi,
Do you have an upcoming job interview and are busy getting yourself ready? If you are, you need to remember that not all interview questions will be directly related to your profession. While it is highly recommended that you prepare for interview questions specific to the job you are interviewing for, it is also important to prepare for other unrelated questions that may come up. This is because interviewers have been known to ask personal questions and many job seekers have failed in their answers for lack of adequate preparation.
To avoid being another victim of a failed interview, rehearse your answers to personal questions too. Some questions might be intrusive, and you still require to have an impressive response. For instance, a recruiter can ask you “What are your hobbies?”
From a general perspective, it may appear that this question has nothing to do with the job you are applying for. But the interviewer will ask it anyway. Why? They want to understand who you are beyond your profession. They want to figure out if you are the best fit for the company. And they also want to know how your life outside of work may affect your professional life.
What not to say when an interviewer asks; “What are your hobbies?”
When faced with this interview question, don’t get too excited and start talking about how you love watching movies, swimming or playing PS. Unless of course you are interviewing for the position of a swimming instructor or Life guard, then saying you love swimming is okay. Don’t say that you do not have any hobbies as this will put you across as a withdrawn person. Also, don’t talk about how you love keeping fit, listening to music or going out with friends on weekends. These are generic hobbies that will only leave interviewers frowning.
The last thing you want to bring up at a job interview is a reason for the recruiter or employer to doubt your credibility or personality. So, while you want to be honest about your hobbies, take a moment and evaluate how your answer to this interview question will be received.
How to answer; “What are your hobbies?”
Just like we have discussed before on the importance of including the right hobbies when writing your CV, the same applies during a job interview. If an interviewer asks about your hobbies and for one reason or the other you had not included this on your CV, think about hobbies that add value to the job you are interviewing for. But don’t take too long deliberating on your answer as this may imply an attempt to lie.
For instance, if you are in the PR or Marketing profession, quoting hobbies such as networking and building new relationships may work in your favour. For the writers and journalists, filling crossword puzzles on your spare time or reading are hobbies that relate to your daily work.But you don’t have to focus on hobbies that relate to your work only.
General hobbies such as participating in sports or playing musical instruments are great. They portray you as a well-coordinated person and one who can easily work as a team. And for those who love playing golf on weekends, this can be a great hobby if you are interviewing for a managerial position.
So, what are your hobbies? Do your hobbies add value to your profession in any way? They don’t have to fall under the ones mentioned above. Sometimes your hobbies could revolve around the responsibility of family. In such a case, an acceptable answer would be; “While family and work take most of my time, I enjoy taking the family out to the park on weekends or for getaways as a way of relaxation and in preparation for the start of the week.”This answer shows both your commitment to work and family, demonstrates your organizational skills and portrays you as a responsible person.
Got a question on job interviews? Remember to leave a comment below.
Selipha is a Communications Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading Recruitment firm that offers CV Writing, Job Placement & Career Advice. If you have any queries, firstname.lastname@example.org