What does your hobby say about you in a job interview?

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It’s in our nature to do fun things with our time. Is there a better way to do that than to pick up interesting hobbies?

Hobbies are an exciting way to channel your energy into something productive and unique to yourself. Some of us enjoy physical activity in sports; others opt for quieter selections like reading, while others enjoy collecting trinkets.

Just like handwriting, hobbies come in a million varieties. But have you ever asked yourself what your hobbies say about you? Or why we prefer a particular hobby? And what does our preference for it say about us?

In this article, we’re going to be uncovering exactly that. Keep reading to find out something new about your personality!

Finding Out What Your Hobbies Say About You

Many psychological studies show a direct link between our free time activities and personality. From cooking to photography, there is something out there for everyone. 

We choose one or a few options out of hundreds for a reason. That reason can teach you something you didn’t know about yourself. And even if you don’t have a hobby, that still says something about you!

Try to find your place in the list below. Let’s get into it.

Athletes

People who enjoy spending their time in sports like football, volleyball, tennis, cricket, or any other sweat breaking activity are often aggressive.

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Psychology links this to the excessive energy that their body needs to get rid of through physical activity.

Science regards to athletic bodies as mesomorphs. It links athletes to dynamic personalities, requiring action and change.

Such people are also incredibly assertive and hold back for nobody. So, if you were an athlete or a sport indulgent wondering what your hobbies say about you, there you have it.

You’re a strong personality with lots of potential for influence!

Bookworms

Readers often turn to books to get lost in fictional worlds that separate them from their own. Psychologically speaking, readers also have a thirst for knowledge that arises from their great curiosity.

Readers are also introverts, that enjoy secluded, quiet corners to read in peace.

Introverts are people who do not enjoy human interaction as much as others. Rather, they like to keep to themselves and their thoughts.

As a reader, you’ll be pleased to know that enthusiastic reading also speaks for a higher IQ. Good for you!

Cooking Enthusiasts

People who enjoy cooking are creative in their pursuit to create excellent results from mere ingredients. Cooking also shows good problem-solving and decision-making skills; this is because people who cook can create complex outcomes from simple things.

Cooking also involves innovation because it is rare that regular cooks stick to recipes religiously.

(We know that you like to experiment!)

People who like to cook are also eccentric people pleasers. They enjoy catering to others and receiving praise.

You can notice this pattern in times when cooking enthusiasts ask for feedback after serving a particular dish. It may or may not be true for you, though!

Photographers

People who enjoy taking snaps of the world around them are keen observers. They are detail-oriented and prone to take in every tiny aspect of certain situations.

Photographers also have a very strong preference for nature, vibrant colors, and joyful moments.

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They are incredibly artistic and have a unique perspective. Photographers capture moments that might go unnoticed to others.

They are also very detached from societal norms and do not have much dependence on others. Many people enjoy capturing moments with their camera, and if you’re one of them, you now know what your hobbies say about you.

Collectors

Nowadays, people collect everything, even the most bizarre of things — from stamps, buttons, jewelry to even the most expensive wines.

But regardless of what exactly it is that you collect, and if you’re a collector, you’ll be interested in knowing what your hobbies say about you. Psychology sure has something to say on the matter!

People often judge the tendency to collect things as hoarding, which may be a disorder in itself. But fear not, collecting is not dangerous enough to be classified as an illness.

Rather, collectors often forge sentimental connections to objects and hence people as well. They have quite an unrealistic view of life and enjoy majestic and durable comforts in abundance.

Gardeners

We often connect gardening with older people. However, it may be surprising to know that many people, regardless of the age group they fall into, enjoy gardening.

People who are involved in this activity are often calm and non-confrontational. They enjoy nurturing others, which shows in their care for plants.

Gardeners also enjoy quiet spaces to think and reflect. Much like readers, they are also introverts. However, they seem to avoid crowds a bit less.

Taking care of things is their jam. They are perfectionists in all aspects of their life.

Another surprising thing you may have noticed about yourself if you are a gardener is that you may have endless patience. That can’t be bad for you, can it?

Gamers

Video gaming, or gaming in general, has become a very popular hobby of young individuals. Gradually, it is spreading to older age groups as well.

But one thing that gamers have in common is that they enjoy spending time with people. You might find that a bit surprising!

Gamers are extroverts that are can easily carry themselves in social situations.

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Despite the common belief that gamers are rigid and hard to get along with, gamers are very open to new experiences and people.

However, common traits for aggressive and anxious personalities are also concerningly noticeable in addictive gamers.

Writers

Writers are people who enjoy having time for themselves. They like to process their thoughts by putting them down on a piece of paper.

Most writers have a strong imagination and like to spend time in their unique worlds. It isn’t a surprise to see a connection between people who enjoy reading and writing.

Writers are also often eager to learn and expand their understanding of the world around them.

If you are a writer, you can proudly say that you are a creative person who likes to evaluate their actions and learn new things.

People Without a Hobby

You might have asked yourself the question – is it normal not to have hobbies? 

Yes, it’s perfectly fine. Not only that, it can show you what kind of a person you are.

If you haven’t found an interesting activity to do in your free time, the chances are that you have a deep fear of failing. Either that or you are a very eccentric genius.

People who go through their lives without finding a hobby worth pursuing are mostly scared of starting at zero. The solution is to avoid committing to new things at all costs.

If you are in this group, you might realize that you enjoy picking up new hobbies, but rarely care enough to try and become a master at them. You are a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Conclusion

In a time and age of hustle-bustle where work and academic life are beyond strenuous, having a hobby is a breath of fresh air. Hobbies can also help you reduce stress and anxiety.

People with regular hobbies are often more upright and positive!

Ultimately, it is quite easy to spot that our hobbies are very clear reflections of the kind of people we are.

You can notice this in the way that we pursue activities that speak to us. A lot of people don’t believe in the notion that our hobbies say something about us.

But after reading this article, can you say the same?

Having hobbies and interests outside of the workplace allows you to explore your passions and become a more well-rounded person. While an interviewer may ask you to elaborate on the education and experiences listed on your resume, they may also ask what you like to do for fun or how you spend your time on the weekends. In this article, we show you how to determine your applicable hobbies and interests, relate them to the job you’re interviewing for and provide you an example to answer the question, “What are your hobbies and interests?”

Planning your answer

Take some time to evaluate your extracurricular activities and understand what potential value your personal hobbies and interests might have to your prospective employer. Here are some steps you can use to plan your answer:

1. Select applicable hobbies and interests

While you may have many interests and hobbies outside of work, it is wise to discuss those you can easily relate to your new position. Some common extracurricular activities to mention during an interview include:

  • Travel
  • Volunteering, community service or charity work
  • Sports such as competing on a team or in a league, hiking or other exercise
  • Creative arts, including writing, music, painting and crafts
  • Cooking or gardening

Read More: Listing Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume (With Examples)

2. Identify skills or qualities

You can select the most applicable extracurricular activities by determining what skills or qualities you developed with those activities. Make a list of your hobbies and interests, and then write out all the abilities and characteristics you gained or improved from each activity. Some options might include:

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  • Planning and organization skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork
  • Determination and commitment
  • Creative thinking and problem solving
  • Patience
  • Adaptability

Read More: 10 Best Skills to Include on a Resume

3. Find relations between your extracurricular activities and the job

You can compare the expectations in the job description to your list of hobbies and interests. This step allows you to make clear connections between your skills and those your interviewer is likely to discuss in your interview.

In addition to personal values, your extracurricular activities can also demonstrate a passion for your industry. If you are in a creative field, perhaps your hobbies include artistic expression such as writing or theater performance. You might also pursue professional opportunities involved with similar charities or causes you support outside of work.

To prepare a quality answer, consider:

  • Reviewing the job description. Many employers indicate the skills the company requires to perform daily responsibilities, as well as the preferred character traits of their desired candidate. Identify what qualities your potential employer requires for the job, and compare them to those from your extracurricular activities.

  • Researching the company. There are many resources that can provide you information on a company’s culture and values. The “About Us” page of a company website often includes their mission statement, history and various accomplishments they’re proud of. Their social media activity and external media coverage can also provide insight into what they value. Compare their company culture and values to the ones you embrace in your extracurricular hobbies and interests.

Read More: 21 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

How to answer “What are your hobbies and interests?”

Once you have a comprehensive list of your hobbies and interests with respective skills, qualities and values, you can plan a response to the question that clearly shows what unique value you can bring to this position. Follow these tips to craft a brief and compelling answer:

1. Identify the extracurricular activity.

Name one or a few applicable hobbies and interests. Providing one can keep your answer short and concise, and discussing two or three allows you to showcase your variety of extracurricular activities. Be sure to keep the description of your hobby or interest brief unless your interviewer asks you to elaborate.

2. Highlight your skills, qualities or values.

This part of your answer should refer to your comprehensive list of extracurricular activities. Discuss the activities that prepare you for training, tasks and other workplace success.

3. Relate the hobby or interest directly to the company.

Make it clear how your extracurricular activities make you a good fit for the company in terms of your values or passions. Consider discussing the company’s recent involvement in charity work or its positive employee reviews.

4. Use an example to show skills, qualities or values in action.

You can make your answer even more specific by providing a brief example of your hobby or interest. Try using the STAR method to identify a situation and the task you needed to complete. Then, outline your actions, and present the results. This strategy can help you focus on the important details and demonstrate your skills, qualities or values.

5. Discuss possible opportunities to use your extracurricular activity on the job.

Some of your extracurricular activities may be directly applicable to this particular position or company. Consider ending your response with a question about how you might be able to bring these specific skills or passions to the workplace. Asking your potential employer if they encourage community service, employ creative expression during coworker bonding activities or promote health and fitness goals among employees can show your interest in being an engaged member of the organization.

Read More: Interview Question: “Tell Me About Yourself” (Tips and Example Answers)

Example answers

Here are a few examples of quality answers that showcase the value of hobbies and interests to potential employers.

Example 1: Volunteer work

“Once a month, I volunteer at the local food bank. During my last volunteer shift, I was responsible for sorting dry goods so that each package contained a certain amount of each food. I organized the different cans and boxes by type, and I worked with the other volunteers to correctly bag the goods and provide food to the 300 community members in need.

Volunteering at the food bank not only introduces me to new people but also allows me to serve my community. I interact with many people of different backgrounds who share my passion for giving back. I understand that your company participates in a food drive that helps the food bank. Do you ever schedule company outings that include volunteering in the community?”

Example 2: Competing on a sports team

“I’ve played sports since high school, so I joined a local softball league to stay in shape and meet new people in the area. I’m the captain of our team this year, so I ask my team to show up an hour early to warm up and run some plays before the game. I even helped a fellow team member improve their swing. I encourage everyone to communicate during the game and try to keep each player involved so they can get more experience. I want to be a leader in my next employment position, and my experience as a team captain has provided me opportunities to conduct training and boost morale in tough situations.

I actually saw that you had a field day for your last company event. Do you commonly do outdoor activities for team outings?”

Example 3: Traveling

“I love traveling, and I try to take a trip every season. On my last trip to Boston, my flight was delayed, and I had a show to get to. As soon as I found out about the delay, I called my hotel to confirm a later check-in. I knew I would have enough time to make my show, but I scheduled my rideshare from the hotel to the theater to save time. Once I got to my hotel, I had about 10 minutes to settle into my room and then get into my rideshare to the theater.

Traveling allows me to adapt to new situations and use my organization and planning skills to ensure I have the most fun I can. I try to anticipate possible delays and other interruptions in my travel and always have a list of important contacts, such as my hotel front desk or travel coordinator. These strategies prepare me for many possible situations, which is how I approach my event and travel planning as an administrative assistant.”

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