What is your passion?
Your passions are the activities you enjoy doing during your spare time. It may be hard to understand how your hobbies relate to your job application. However, most employers want to know what inspires and motivates their workforce.
You've rehearsed the answers to standard questions, like accomplishments and job duties. Now don't overlook the value of describing what you do for fun. Learn what talent scouts are looking for in your answer, so when the hiring manager drops the often awkward question "What are your passions?" you'll wow them with your response.
How to be authentic about my passion
The best way to highlight your leisure activities is to be your authentic self. If you’re truly excited about something, your enthusiasm will shine through. After all, you can’t fake passion.
These tips will help you convey what moves you while sounding sincere:
- Focus on one or two hobbies or activities that bring you joy.
- Practice telling your personal story in a mirror until it feels natural.
- Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
Employers aren’t looking for the “perfect” answer to this personal question. They’re more interested in learning more about you, and sharing your hobbies is a terrific way to show what drives you.
When what's your passion IS your career
The primary goal of an interview is for employers and candidates to get to know each other. A dollop of personal insight, beyond what’s written on your resume, could set you apart from other applicants. The best companies are looking for employees who have a zest for life, not a boring desk jockey.
If your career is your passion, take advantage of these best ways to explain this to a potential employer:
- Explain self-taught skills and how they apply.
- Show how your passions drive you to succeed.
- Explain why you love your job.
Learn more: Looking for a new job? Start here.
My passion is unrelated to work
Your passions say a lot about you, and having a balanced life outside of the office is just as important as the technical skills you bring to the table. Smart recruiters can tell the difference between the kind of employee that works to live and vice versa.
Your passions don’t have to be directly related to the job. They can be just about any activity you enjoy, like:
- Creative arts
- Health and fitness
- Making music
- Writing and blogging
- Cooking and baking
- Collecting coins and other items
While it may feel awkward talking about your extracurricular activities when they don’t relate to your prospective position, most employers want to know that you pursue what makes you happy and it will demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded person.
My passion is evolving
Not everyone is an avid needleworker or a whiz at portrait photography. If you can’t think of something you’re enthusiastic about, don’t worry. Depending on where you are in life, you may not have a clearly defined passion, or maybe the things that used to excite you don’t anymore.
Use these ideas to help you formulate a few talking points:
- Where is your time focused when you’re not at work?
- How would you spend a free day if you could do anything you want?
- Mention a lifelong dream or a future goal.
While you might not think you’re particularly passionate about anything right now, even activities like cooking dinner can be a good starting point. Share the things you enjoy most about it — even if it’s eating! Being a foodie is definitely a passion worth talking about.
How to avoid going overboard about my passion
When relating how you spend your weekends, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. The best way to avoid monopolizing the conversation is to limit your answer to a few sentences. While showcasing your hobbies during your job search, the last thing you want to do is go on a 10-minute monologue about the exciting aspects of flying your drone.
- Steer clear of controversial subjects. All of the traditional work-place taboos, such as politics and religion, are off-limits during your meeting with personnel. You don’t want to offend anyone because of your zest for political protests.
- Be honest. If you love mountain biking, avoid the temptation to over or understate your skills. The hiring manager may share your passion for two-wheels. Your mutual enjoyment may make it’s easy to embellish your triumphant story about conquering a particularly challenging trail.
- Limit personal details. While you do want to give your future employer a glimpse into your life outside the office, being too personal may backfire. Steer clear of family drama and health concerns.
- Maintain your professionalism. Do your best to ensure your interviewer feels comfortable during the discussion by keeping your communication upbeat and professional.
What are your passions? Real-world examples
Having a few pre-prepared examples will help you confidently answer any question the recruiter may throw at you. During your next interview, personalize these tried and true examples to help describe your passions:
Volunteering is an honorable pastime. It offers employers a rare insight into your giving nature and demonstrates your character and concern for others. Consider saying:
“My passion is volunteering. Giving back to the community has given me the chance to not only work with seniors but also to learn about how a nonprofit organization operates.”
Another example is:
“I have quite a few interests, although I’ve recently spent time volunteering. I spend four hours every Saturday at the Humane Society. I enjoy working with animals, and this opportunity has honed my organizational skills in that I’m required to keep detailed records of the care I provide to the shelter’s residents.
If crafting keeps you busy during your off-hours, mention it to your potential employer. Artistic projects demonstrate more than mere creativity. They indicate an attention to detail, the ability to follow detailed instructions, and the capacity to think outside the box. If you’re artsy, you might say:
“Let me tell you about my passion for leatherworking. I love using my hands to create something beautiful. This diversion requires focus, concentration, and a lot of patience. Luckily, as a customer support specialist, I have years of experience honing these qualities.”
Tie your activities to the job by indicating:
One of my hobbies is painting. I noticed the company’s mural in the break room during my tour. Being able to contribute to that painting is attractive because even just five minutes of creativity during the day dramatically boosts my productivity.
Health and Fitness
Wellness hobbies often indicate that candidates like you have the energy and vitality to get the job done. It’s a terrific way to manage stress and often equates to fewer sick days away from the office. Share your wellness activities by mentioning:
“I’m a competitive runner and spend most of my free time training for my next race. My vacation time is usually spent traveling around the country, taking on new challenges. This sport has given me drive and focus to achieve all of my goals, on the track and from my desk.”
If you spend your mornings at the gym, your answer to “what’s your passion” might be:
“My health is one of my top priorities, and I’m dedicated to improving my fitness level. I work out nearly every day. It’s helped me to stay disciplined, and my wellness journal allows me to keep track of my immediate and long-term goals.”
If your hobbies are work-related, such as attending seminars, reading professional journals, and taking classes that improve your skillset, share this information with the hiring manager. Let them know that:
One of my favorite extracurricular activities is keeping up with my professional development. With my certifications, I’m required to complete various courses each year. I prefer learning in a traditional classroom setting due to the comradery.
Connect what you love to do with the job’s actual responsibilities, like this:
“I’ve recently developed a fascination with the stock market. While my expertise is in customer support, learning and discussing my new passion has helped improve my communication skills.”
Your passions are an important part of who you are and how you see the world. They influence every aspect of your life, including your performance at work. Use these tips to develop your best answers to “What is your passion?” and land that perfect new job. Click here to discover real interview questions asked for thousands of job titles.