"What do you do in your spare time?"
Wait...what? Umm...I sleep in my spare time and run a Justin Beiber Fan page. Is that an acceptable answer?
This question is meant to give an insight into your personality and interests.
While there are no wrong answers, you'll need to show that you're a good fit with the company culture, what you're like to work with, and how well you'll get on with your co-workers.
How to Answer "What Do You Do in Your Spare Time"
Employers are looking for people with brilliant soft skills, so this is your opportunity to highlight yours.
Prepare an answer that shows teamwork, achievement, and commitment.
Volunteering & Team Activities: Now is the time to mention your volunteering experience or that you're part of a sports or debate team. You can talk about causes close to your heart. Employers recognize the initiative and commitment involved.
Hobbies: Talk about what helps you relax and have fun, but remember, watching Netflix is not a hobby.
What NOT To Say Answering "What Do You Do in Your Spare Time"
Lies: Interviewers can spot a lie and you don't want to ruin your chances. So, think twice before saying, "I like reading!" if you don't, because you might be stuck if they ask for a book recommendation.
Oversharing: Give detailed information in the shortest time possible. Talking too much may lead the interviewer to lose concentration, especially if they don’t share your passion for a certain hobby.
Controversial Answers: Avoid sensitive topics like politics, religion, or anything that puts you in a bad light (ie. drinking).
Dwight, a father of two young kids, has almost no spare time to himself. How should he respond to, "What do you do in your spare time?"
Here's How It's Done!
Here are some sample answers to this curveball question!
"In my free time, I enjoy socializing. Going out for a cup of coffee or dinner with my friends and family is my idea of fun. I am a people person."
"Sports are my passion. When I have some free time, I take my bicycle and go for a ride, or hit the swimming pool. I try to have a healthy lifestyle."
"I volunteer with an organization, Rumie, to help make education accessible to all. I get great satisfaction from it and it's a great way to meet like-minded people!"
Whatever your hobbies and interests may be, from gardening to video games or volunteering, use this part of your interview as an opportunity to show off your curiosity, dedication, and creativity.
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This Byte has been authored by
L&D Specialist/Corporate ESL Trainer