How to best answer the interview question ‘What are your passions?’

Read on to learn how to answer this popular interview question without seeming like a robot or saying the wrong thing!


Team KT

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Published: Fri 10 Mar 2023, 10:28 AM

Last updated: Fri 17 Mar 2023, 11:21 AM

What are your passions? This is a question that you can expect to be asked in any job interview.

This question is designed to gauge your personality and interests beyond your professional experience. Your professional qualifications might overlap and prove to be similar to that of the other candidates interviewing for the role. But this question presents an opportunity to show your unique interests and set you apart from the others there for the same role.

What are some variations of this question?

While this question is quite common, hiring committees might not always ask it in this precise form. A few other variations of this question are:

-What are your favourite hobbies?

-What are some other interests of yours?

-What do you like to do when you’re not working?

-What activity excites you the most?

-If you had a day off and could do anything you wanted, what would you choose to do?

-What do you find yourself talking about most frequently?

If you encounter any of the above-mentioned questions, have no fear – it’s the same thing we’re talking about.

Why do interviewers ask this question?

To finalise a good answer, it would help to understand why is it that hiring committees ask this question in the first place. Interviewers ask this question to get an idea about your personality and interests that lay outside the domain of your work. Your professional qualifications and track record can show how capable you are at your job, but it might not always give the complete picture of how you are as a person and a co-worker. They want to know who you are once you step outside the threshold of the office and how that person ties into the one they know.

A person with passions is one who is engaging, creative, and motivated. Your passions give interviewers a glance into your priorities and other interests. Knowing what drives you also gives interviewers an idea as to how well your passions align with your job and how committed to your role and to learning you will be.

How to answer this question effectively?

Be truthful and authentic:

The first thing to remember while answering this question is to stick to the truth. Interviewers often care more about the passion with which you present the answer than the answer itself. They can easily identify fake or invented passions, so it's best to speak about something that genuinely excites you.

Relate your passion to the job:

When discussing your passion, try to relate it to the job you are applying for. This will show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the role and have thought about how your passion can contribute to the company. A good example of related passions would be art for someone interviewing for a graphic designer role or book-collecting for someone looking to be a librarian.

Talk about how your passion helps you grow:

While answering this question, along with mentioning the passion itself, adding how that passion has enabled you to improve and grow as a person will get you extra brownie points from the hiring committee. For example, if you’re passionate about gardening, mention how it has helped cultivate patience and discipline in you. If your passion is travelling, you could also talk about how it has opened your eyes to new cultures and made you more inclusive and aware of newer and better ways of doing things.

Keep it professional while making it fun:

While it's important to keep your answers professional and clean, don’t forget that interviewers don’t have a perfect answer in mind. Open-ended questions like this are posed to identify your creativity and passion outside the work. The more genuine you are, the better it will reflect on you as a well-rounded individual with a life worth living! However, talking about controversial topics or hobbies might make the interviewer uncomfortable. Also, never talk about passions that might conflict with the job you’re applying for.

Therefore, if this question is asked in an interview, don’t panic. Instead, use it as an opportunity to showcase your more creative sides in a way that relates well to the role you’re interviewing for. Be honest and specific and have fun with it!

For more interview questions and answers, click here.

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