Life is an adventure, a story that unfolds in front of your eyes in every second. Passion is a virtue, not a vice. Employers and recruiters realize that people who have some fire within, people who can still become enthusiastic about things (both inside and outside of work) are the best employees.
Oppositely, people who are bored with their own life, people who are old in their souls, people with no sparkle in the eye, just spoil the atmosphere in the workplace. They bring in negativity, doubts, and boredom. Once you have several such employees working together, they can take the morale of an entire team down.
Summarized and underlined, it makes a perfect sense to ask about your passions in a job interview. Though not a typical question, you should definitely prepare for it in advance. Like it or not, you may get in an every good company.
Let’s have a look at a brief analysis of the question–and how you should answer it. Then I will show you several sample answers (good answers) to the question.
Any passion is better than none
First of all, you should have some passion. Whether you enjoy doing some sports, playing video games, tasting excellent French wines, exploring exotic countries, or even doing something more peculiar–passion is a passion.
The worst thing you can do is saying you have nothing in life–nothing that makes you feel great, nothing you look forward to in the evening (or on weekends), nothing that sends butterflies to your belly.
Your passion does not have to sound exciting–but your voice does
You do not necessarily have to go for something extraordinary, dangerous, adventurous, or something nobody else does.
Reading crime books, gardening, taking care of your dog (and doing everything that goes in hand with it) are all excellent passions. The key is to show some enthusiasm with both your verbal and non-verbal communication (check also body language in an interview). The interviewers should feel that you really are passionate about the thing–and do not just pretend an interest.
Connect your passion with your field of work
Taking this one step further, you can try connecting your passion with your filed of work, or study. You do not necessarily have to (hobbies that have nothing to do with your occupation are fine as well), but if you can find something, you should give it a shot.
Let me show you some examples, talking about popular job choices. If you apply for a job at school (or any job in education), you can say that you are passionate about the mental world of children, that you read a lot of books on the subject, or do other things while to understand their world better (which will certainly help you in your work).
If you apply for a job in bank, you can say that financial markets (or even money and the way they circulate in our economy) fascinates you.
Applying for management job (if you do so, check also management interview questions), or any other role where communication plays the prime, you can say that you are passionate about people, that you find it interesting to work with different personalities, and finding ways to help everyone reach their full potential.
In all of these examples, your passion actually helps you to become better in your job–and every interviewer will be happy to hear such an answer.
Advanced interview technique–try to connect with the interviewers by sharing their passion
Before looking at some sample answers, I would like to explain you a powerful technique of answering this question. It works in relationships in general, and it can do wonders in job interviews.
The trick is to connect with your interviewer by something the two of you have in common (or at least you pretend to share their passion).
Now, how can you know what fascinates your interviewers? How can you know their passions? You have two options to find out. First one is researching about them prior to your interview. If you know the name of your interviewer, try to find their profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Seeing their pictures, and things they share publicly, you should be able to deduce at least something about their life and hobbies. Whether they have children, what they enjoy doing in their free time, etc.
Look around the interview room
If you managed to find nothing, or if have no idea who’s going to lead the interview with you (perhaps you talked only with the secretary), you can still use this technique.
Look around the office. Stay present. Try to absorb as much information as you can. The pictures on the walls, the clothes the interviewers wear, the pen they use–all of this can give you some idea of the person and perhaps their hobbies–and about something the two of you have in common.
Once you identified such a thing (be it a hobby or anything else), you can talk about it once asked about your passion. This will help you to connect with your interviewer on a personal level, and such a connection is priceless… Keep it on your mind, and keep your eyes (and ears) open.
Sample answers to the question
* Note: All of us have different passions and dreams. Take these answers as an inspiration only, as something that can help you formulate your own excellent answer. You should not simply copy it word to word and use it as your interview answer…
- I enjoy everything outdoors. Hiking, running, riding a mountain bike, I am simply passionate about moving and breathing fresh air. It also helps me to keep fit, which, I believe, is important for every person.
- My two children are my greatest passion. I love playing with them, educating them, and basically spending quality time together. Of course they are also my driving force, they motivate me to get a good job and to keep it, so I can provide for them.
- I am passionate about motorcycles. Driving them, repairing them, reading magazines. It is actually one of the reasons why I applied for a job with you. In your company I can connect what I love with what I do for a living. That would be a dream come true.
- Books are my biggest passion. An avid reader, I enjoy spending long evenings in a comfy chair, absorbing words of my favorite authors, reliving their adventures in my imagination. And what about you? Do you also enjoy reading books?
- I enjoy learning languages. Currently I try to learn French. I believe it’s an useful skill for a career in tourism and hospitality, and I also enjoy it a lot.
Conclusion, answers to all tricky interview questions
Interview question about your passions, or hobbies, should not surprise you. Show the interviewers (with both your words and non-verbal communication) that you have something to live for, that you are enthusiastic about life, and will bring some positive energy to the workplace.
Try to learn something about the passions (and lives) of your interviewers. If possible, use the knowledge to connect with them on a personal level, sharing the same hobbies.
If you get a chance, try to find some relation between your hobbies and your new job, so they can clearly see how you will benefit from it once working for them…
Ready to answer this one? Great, but it isn’t the only tricky question you will face in your interview. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other tricky scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will help you streamline your interview preparation, and eventually outclass your competitors and get the job. It can be the part of the puzzle you are missing on your way to a great employment contract. Thank you for checking it out, and I wish you good luck in your interviews!
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