How we spend our free time tells a lot about our personality and energy levels. Many interviewers may inquire about your hobbies, or what you enjoy doing when you aren’t working. They try to understand who you are, and what they can expect from you in work. The question can be put in many different ways, for example “Please describe three activities that you most enjoy in your free time“, or “What do you enjoy doing on weekends?“, or “What do you like to do outside of work?

At the end of the day though, they are always asking about the same thing, and the 7 sample answers on my list will work for any wording of the question. Below the answers you will find a short analysis of this question, and a few suggestions that should help you formulate your perfect interview answer to this question.

 

Sample answers to “What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?” interview question

  1. I enjoy going for a walk, or for a hike in the nature. As a market research analyst I spend most of my days in front of a computer, which obviously isn’t the healthiest thing. That’s why I try to minimize the screen time when outside of work, to give my eyes and my back a rest that they deserve. Basically you can say that I enjoy being outside and moving when I am not working.
  2. I love to read books on human psychology, real stories, and also philosophical novels. First of all I enjoy reading them, but I also believe that they help me to broaden my horizons, and to learn a lot of things which I can use in my work in sales. If nothing else, they help me improve on my vocabulary and communication skills, and also they help my mind relax a bit.
  3. To be honest with you, outside of work I simply enjoy lying on a couch, reading a good book, or watching a good movie. In my present employment I do a lot of physical work, and typically arrive home tired. I learned to listen to my body and it demands rest, so I give it to it. On weekends, however, I like to do short trips or ride a motorbike in the countryside.
  4. Leisure time? I do not really have any, to be honest. My kids are still small, and once I come back from work I try to be with them as much as I can. They demand attention, and I try to play with them and answer all their questions, because I know it matters for them. I do not want to say that I do not enjoy my time with them–quite the contrary, it’s great. But it’s not really a leisure time. Anyway, that’s life, I enjoy my role of a father, and so far I’ve managed to do a good job both as an employee and a family man. I hope to continue in the same trend in your company, if you hire me, of course.

* May also interest you: 15 most common interview questions and answers.

  1. In my free time, and especially on weekends, I enjoy socializing. Going out for a cup of coffee or for some healthy snack, meeting friends. My work is a sort of a lonely ride, and when I am not working I try to make up for the time I spend alone. But it’s not only about drinking or having fun. I also try to help my friends, with whatever they need. Someone builds a house, another one needs a help with his car repair, and so on. I do what I can.
  2. Sports are my greatest passion. When I have some free time, I take a bicycle and go for a ride, or hit the swimming pool and spend an hour in the water. I try to have a healthy lifestyle. Considering how much time we spend sitting in work, I try to move as much I can while I am not working. It’s my way of staying healthy, and so far it’s been working great.
  3. This really depends on my mood and energy levels. On some days I feel great and try to organize something for friends, or I work in the garden, or just walk around enjoying the sunshine. On some other days, however, I am tiered. That’s the time to just listen to some music, or watch a documentary movie on my laptop, or even sleep…  The three activities that I most enjoy in my free time though gardening, socializing, and sleeping.

 

Your outside of work activities can help you connect with your interviewers

Hiring managers and recruiters are people, just like you or me. They also have their hobbies and activities they enjoy doing in their leisure time.

And just like everyone else, they enjoy spending time with people who think on the same wavelength, and perhaps share the same passion for something (be it art, sports, anything).

Before you interview for a job, try to check their LinkedIn profiles or even Facebook profiles online. Check the professional groups they belong to, stuff they post about. This should give you an idea of the activities they enjoy doing in their leisure time. And if you share any passion with them, mention it when they inquire about your leisure time activities. Shared passion can be a bridge you can walk across to win them over, and to subsequently win your new job contract.

* Special Tip: This questions is relatively easy, but you will face many tricky questions while interviewing for any decent job. 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 and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!

 

Active lifestyle will always win you some extra points

Employers know the statistics, and the Achilles heel of today’s average worker. People are sick ever more often. We struggle with energy levels, and without a cup of coffee in the morning many of us wouldn’t even be able to leave the house… We battle with illnesses and addictions.

If you devote yourself to any activities that promote good health–walking, power hiking, running, cycling, yoga, meditation, and other, you should definitely mention it in your interview. Even if you are just starting (or perhaps you only went for your first run yesterday), you should still mention it.

Companies prefer to hire people with high energy levels, people who won’t be sick every other week. Ensure them that you do what you can to stay healthy.

woman jogs, illustrates the active lifestyle

Learning never stops for the best in any field

Another leisure time activity that will impress the interviewers is learning. World evolves quickly (actually the pace is quite crazy). A technology or an information that made wonders for us a year ago may fail to deliver any results today. People who never stop learning (and enjoy the process) are the best employees.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to enroll in ten online courses, or read five new books each month. It’s just about saying that perhaps you enjoy checking industry news in your leisure time, or sometimes travel to a conference or watch a documentary on weekends, or anything. Your attitude matters for the interviewers. If they see that you enjoy learning new things in your leisure time, you will win some extra points for your interview answer.

* Do not forget to check: How to dress for an interview – 4 things to consider when choosing clothes to wear.

Having no spare time is also fine (and a sad reality of many of us :))

If you have a family, or care for someone else after work (your elderly mother, for example), or even have another job (part time waiter in a restaurant, for example), you can calmly say to you do not have any leisure time, as long as you explain why.

Once you show them that you are a responsible mother or father, or son, or that you have your goals (or debts) and do not mind working extra hours each day to make some extra cash, you present yourself as an responsible individual, someone they would be able to rely on. And that’s important for each employer…

 

Conclusion, sample answers to more difficult interview questions

Each interview answer is important. The activities that we enjoy doing in our free time tell a lot about our personality, and attitude to other people, work, and life.

Try to show them that you aren’t bored from life, that you do not live only to work. You enjoy your spare time, do something for your health, some passion still burns within you, at least for some activities.

Last but not least, if you identify a hobby you share with your interviewer, talk about it in an interview. It can help you to connect with them on a rather personal level, and such connection is priceless for your eventual success in the interview…

Ready to answer this one, but not ready yet to ace your interview? Check our Interview Success Package 2.0 for sample answers to 104 interview questions–including all tricky scenario-based questions. Learn how to answer all difficult questions, impress the hiring managers, and leave them with one option only–to offer you a job at the end of the interview.

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Matthew Chulaw
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