A query about how you spend your free time might seem innocuous, but it should not be answered without thought.
Many interviewers try to understand who you are and gauge your personality through your extracurricular activities and interests. What we enjoy doing in our leisure time tells a lot about our personality and attitude to other people, work, and life.
What Do You Do in Your Free Time
Hiring managers are also people just like you and me and a sharing of interests or a common point of reference give you something to connect with. If there is a common sports interest or an interest in competitive quizzes or board games, then there is some shared discussion point. It conveys that you like to keep yourself engaged in stimulating pursuits, Have interests outside work, and can be a team player.
Before you interview for a job, try to check the social media profiles of the people expected to sit in on your panel and find some common points of interest. 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.
Employers are looking for wholesome personalities. If you are applying for an office-bound job and then you say your hobby is coding or something home-bound, then it is bound to raise questions of a healthy lifestyle.
Employers do not want pale, de-energized people to come into work. Employers know the statistics, and today’s average worker reports more sick than previously. No employer wants loss of man-hours due to ill-formed habits.
If you are into activities that promote good health–walking, power hiking, running, cycling, yoga, meditation, and other, you should mention it in your interview. Companies prefer to hire people with high energy levels, people who won’t be sick every other week.
If you say that you like to learn new things and are enrolled in classes or groups or associations that keep you updated that will also earn you some brownie points.
People who never stop learning and enjoy the process are impressive and make good workers. Additionally, if you are involved in non-work activities that are either directly or indirectly related to your profession and/or professional development, this is a great time to bring it up.
This doesn’t mean that you have to enroll in ten online courses. It’s just about how you enjoy checking industry news in your leisure time, or sometimes travel to a conference or watch a documentary, or something similar.
It is your attitude to new things that is conveyed.
If you have family issues or are hard-pressed for time due to illness or responsibilities at home, you can calmly say to you do not have any leisure time, as long as you explain why.
Once you show that you are a responsible human being and are committed to carrying out your responsibilities and do not mind the hours you have to put in , it coveys that you are a reliable and conscientious person. And that’s important for each employer.
Also mention that you are not burdened and find time for some leisure activities and to do something for your health.
Do not bring up any controversial topics such as politics or religion.
If you are a student, then talk about student activities or clarify that recent times have been spent in preparing for interviews or studies.
If you like reading, keep abreast and mention the books or articles or movies you have read or seen and not randomly name some to impress. Mention community service or activities that you do as a volunteer or mentor.
Do not bring up any controversial topics such as politics or religion. Or convey that you find the question frivolous or intrusive.