The common interview question- 'What do you do for fun?' may seem lighthearted in nature; however the true intention of the question is really a deep personal inquiry. This question and others such as 'what are your hobbies' are meant to get to the root of a person. The types of activities that someone enjoys can tell you quite a bit about that individual. Considering that the hiring manager will most likely spend quite a bit of time with the individual who is hired- it is in the interviewers interest to make sure that the candidate will mesh well with the department and the company culture as a whole.
Understanding the true meaning of this type of question can help prepare you to give a proper answer during your interview. Not only can you provide a good response- you can utilize this question to your advantage and make sure that you leave a lasting impression with the hiring parties and that you stand out among other applicants. Review the following tips on how to answer the question as well as a few examples to ensure that you are headed in the right direction.
How to Answer the "What Do You Do for Fun?" Interview Question
Keep It Simple: Make sure that your answer is positive and to the point. Even if you have a vast and adventurous social life- do not try to mention all of your interests or list them off. Select a few hobbies that you enjoy and share them. If you have any particularly intriguing talents or stories- feel free to mention them here- but do not be longwinded. This is your opportunity to give interviewers a perspective of you as a person to further shape their opinion of you. Try to provide a well-rounded view supported with a few brief details.
Be Honest: Do not make up stories to try to impress the interviewer. This is a common mistake among interviewees. If you notice memorabilia that indicates the interviewer is involved in certain hobbies- claiming that you are interested in the same activities when you are truly not can backfire- and once you are found to be a liar it is very hard to recover. However- if you are interested in a hobby that is similar to a hobby of the interviewer you may choose to speak to that activity. Just make sure that any information you share is completely genuine.
Do Not Divert: One of the worst things that you can do to answer the question 'What do you do for fun?' or other interview questions for that matter- is by stating things that you do not like to do. Also- you should not try to avoid the question or any other interview questions- because it might appear that you are trying to hide something. Even if you do not have many hobbies- speak about things that you enjoy doing as pastimes. Show genuine interest and share what makes those things enjoyable for you.
Avoid Extreme Activities: Extreme or dangerous activities can be fun but may not be the best choice to share during an interview. Such hobbies can paint you in a negative light or make hiring you seem like a risk. Granted- some extreme sports such as skydiving may be considered to show a healthy streak for adventure; however- you should avoid mentioning certain activities that could bring your morals into question- such as partying or drinking. Remember- as an employee you will be a representative of the company- and a negative view of you could reflect negatively upon the company. Do not give the interviewer any reason to hesitate in hiring you.
Sample "What Do You Do for Fun?" Interview Answers
1. I really enjoy cooking. Last year I took a French cooking course at the local market. I like to create meals and share them with my family and friends. I also enjoy visiting new restaurants- then trying the recipes out at home. Outside of the kitchen I enjoy going to the movies and singing karaoke. My husband used to play basketball so we do attend live games on occasion. I have to admit the sport is growing on me.
2. For fun I love to spend quality time with my family and friends. It doesnt take much to please me. Whether were making a meal together and watching a movie- or enjoying a day of shopping- I am happy. I also like to try new restaurants- especially family-owned and operated establishments. When Im by myself I really enjoy reading a good book. I love how fiction can help me to get out of my head and relax.
Though 'What do you do for fun?' and similar interview questions may feel like lighthearted topics- keep in mind that they are meant to uncover deep information about you. Keep the tips and examples in mind to help you craft the perfect answer.