In an interview, hiring managers aren’t just looking to see if you can do a job; they’re curious about your personality, too.
So when the interviewer asks, “What do you do for fun?” or, “What do you like to do in your spare time?” you should generally be honest, but there are still some bad answers and mistakes to avoid.
So in this article, I’m going to walk you through:
- Why do hiring managers ask “what do you do for fun” and how to give an answer that will impress them.
- Sample activities and hobbies to help you create a great answer.
- Sample Answers to “What Do You Like to Do for Fun?”
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Why Do Interviewers Ask “What Do You Do For Fun?”
You may be wondering why hiring managers inquire about “What Do You Do For Fun?” during an interview.
A hiring manager or other interviewer may inquire about your hobbies, interests, and life outside of work for a variety of reasons.
For starters, they may be asking you this type of question to see if you are a good cultural fit for the company.
Expect at least a few interview questions designed to determine if you’ll fit in with the current team and culture.
So, when answering, keep your audience in mind, and try to read up on the company culture and current team before your interview.
There are two more reasons why employers might ask a question like, “What do you like to do for fun?”, which is the interviewer may be attempting to make small talk and ask a less demanding and difficult question.
This is why they may also inquire, “What can you tell me about yourself?” and “Can you walk me through your resume?”
Finally, employers want to know what you like to do for fun or in your leisure time because they want to get to know you as a person.
This is especially true if you are interviewing with the hiring manager, i.e., the person to whom you will report if hired.
You’ll be spending a lot of time together each day, so it’s natural for them to want to know more about you than just your job skills.
At the very least, if they’re good managers who care about their team, it’s instinctual for them to be interested in your hobbies and other skills.
In most cases, there is no hidden or undisclosed reason why you are being asked this question in the interview, but you should try to sound honest while still maintaining your audience in mind in terms of the interviewer’s personality, as well as the employer’s work environment and company culture.
How To Answer Interview Question About What You Do For Fun
When being asked in an interview about “what do you do for fun” you can outline all your interests and explain why you enjoy them.
If you find it interesting to share, you could also mention how you got started with a particular hobby. This is obvious in some of the sample examples and answers provided below.
And don’t be concerned if your answer isn’t particularly interesting in general; what matters is that these interests are interesting to you.
By discussing hobbies or skills that you truly enjoy and find interesting, the interviewer will be able to see and appreciate that you’re being genuine and that you have interests outside of work.
Hiring managers recruit employees who are well-rounded and have interests outside of work.
It is entirely voluntary to list a job-related skill as one of your interests.
Of course, if you have a skill or hobby that is relevant to the job you’re interviewing for, you should absolutely mention it.
For example, If you’re applying for a job at Adidas. it’s a good idea to mention that you enjoy sports and also name your two or three favorites.
If you’re applying for a job at a publishing company, you could start your response by discussing how you spend some of your free time reading novels or other types of publications.
Nevertheless, I recommend that you do not say anything false in your response.
This will only put you at risk of being asked follow-up questions and having to lie even more and this could cost you a job offer on a question that wasn’t meant to be difficult.
When answering this question, you can also try to find common ground with the interviewer.
Consider walking into the interviewer’s office and noticing a few tennis trophies on their desk.
You could mention this if you used to or still play tennis. You could bring it up right away, or you could wait until they ask what you enjoy doing for fun and then include it in your response.
The more relationships you can establish in your interviews by getting to know the other person, sharing a few details about yourself, and identifying any common experiences or interests, the more memorable you will be.
Ideas for Answering “What Do You Do For Fun”
The list below is simply intended to provide you with a variety of ideas to help you brainstorm a couple of topics to discuss in your response to the question, “What Do You Do For Fun” during an interview.
- Arts and crafts
- Board games and puzzles
- Collecting (coins, antiques, gems, etc.)
- Family gatherings
- Graphic design or digital art
- Hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities
- Music (playing or listening)
- Painting, drawing, or other visual art
- Restoring old items (such as cars, other types of machinery, musical instruments, etc.)
- Sculpture, carpentry, etc.
- Side hustles or side businesses (as long as you think it won’t raise concerns from this employer)
- Software development
- Studying a language
- Sports (both traditional sports as well as sports like archery)
- Video games (only recommended in tech-related industries)
These are far from the only hobbies and interests you can mention in your response.
What Not To Say When You Answer the question, “What Do You Do For Fun”
While none of these answers are particularly bad, I strongly advise that you refrain from saying that you find the following enjoyable just to be on the safe side.
Since you never know what preferences or judgments your interviewer has, it’s wise to avoid the following topics in your response.
- Video games (unless you are applying for tech jobs)
- Anything tobacco-, cannabis-, or alcohol-related
- Anything political, such as attending rallies or marches (it’s up to you how strongly you feel about this, and you have the final say when answering the question, but I’m simply advising that different interviewers will take this in different ways so it may be best to avoid the topic entirely
- Anything illegal, such as street racing
- Anything vague, like “spending time with friends”; you’re better off naming specific examples as seen in the list of ideas above. One exception is if you say you enjoy being with your family, which is fine.
- Hunting (again, you don’t know the interviewer’s beliefs, so why risk it?)
- Religion or specific cultural beliefs that might not be accepted by all
Sample Answers To “What Do You Like To Do For Fun?”
You’ll find sample answers to the question “What Do You Do For Fun?” below.
It’s worth noting that, while the first sample answer mentions being interested in your work and career, there’s no need to mention it if it’s not true. And there are plenty of examples below that make no mention of work or career.
Sample Answer 1:
Believe it or not, I love working in <type of job>. But outside of work, I also enjoy playing acoustic guitar, mountain biking, and listening to music.
Sample Answer 2:
I do a couple of different sports for fun, including basketball and hiking.
I also enjoy cooking, so one thing that I do for fun and in my spare time is to learn and try new recipes.
Sample Answer 3:
In my spare time, I volunteer at a couple of local non-profit organizations, primarily <organization name>.
I enjoy giving back to the local community since I grew up here, so that’s something I’ve done for years. I also enjoy watercolor painting.
Sample Answer 4:
In my spare time, I enjoy writing and reading, mostly fiction. That’s one reason why I’m applying to publish companies like yours.
I think it’d be exciting to work in an industry that’s closely related to what I enjoy such as reading and writing.
I also like to study foreign languages, so that’s one other hobby that I spend a significant amount of time on.
Sample Answer 5:
I have two main hobbies: collecting coins and archery.
My father got me into collecting coins from the places we traveled when I was a child and I’ve kept up the hobby since. And I enjoy the outdoors, so I’ve found archery to be a great way to stay healthy and get to spend more time outside.
I also watch archery competitions. I know it’s not the most popular sport but it’s a fascinating skill to watch.
Sample Answer 6:
I enjoy board games and puzzles. Scrabble is one of my favorites to play with friends, and I even play online at times.
I also like word search puzzles and crossword puzzles.
Sample Answer 7:
I keep a couple of large saltwater fish tanks with a variety of fish at my home, and that occupies a good amount of my time on weekends and is something I enjoy.
I also like to volunteer at a local organization that helps inner-city children get involved in positive and safe activities after school. It’s called <organization name>.
When the interviewer asks, “What Do You Do For Fun”, list two to three hobbies.
Aim to share areas of genuine interest because you may be asked follow-up questions, and you may discover that the hiring manager has similar interests and wants to discuss them.
For example, if you say you enjoy watching movies, they may assume you’re a big movie fan and begin asking you about your favorite genres.
This type of conversation can foster positive relationships with hiring managers, but only if your initial response is truthful.
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