Picture this: you are applying for a job, you got a call for an interview and you are preparing a few answers. You come across the question: what are you passionate about? You ask yourself if you should answer about that one thing that truly interests you although it has nothing to do with the company or the position you are applying for.
When an interviewer asks about your passions, they want to know if you are a well-rounded person. Even if your answer is not directly related to the role, it will allow the interviewer to see that you are someone who follows through with what you believe in.
What the interviewer wants to know
Companies want to know more about you more than if you meet the job requirements and you are a good technical fit for the position. They ask about your passions for various reasons. For example, they might ask about your hobbies and interests to find out your personal values. The question helps the employer identify whether you have a life outside of work and if you would be able to keep a work-life balance, which is highly important.
How to answer the question: what are you passionate about?
1. Start with why
There should be a purpose behind your passions. Being able to transmit how committed you are to something you strongly believe in begins with “why”. Ask yourself what makes you so intrinsically motivated to carry out that activity. Tell your interviewer about experiences you have had that lead you to believe in this thing that motivates you so much.
2. Select something that genuinely interests and excites you
You may be a person with multiple interests, and that is completely normal. However, sometimes it is best to focus on one of those passions that interest you a bit more than the others. That way you will be able to convey to the interviewer your greatest passion in the best way possible.
3. Pick a passion you are knowledgeable about
Nothing could be worse than being asked something in the interview and respond with something you are not knowledgeable about. You never know who the person on the other end of the call is, and what they are passionate about. It could be that they are also excited about, let’s say basketball, and they ask you about it and you are not totally involved in it, then you won’t give the best impression. In the mind of the interviewer, they might think that if you were genuinely interested in, this case basketball, then you must be curious to learn more about it, right?
4. Discuss where or in what you spend your free time
Not sure what passion to pick? Try to identify what you do in your spare time. Is it reading a book, learning more about climate change, or simply take a walk? What you do in your free time is something that you enjoy, and therefore, something that you might be very passionate about. So, reflect and try to see what interests you when you don’t need to do something, but rather when you choose to do something. It’s a good way to find your passion!
5. Keep in mind that this is an open-ended question
No right or wrong answers here. The idea is for the interviewer to get to know you on a personal level, rather than a professional one. They already know your skills and experience, they want to know what moves you and motivates you to get up in the morning.
No matter what your passion is, expressing why it is important to you will allow the interviewer to see you as a person and not just as someone who fits technically. Sharing your interests with your potential employer will also allow you to assess whether there is a cultural fit and if your values are aligned with those of the company. It’s a win-win!
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We hope you have found this guide helpful and you can prepare for your next interview. You might also be interested in reading more about Career Advice: