What do you like to do for fun? In an interview, your answer needs to show you are a match for that team. Find out as much information as you can about the interviewer and the team, and then align your interests with theirs. By asking this common interview question, the hiring manager wants to know if you fit the company culture. If you already know who they are, you can find a way to nail this question.
Here are the 10 best example answers for this question, followed by tips for your answer and mistakes to avoid.
Example #1: Family Activities
“Honestly, I enjoy spending time with my family. I love doing different activities together when I hang out with them. Being with my family helps me to relax, forget my to-do list and enjoy the little pleasures in life. Also, family activities provide a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories and strengthen bonds.
My family tries to come up with fun ideas for interesting things to do together. Sometimes we have a picnic in the park, have a water balloon fight in the backyard, or even go on a short road trip. We especially enjoy exploring the outdoors together. But we also like to slow down and just hang out at home while playing board games, or enjoy a themed movie night.
I am really close with my family members, and we have a lot of fun. It doesn’t really matter what we do as long as we have quality time together.”
Key Takeaways: This is a great response for customer relationship roles where you will need to build rapport with various clients, as well as organizations that value their internal team relationships.
It shows that you value relationships and connection because doing these activities builds trust, friendship, and loyalty. These activities are also great ways to create fun experiences that promote teamwork, problem-solving, and learning new skills.
Example #2: Reading
“I love reading books in my spare time. It’s a great way to learn new things and gain perspective. Sometimes I just read something easy for fun or to relax, like a comic book. I’m pretty open to different genres, but I do like a good drama with strong characters.
What I like most is that reading is imaginative and creative. It is a bit like traveling to somewhere new inside your own mind. You see new places and meet new people. You can have experiences that you cannot have elsewhere.
A good book is like a portal to another world, all without leaving your living room. And through the experiences of the characters, we can learn a lot. When I am deep into a book, often I can see different ways of looking at things.
There is so much great literature out there for people of all ages, both for young people and old.”
Key Takeaways: This answer indicates that you are someone who is curious and creative. It will indicate to the interviewer that you are open to new ideas and also have a willingness to learn. This is a particularly strong response for companies that value development, especially those in the professional services space like consulting.
Example #3: Traveling
”One of the things I enjoy most is traveling. I love going somewhere new and experiencing different foods, meeting new people, and learning about other cultures. Traveling has taught me a lot of new skills, especially planning and time management. I try to plan at least one trip each year or two where I can get away for a long period of time.
These longer journeys let me really connect with the culture and nature of a new place. But it also means that it only happens if I plan ahead, communicate effectively, and stick to my plans.
While I love overseas travel, I also like getting away for a night or weekend when I can. There’s something really fun about taking an old-school road trip and stopping wherever you feel like it. Getting away, wherever it might be, brings me joy and energy. Plus, learning about new places and different ways of life is a great way to gain perspective.”
Key Takeaways: This response shows the interviewer that you are open to new things and that you enjoy learning. It also suggests that you will be open to fresh perspectives. It is a good response for many different roles and industries.
Example #4: Solo Creative Activities (Cooking, Baking, DIY, Arts & Crafts, Photography, Musical Instruments, Dancing)
“I have a real passion for photography. There’s something special about getting out of my comfort zone and finding a great place for a photo shoot that is completely new to me. It is so much fun to find a new place to use as a backdrop, such as a local library, a local museum, or a local theater with a poster or sign for an old movie.
I also like how photography combines my technical skills and creativity. I have to think about the camera settings and lighting and how these will affect the scene. Many settings change, especially in winter months or when shooting around snow. It presents a challenge, and becomes very fulfilling to finally get a great shot.”
If you are not into photography, an alternate answer for cooking might be better:
“I love food and cooking culture. I enjoy trying out new recipes, because I love to eat. Food is also a great way to socialize with friends and family. Sharing food creates great opportunities for fun social interactions.
Sometimes I arrange mini cook-off competitions with friends as a way of unlocking new recipes and culinary adventures. It encourages creativity and lets us experiment with exotic flavors or recreate our favorite dishes.
I love that the kitchen is an open and safe space to be creative and explore. It is one of the best ways to learn new skills and have a good time with friends and family. With the abundance of online courses and cooking channels, there is no reason that anyone cannot have fun in the kitchen.”
Key Takeaways: A response like either of these indicates a candidate’s ability to work both technically and creatively. It shows the interviewer that you are committed to a personal hobby and able to develop new skills.
Example #5: Pets
“I like to spend time with my pets. They’re family! I find nothing more relaxing than taking a long walk with my dog. There’s also something calming about cuddling up on the couch with one of my furry friends after a long day.
My pets all have unique personalities. They are fun to have around, and bring me so much joy! I love that they are always happy to see me, even when they give you that grumpy look when you leave them for longer than they want. I can feel that my fur babies love me unconditionally, and that is a really incredible feeling.”
Key Takeaways: This response demonstrates a sense of compassion and work-life balance. It leaves the interviewer with a good impression because you care for things other than yourself. This answer also demonstrates that you have techniques to manage stress and that you have fulfillment in your personal life.
Example #6: Outdoor Activities
“I like to get outdoors in my free time. Being in nature is my way of re-energizing, and fresh air always makes me feel better. It doesn’t matter whether it’s going for a hike, a surf, or a bike ride. If I am outside, I am happy.
Water sports are my favorite way to enjoy nature and push my limits. Activities like surfing and kayaking help me to feel closer to nature. They give me an opportunity to connect with the beauty of the ocean, a lake or a river.
Whether catching waves, navigating rapids, or enjoying a leisurely float, water sports renew my spirit and give me a sense of freedom. They are an easy way for me to create the perfect day of relaxation and recharge before the week ahead.”
Key Takeaways: A response like this gives a good insight into an individual, showing their interests and also how they like to unwind. This is valuable information for an employer who is looking for a cultural fit but also to see how a potential employee manages stress.
Example #7: Socializing (Board Games, Card Games, Volunteer Work, Dining Out, and Shopping)
“I love catching up with my best friends. It doesn’t really matter what we’re doing, as just being around them is fun.
The things we do are as diverse as our group of friends. We like to try new things, so we take turns planning activities. This makes sure everyone gets input and exposes all of us to new things.
In the last year, our outdoorsy friends have planned a scavenger hunt, a treasure hunt, an obstacle course, and surfing lessons. Our indoorsy friends have held photo shoots, had a game to get the best outfit from a thrift shop, and practiced magic tricks from a free online class.
We don’t always plan elaborate activities, though. Some weeks we just lounge around and play video games or watch movies and order takeout. We’ve found simple ideas often create the best experiences. We frequently discover something new about each other or learn a new skill as a group that we didn’t have before.”
Key Takeaways: This shows that a candidate prioritizes relationships, enjoys interacting with people, and can easily adapt to different situations. These are all positive traits for relationship management roles or customer service positions that interact with people daily. It’s also a positive sign for somebody being a team player as they are likely to enjoy an environment where they work with others.
Example #8: Gardening & Plants
“Fun for me is being out in my garden. I like getting my hands dirty and watching things grow. My garden is my happy place!
There are many things I enjoy about gardening. I like coming up with a plan and seeing my vision come to life. It’s amazing to watch something come from nothing. I like the wonder of nature. I enjoy watching plants change with the seasons and burst into color in the springtime. It’s a very calming and relaxing way to stay actively connected with nature.”
Key Takeaways: This response demonstrates that this individual has patience and commitment. A garden needs to be tended regularly, and it can be a long process from planting the first seed or plant to seeing it flourish into a flowering plant. It also shows that a person has an outlet where they can relax when needed.
Example #9: Tech & Computers
“I enjoy keeping up with new technology. I use the internet to stay entertained, such as by keeping up with my favorite social media channels. I also like learning new things and getting new skills that make life easier. Last year two of my projects were to automate the ordering of household items to save time. I also turned my home into a smart home after researching, buying, setting up, and optimizing smart devices.
Naturally, this takes problem-solving skills and persistence. But I truly have a great time watching YouTube videos to figure out how to get things working like I want them to.”
Key Takeaways: A response like this typically indicates a passion for innovation, as well as technology itself. This is a real strength for organizations seeking technology experts or people who are keen for change and fresh ideas.
It also demonstrates an open-mindedness when it comes to things that are new and different, as well as skills that translate into efficiency and productivity.
Example #10: Sports & Fitness (Hiking, Fishing, Yoga, and Wellness)
“I really value personal care and fitness. My favorite activities are ones that help me stay fit and healthy. Getting my blood pumping on a daily basis makes me feel alive. And the mental health benefits are important to me. Even if I just have 15 minutes to take a quick walk, I truly enjoy that time. If I have more time, I like doing social activities like taking a yoga or dance class.”
Key Takeaways: This response shows that the candidate is committed to the regular practice of something and that they are consistent, even when they don’t have much time. It also shows that they prioritize health and take care of their physical and mental health.
Employers value employees who take care of themselves, because these people will perform better at work, and stay in the job for longer.
5 Tips for Your Answer
- Talk about things you are passionate about, as your answer will come across as the most authentic.
- Make sure that you talk about the skills or benefits you’ve developed, but don’t talk explicitly about how it applies to the job.
- Try to talk about hobbies and interests that demonstrate skills needed for the role.
- Gauge the interest of the interviewer when it comes to the level of detail of your response.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about general interests if your hobbies don’t align well.
5 Mistakes to Avoid
- Don’t pretend that you don’t have any interests outside of work.
- Avoid sharing your political and religious beliefs.
- Never talk about anything illegal, controversial or questionable.
- Don’t avoid the question or fail to give a direct response.
- Don’t lie or make things up – it could become a problem if you get hired!
This simple question might seem a bit strange, given that it has nothing to do with work. But the answer has everything to do with work.
Understanding your personal hobbies and idea of fun provides information about what is important to you, what motivates you, and the types of work and working environment you will enjoy. And if you enjoy what you are doing, you will very likely thrive at your job.
It is best to respond honestly so that the interviewer can get a sense of you as a whole person. It is also a good idea to use this answer to highlight your skills, knowledge, and experience. Try to use this opportunity to illustrate any hidden talents that are difficult to talk about elsewhere. By simply explaining how your hobby or interest makes you a more well-rounded individual with desirable qualities, you will leave the interviewer with a positive impression.
You can do this. Good luck!
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.