How to Answer: What are You Passionate About?

Posted by GradConnection

A common interview question that a graduate recruiter may ask you is what you are passionate about. This is a perfect opportunity to speak about your hobbies and interests, allowing the interviewer to get a better sense of who you are outside of the workplace. Many hobbies are also associated with certain skills that may look desirable to the recruiter and increase your qualification for the job. This article provides tips to help you provide an impressive response to this question. 

Why do graduate recruiters ask this question?

Graduate recruiters ask this question for one reason; they want to get to know you better. A person’s hobbies signal at their interests and values. For example, someone who enjoys cycling cares about their health, physique, and likes being out in nature. Employers are looking for well-rounded individuals and this question helps them make that determination.

Some interviewers may also ask this question as an ice-breaker before leading into questions directly related to the role. Typically, the question is also used to better understand your strengths to assess your aptness with the job and the company’s work environment.

How can I use this question to my advantage?

Your answer to this question can be a good strategy to show off some of your skills, especially if those skills are transferable to your job. For example, if you are part of a rowing team, then that demonstrates teamwork and communication skills. This will look desirable if you are applying for a position that requires working closely in a team to complete projects. 

Your passion may even be more directly related to your job. For example, as a graduate carpenter, you may be passionate about wood carving. While this does not perfectly coincide with the manual labour responsibilities of a carpenter and installing building material, wood carving requires a patient and artistic touch and demonstrates that you have competency at performing woodwork. 

Your passion can also demonstrate how you will situate within the company culture and workplace environment. Passions demonstrate commitment and enthusiasm. These are both important qualities that are valued in employees regardless of the job. 

How to pick a Passion?

Right down a list of activities that you enjoy participating in or any interests you may have.  From this list, pick the activity or interest that you enjoy the most and can speak about in detail.

Some passions may include:

  • Photography
  • Painting
  • Cooking
  • Acting
  • Computer programming
  • Singing
  • Archery
  • Snowboarding
  • Crochet
  • Chess
  • Hiking
  • Readin
  • Gardening
  • Pottery

Begin by deciding which passion you wish to discuss if the question comes up. It is important to be prepared and not be grasping at something when the question is asked. 


Make sure that you select something that you are genuinely passionate about. This will allow the interviewer to get to know the real you. Plus, an ingenious response will fail to inspire the same enthusiasm in you when you answer the question. 


Pick a passion that you have significant knowledge on. This is particularly important if the interviewer shares the same passion or is interested in what you have to say. They may ask you follow-up questions so if you are not well-versed on the subject you may have difficulty satisfying the interviewer’s interest. 

Active Involvement

It is also useful to pick a passion that requires active involvement. For example, if you enjoy painting and attend a regular class, this demonstrates your level of devotion to honing your craft. This dedication can be transferred to the workplace.

A passion can be anything. It does not matter how niche it is. In fact, a niche passion demonstrates uniqueness!

How to answer this question?

It may seem strange to talk about a passion during a job interview, especially if it has nothing to do with the role you are applying for. It is important to be prepared for answering this question as you do not want to be left drawing a blank. Here are some steps to follow and some factors to consider when drafting a response to this question.

How long should the response be?

You should aim to keep your response short. While this question is a good way for the interviewer to get to know you, the main function of an interview is to walk through your skills, experience and education and how that relates to the job on offer.

What do you like about the passion or interest?

Consider why you are so passionate about this hobby or interest and describe why you like it. For example, the circumstances under which you first became involved in the passion may be significant for why it is so important to you. 

How do you participate in the passion?

Describe the way in which you pursue the hobby. This can include how often you participate in it and with whom. For example, you may attend a pottery class each week, swim every morning before work, or attend a monthly book club. Scheduling your passion demonstrates commitment and that you are a goal-oriented person. This can translate into the workplace.

How does your passion relate to the job?

There is always some way that you can relate your passion to the role you are interviewing for. Even if they are in completely different fields, similar skills may intersect and transfer to the workplace. Hobbies and interests all require honing and practising a skill. Think about what skills you have developed while pursuing this passion. In this way, a question that is intended to get the interviewer to know you better outside of the work environment depicts your suitability for the position.

How can I stand out?

It is important to provide specific details while talking about your passion. This personalisation demonstrates your authenticity and genuine engagement with the hobby or interest. Interviewers may have candidates that try to craft a ‘perfect’ response to this question by talking about an interest that they believe will make them appear more suitable for the job. Detail in your response ensures that the interviewer recognises your sincerity. 

This question is a good opportunity to leave a good and lasting impression with the interviewer. It may allow you to stand out amongst other candidates with similar qualifications and experience. The more enthusiasm you express the better! 

How not to answer the question?

Ensure that your passion is work-friendly. Remember, you are interviewing for professional employment at a company, organisation or business. The hiring manager is looking for a candidate that not only has the relevant skills, experience and education, but also someone that reflects the values of the organisation.

Do not lie about your passion. It is important to be honest while answering this question! Everyone has a passion, whether it is sport, art, music, or something else entirely. Do not try to ‘make up’ a passion that you think might seem attractive to the interviewer. Such an answer may appear rehearsed and ingenuine as opposed to speaking about something you genuinely care about. It does not matter whether the interviewer shares or even cares about your passion. 

Your interviewer may even share the same passion as you, or may find it interesting and ask you follow up questions. It is easy to get caught out in a lie and will only make the interviewer distrustful. 

Example Answers


I have always enjoyed gardening. I started out as a child. My grandmother used to teach me about the different plants, and we used to pull weeds out together from her garden. It was so much fun getting my hands dirty. I enjoy growing vegetables in my garden, and have a nice display of flowers as well. At my old workplace, I used to bake or cook the produce into something to bring to the team meetings! I think gardening requires a lot of patience, just like being a graduate nurse. There aren't usually immediate results. It also requires commitment and a strong work ethic that I believe I also bring into the workplace.

✏️ Photography

In my spare time, I love photography. I enjoy driving out to places around the city and capturing small moments of life. I took a photography course at university as an elective and I loved learning about all the different techniques. It was a really rewarding experience. I’ve become the designated photographer for my friends and family! I think photography requires a keen and astute eye for detail and beauty. Like architecture, and this position as a graduate architect, it’s all about planning and tinkering until you’ve created something beautiful and practical.

✏️ Archery

I have quite an unconventional passion! I enjoy archery. I tried it out at a school camp for the first time because I thought it would be cool. It was cool, although not immediately because I was quite horrible. But, I was committed and I practised as much as I could. It was actually really useful when I was completing my certification in fitness because of all the upper-arm strength I had built up. I find that I really excel in that area when training with clients and walking them through exercises. A lot of trainers tend to focus on lower body strength, and because of my experience with archery I’m able to direct training throughout the whole body.


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