1. Reasons recruiters ask "What are you passionate about?"
  2. How to answer "What are you passionate about?"
  3. Sample answers for "What motivates you?"

It is true that despite preparations to field the frequently asked HR interview questions in a job interview, candidates do feel a little nervous.

So, to make them comfortable, HRs ask certain job interview questions like “What are you passionate about?”

Nonetheless, it is a job interview question that needs to be answered with sincerity yet professionally.

Let’s begin!

Reasons recruiters ask "What are you passionate about?"

There’s always a catch when a recruiter asks such simple questions in a job interview.

Through a simple job interview question like “What are you passionate about?”, recruiters aim at not only knowing you and making you feel comfortable but also to understand the following factors.

Are you a good cultural fit

Every company has its own unique culture. Just how you would want to be in a work culture that is in tandem with yours, recruiters also want to hire candidates who will be staying with the company for a long term.

Take for example, if you apply for a job in an organization where they prefer taking risks and being adventurous, they would want their employees to be the same.

Similarly, an organization with a more traditional structure would prefer employees to have a similar taste.

Hence, recruiters ask questions like “What are your hobbies?” or “What are you passionate about?” to understand if a candidate is a good fit for their organization.

Your personality traits outside work

Every employee happens to be a completely different person when outside their work zone. It’s only natural.

Job interview questions like “What are you passionate about?” help a recruiter to understand a candidate’s personality traits when away from work.

Your passion can help a recruiter identify the additional attributes that you will be bringing in, like will you be a team player, or a good researcher, etc.

Your motivational traits

Amidst work pressure, it requires dedication to keep up with your passion over time.

Recruiters through job interview questions like “What are you passionate about?” try to grasp if you are motivated and dedicated enough to see a task through till the end.

Remember, it is important to be self-driven to keep up with your best performance.

How to answer "What are you passionate about?"

Now, with the reasons for recruiters to ask “What are you passionate about?” in a job interview sorted, let’s take a look at the factors to consider while answering this job interview question.

Be honest

It is normal for you to have a passion that is stark opposite to your line of work.

For example, you could be into IT and have a passion for music or writing.

So, it is wise to answer this job interview question honestly instead of trying to impress the recruiter by cooking up a fake passion story.

Also, when you speak about your passion genuinely, the recruiter will be convinced by your body language.

Related: How to Use Nonverbal Communication in a Job Interview

Consider your passion

You could easily have any passion as long as it helps you unwind and makes you happy. But have you wondered, why does it make you happy? How does it help you to unwind from work stress?

This job interview question is extremely conversational and can lead to numerous follow-up questions as well.

For example, if your passion is to play football, consider the benefits it teaches you. Playing sports encourages you to be a team player apart from the other physical benefits.

So, think about how your passion helps you to grow as a person and aids in your work ethics.

Make sure you're knowledgeable about your passion

Drawing from the above-mentioned point, you need to know the subject to have a conversation when asked “What are you passionate about?” in a job interview.

Let’s be honest, you can’t just take a random name of a player and expect to talk about why he inspires you or the track of his games.

Also, it will lead the recruiter to think that you are making it up just to impress when asked this job interview question.

Sample answers for "What motivates you?"

Here are a few sample answers you can take inspiration from when asked the job interview question “What are you passionate about?”

Sample #1:

“I have always preferred playing football over cricket since childhood and thankfully it’s a passion that has helped me a lot.

My weekend football matches are the best times to dribble away my 5 days of desk job lethargy.

As much as I love my job, but sedentary desk jobs can lead to many bodily problems and football helps me not only to keep them away but helps me to meet new people and play as a team with them.”

Sample #2:

“My family always encouraged the children to pick up hobbies be it anything, sports, music or dance.

I was enrolled in music classes at the age of 5 and what was a hobby became a passion over time. The power music has to impact a mind is amazing, it can calm down an agitated mind in a few notes!

The best thing is music has its language that helps me unwind and just an hour a day with it takes away all the tiredness of the day and helps me to stay calm and focussed.”

Sample #3:

“I remember being awed by a picture of the cityscape that my uncle had clicked and developed when he was in his 20’s.

At that time technology wasn’t anywhere near to current times, yet the picture looked so perfect, it almost looked as if an artist had made the strokes with his pencil.

That one picture had me hooked to date... The ability to capture the architectural splendor or nature’s beauty through a lens gives me immense pleasure.

I find it even therapeutic spending time alone reading into the history of a place when clicking its picture.

I believe it is important to understand the story of a particular place to click a great picture, this has also led me to have so many great conversations with amazing people I have come across thanks to my passion for photography.”

Hopefully, these tips on how to answer “What are you passionate about?” and sample answers to take inspiration from will help you in acing this job interview question.

Also, check out these 5 Interview Tips on How to Be Confident in an interview to bag your dream job!

All the Best!

HR Interview Questions & Answers