One of the most commonly asked hr interview questions that can take you by surprise is a conversational one – “What are your hobbies?” – Hobbies are seen as markers of a balanced person who is adept at juggling personal and professional well-being. Hiring managers will ask you this question to know if you have avenues to de-stress outside of work and channelize extra energy! In this blog, we have compiled some best-fit situation-wise answers to help you prepare confidently for this ice-breaking interview question.

Pick from these ready-to-use answers to the HR interview question ‘What are your hobbies?’. Speak about your hobbies and things that make you happy! Your enthusiasm will surely infect the interviewer.

Sample Answer #1

I have only one hobby. Yet, it consumes all my free time. I enjoy reading and have always been a voracious reader. Although I prefer reading fiction, I make a deliberate effort to read at least one non-fiction book in a couple of months. My first book was “Famous Five Go to Kirrin Island” at the age of ten. What I truly treasure about my hobby is its power to transport me to different locations whilst I’m still on my couch. It is a low budget travel option that I often take!  Recently,  I started attending book club meetings. It’s a group of 15 individuals and we meet on the third Sunday, every month to discuss books that we have read in that month. It’s wonderful how a few lines can have so many varied interpretations, and can give rise to a multitude of emotions and opinions. My hobby has made me develop analytical thinking and open-mindedness. Reading has also broadened my imagination across horizons. I wouldn’t possibly trade it for anything else, ever!

Sample Answer #2

I absolutely love cooking. I can merrily state that my kitchen is my playground in every sense! My mother has always been a wonderful cook, and I feel she is my inspiration. I have seen her prepare scrumptious meals for hundreds of guests in a few hours! Honestly, I find cooking very therapeutic and look forward to planning my meals every day. Besides, my family and friends have always been very patient and supportive, and happily turn into guinea pigs for my experimental recipes! It’s only due to their encouragement and constructive criticism that I’ve gotten better at my hobby. Other than cooking, I like watching lifestyle channels and food shows. I also maintain a journal in which I keep jotting down my recipes from time to time and I might publish it someday!

Sample Answer #3

My hobbies are playing board games and solving all kinds of puzzles. Of the two, I spend most of my free time bent over a puzzle, like a jigsaw, general trivia, logic, cryptic, or even a Sudoku or crossword puzzle. On my 9th birthday, I remember receiving a Rubik’s cube and a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. That’s when this hobby got triggered. Over the years, I have realized that a tough puzzle can easily take anything between a few hours to a month to solve! There is always a table in my house adorned with an unfinished puzzle. In retrospect, this hobby has been a great teacher. I have acquired patience, consistent effort, planning, perseverance and observation due to my hobby. At the end of the day my motto in life is inspired by my love for puzzles – ‘have faith, all shall fall in place!’ Interestingly, even the Queen of England lists puzzles as one of her hobbies. That makes my hobby a royal one! 🙂

Sample Answer #4

I am an avid photographer. I picked up this hobby only a couple of years ago, so it’s relatively fresh. It started when I bought a new phone. The phone camera was spectacular and I wanted to capture everything through that lens. I started uploading some of these photographs on Facebook and people seemed to really like them. This encouraged me to spend more time on gaining basic photography skills like framing and light. I also invested in a second-hand DSLR and spend all my free time experimenting with it. There is so much to learn and I am enjoying myself. Photography has enriched me with having a broader perspective and made me a keen observer. Besides photography, I am educating myself on the basics of graphic design and editing. It’s amazing how a hobby can lead one to so many more interests.

Sample Answer #5

I am a deltiologist or simply, a person who collects postcards. Back in school, we had this wonderful exercise wherein we were supposed to exchange postcards with school children from Pakistan. The aim of the letter exchange was to foster peace and educate us about India’s neighbors. I received many gorgeous postcards from my pen-pal, Nazia. I remember one postcard in particular because it confused me deeply. It was a beautiful picture of Kashmir. Why was she sending me Indian postcards? Kashmir was in India, and she was in Pakistan! I was too young then to understand the bigger political scenario but it paved the way to question more. I have continued to grow my pen-pal circle and still use the postal service in the age of electronic messaging to send letters. I love receiving these postcards with photographs of tourist attractions or sunsets – it makes me feel like I’m in their homes, gardens or cafes for those few minutes. Now every time I travel I am on the lookout for different postcards. I have over 1500 postcards, and the number is growing.

Sample answer #6

I am a wizard! Not like Harry Potter, but I do have some magic tricks up my sleeve. I think my hobby is making people around me happy. And magic has allowed me to achieve that.  I am great at card tricks so there is little wonder that I am a hit at parties! Magic is a great way to connect with people. It’s an icebreaker and a great conversation starter.  I was a very shy child and performing these tricks helped me to speak with more people and open up to them. I also enjoy cycling and swimming.

Sample Answer #7

My hobby is acting.  I have always been very interested in dramatics. Early on, I had the benefit of good counsel to understand the difference between hobbies and career. Hobbies are what we do away from work, they are the keys to the doors of rejuvenation. Currently, I am a part of a theater group and perform in skits and sketches. Acting helps me forget myself and take on different characters and understand things from varied angles. It has honed my ability as a team player and objective thinker. Not to forget, it is thrilling and exhilarating to perform in front of an audience!

Sample Answer #8

What are your hobbies? is a question I love answering! It’s because there is usually someone who enjoys the same thing as me and it’s great to share interests. I am a cinephile which is a fancy way of saying I love seeing movies. I can watch almost any movie but I am not a big fan of the horror genre.  I particularly enjoy movies shot in Hong Kong and am a big fan of Guru Dutt. I have labeled some movies with tags like ‘for good days’, ‘for celebrations’, ‘for bad days”‘and they have helped me in every situation. I am so lucky that my closest friends are also movie buffs. We have this wonderful Wednesday night ritual where we get together to watch a list of curated movies based on a theme or director. Afterwards, we discuss the movie through its strengths and weaknesses. It’s a great opportunity to connect with my dear peers a lot of fun and understand different perspectives.

Sample Answer #9

I love learning new languages. I am a fluent speaker of 4 languages and I want to learn a few more. At present, I am learning Spanish and German.  I have a tutor to learn German but I am studying Spanish on my own through a learning app on my phone. It is a challenging hobby but it keeps my brain and learning faculties from getting lazy. It excites me that I shall be able to see movies without subtitles, read original texts and connect freely with people from these areas. There is so much information and meaning that is lost in translation. Besides, it is also amazing to see the sort of similarities that exist between languages. For instance, Marathi and German have the same root language, Sanskrit! Interestingly, pineapple is called “Ananas” in both German and Marathi. When I learned this, I was amused but also thrilled by how close our cultures are. Beyond my love for languages, I take pleasure in reading and travelling to new places.

Sample Answer #10

My hobbies are running, hiking and baking healthy desserts. Out of these, I enjoy running the most, especially marathons. Marathon running is a strict discipline and requires immense planning, working on your body and diet to achieve results. I have acquired the habit of self-motivation through this hobby. There are at least 8-9 marathons that happen every year in this city, so I am constantly gearing up to participate in and complete all of them. I cover a stretch of 10 kilometres every day and eat healthy to maintain my physique. It’s my aim to go for the Ironman triathlon that happens in Europe. It will take me at least 2 years to reach that level of fitness but I am excited to achieve that goal. Marathons remind me that I have to push myself and put one foot in front of the other to get closer to success.

Sample Answer #11

I have always been a very creative person and find it relaxing to indulge in craft activities. There is a new modern term for this; ‘Do-It-Yourself’ or DIY.  It largely means to create handmade products and includes a gamut of different crafts. Most of these ideas are relatively cheap and I love taking on new projects for home improvement. I’ve made coasters, revamped old dressers, painted a new lampshade, and stitched soft furnishings in the last 3 months alone. It keeps me occupied and enables me to think on my feet to create new designs. Furthermore, I am lucky that I can make personalized gifts for close friends and family. It’s a gesture they never forget!

Sample Answer #12

I take pleasure in listening to music. I never really thought that this was my hobby, but I’m beginning to comprehend that it is. I understand that hobbies are activities that a person actively follows and enjoys. Jazz and Blues help me recharge and bring me joy. Hence, in that case, my hobby would be listening to music. I listen to music every morning before I leave for work and when I return home every night. In addition to that, I spend time on music websites to search for the latest artists and albums in my favourite genres. I like attending music concerts and stay updated on the music scene in my city. All my interests are mostly related to music – I also collect different album arts in the form of posters or T-shirts and the like. These are basically artworks that every band exhibits on their CD cases.

Sample Answer #13

I am a bird-watching enthusiast. I love the outdoors and enjoy going for hikes during weekends. It’s great to connect with nature, enjoy some gorgeous views and get away from the city! Bird watching is a calming activity. One has to focus on the bird calls to discover what bird it is and ascertain their location. I find it easier to de-clutter my mind by focusing on these unique sounds. I also keep a scrapbook to write about my sightings along with a few pictures I click with my DSLR. That also makes nature photography my other hobby! But I always try to draw a picture of the bird and note down its characteristics. So sketching is also my hobby! Also, I often spend time reading nature books and also keep digging information on the internet about birds in this region. My scrapbooks and bird feather collection are my prized possessions.

Sample Answer #14

I enjoy playing sports like football and cricket. I have represented my school and college in both state and national level tournaments. I honestly believe that my happy hormones are activated every time I am on the playground. Once I discovered the effect sports had on me, it was tough to give up. I still play 5-a-side football at least thrice a week at the local club. I look forward to these evenings with my team and it keeps me fit both physically and mentally. I am also the captain of the official cricket team of my present organization. You can check out pictures of me and my teams on my social media handles. 🙂

Sample Answer #15

‘What are your hobbies’ has always been a very scary question. I was asked the same question on my first day of college by my seniors and had a tough time answering them! During my school days, I was over involved in academics and hardly ever focused on developing any hobby. I fumbled for an answer and was so embarrassed on that day! It was then that I decided to explore different hobbies and find one for myself! In this quest, I even tried to pick up some string instruments like the violin and the guitar, but didn’t really enjoy them. I can surely tell you that my roommates were the happiest when I put these instruments down! But eventually I realised that I enjoyed travelling the most. Yes, I am a wandering soul. Visiting new places, traveling new roads, trying new cuisines and learning about new cultures excites me! My dream is to cover all the countries, both small and big, before I turn 50!

Sample Answer #16

There are two activities that I am fond of, yoga and crochet. My grandmother is my first crochet teacher, and she was excellent at her handiwork. Crocheting is a meditative  activity and embracing it has greatly enhanced my levels of concentration. As far as yoga is concerned, I started attending yoga classes a year back on the insistence of a friend and have never looked back! In our industry, we have to interact with too many people on a daily basis. Besides, we spend most of our time outdoors. But my hobbies help me connect with myself inner self and also make me stay indoors. Through them, I achieve balance and I thoroughly enjoy my ‘me time’.

Sample Answer #17

I love to write in my free time. I have tons of notebooks filled with plots, character sketches, and obviously some random doodles. This passion took birth during my childhood. Every summer my parents would encourage me and my brothers to perform a skit. We would all find a perfect story, stitch the costumes ourselves, put up a set and make the invitations! It was an elaborate affair and very exciting. I loved to be on the story and concept team even back then. I take delight in writing short stories about the experiences I encounter every day. Due to my inclination towards writing and acting, I was a key member of the dramatics society during my school and college days. I also enjoy reading blogs and poetry.

Sample Answer #18

I am highly influenced by art. My favourite painter is Vincent Van Gogh. His artwork inspires me and I admire his painting style. Unfortunately or fortunately, as I cannot buy any originals, I have taken to making imitations of the paintings I sincerely love. All I need is a canvas, paints and free time to study these paintings online. I have also learned about different eras and events from the history behind many Van Gogh’s artworks. When I started 3 years ago I was only keen on painting imitations. I started out by purchasing some DIY paint-by-number kits online. These kits are a huge hit across the globe these days because they are very easy to complete and even a school goer can create a masterpiece with this kit. Eventually I moved on to copying artworks from scratch as a hobby. However, now I also paint my own imaginations on campus with watercolor and oil paint. The hobby has definitely had a very calming and liberating effect on me.

Sample Answer #19

My hobbies are playing badminton and needlework. Both are diverse activities, but I devote equal amounts of time to each of these interests. Badminton is a sport yet for me, it is more of a daily workout regime. I generally play for an hour before dinner. Almost every year in the winter season, me and my friends have a 45-day long tournament in my society. When it comes to stitching, honestly speaking, I experience contentment when I am at it! I use my mom’s old sewing machine and an electric portable one alternatively. Thanks to some inspiring online video tutorials, I have been able to stitch clothes, bags, soft furnishings and totes from scratch!  Because of this hobby, I have a really unique wardrobe. The most thrilling part of stitching is finding the best materials – I visit flea markets, garment stores and local tailors for usable scraps. I have even re-cycled old clothes into brand new creations! It is always a great feeling to create a customized gift for someone special. 🙂

Sample Answer #20

I am fond of dancing, it is both my hobby and passion. Sometimes even during the day, I play music on my phone and dance my heart out, even if its for just 5 minutes! Dance helps me relax as it invigorates my soul. I am a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and only recently I have joined Western dance classes to pick up a brand new form. In these classes, my dance routine spreads across Salsa, Zumba, Jive, Tango and basic Hip Hop. Scientifically, dancing is proven to release endorphins. Hence, not only is it a lot of fun, it also ensures that I stay happy and positive all the time! Personally, I feel that dance is the best workout and also a great way to unleash your creative side.

Winston Churchill rightfully said – “To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real.” Churchill has hit the nail on the head about real hobbies. Do not lie to your interviewer about your interests. Hiring managers may choose to dig deeper with follow up questions after asking you ‘What are your hobbies?’. For example, if you list ‘reading’ as your hobby, they might ask who your favorite author/book is or who won the Man Booker prize this year. So be prepared!

This question also presents the opportunity to connect with the hiring manager at a personal level. If your hobbies are close to theirs’, you can use this information as a leverage to project yourself better and get them interested all the more!

Convince the hiring manager with confidence that you are a happy and focused candidate and never let the question – “What are your hobbies?” – surprise you again!

All the best! 🙂


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