“What are you passionate about?”
Yet another seemingly simple, but general interview question you might be asked. However, your answer can be quite telling to interviewers about who you are as a person.
So as easy as it may seem, you’ll want to ensure you nail your responses to this question and leave a lasting impression during your job interview.
Below you’ll find a few examples to help you answer this question as well as what to avoid in your response. Let’s jump right in!
Why Interviewers Ask This Question
Feel free to skip ahead to the examples and what to avoid if you’d like. However, I did want to share a bit about why a recruiter or hiring manager would ask, “What are you passionate about?”
As someone who has hired people before, I’ve sometimes asked a version of this question in interviews as well.
Here’s the common reasons for this interview question:
To find out about your personal interests and values.
When you share your passions with the interviewer, it can clue them in on your values, interests, and overall work ethic. It can help them understand who you are and what matters most to your career. This is just the first clue on how you might fit in culturally to the organization.
See where your strengths might be related to the job.
Your answer can also signal to the interviewer on your potential strengths. Since you are putting effort into your passions (generally), it can quickly allude to the experiences you bring to the job.
For example, I run this website and brand on the side. If I apply to a marketing job, they can tell more about my potential creativity and skills to grow something from scratch. And for a marketing role, it can be a strong indicator I can help their company grow.
How well you might fit in with the work culture.
If you are applying to a startup, having side hustles can show your entrepreneurial spirit. Which can align well with the fast-paced action of a tech company. That’s just one example of course, but your answer can provide clues to how well you’ll potentially fit in if you were hired.
Looking to build a better rapport with you.
Lastly, there might not be a specific motive to the question. Instead, it’s a way for the hiring manager to help you feel at ease and build a human connection to you. This can still clue the interviewer on your personality more, but can be a nice question to ease your nerves.
Example Answers to “What Are You Passionate About?”
Alrighty, ready for some sample answers to a question about your passion? Here’s a few scenarios and templates you can apply to your response if this question is asked.
Example Answer 1:
In this example, we’ll tie your passion back to the specific job you are being interviewed about. This is an easy way to tie your skills and interest together with the job role.
Replace the job role to yours and adjust the connection to the specific job. But you can see where I’m going in this answer.
“As a marketer, my marketing and creative side of my brain never turns off. I’m incredibly passionate about building products and websites on the side, but also figuring out how to get attention when starting from scratch. It’s what attracted me to this job listing as I feel my experiences and love for driving growth will help X company reach the next level."
Example Answer 2:
For this example answer, your passion might not be related specifically to the job. However, it still can signal a great fit for the role. Remember, not every answer needs to be directly correlated to your career field.
In my answer example here, I casually added how the specific passion ties into the role that is remote.
“One thing I really enjoy doing in my free time is writing, which has helped me in all areas of my life. But it has particularly served me well in two key areas. The first is that writing so much over the years has allowed me to express creative thoughts and ideas more effectively. And secondly, it has helped me be a stronger communicator when working remotely with diverse co-workers around the world.“
Example Answer 3:
Potentially in your life and career, your passions are not as clear or maybe you lost interest in them. Or you could also have quite a few interests but aren’t sure where to focus in your answer.
Don’t worry, you aren’t doomed in your response to this interview question. Here’s an example of a general change you are pursuing and how to use that positively.
“Currently I’m pursuing a few new interests, but I’ve recently been focusing on my health more than ever. Between healthy eating and going to the gym to workout, I’m finding that I feel better and noticed it has helped unlock more of my creativity and focus. And by continuing to show up consistently each week, I’m excited to see the positive impact and new progress in the coming months.”
What Should You Avoid Saying in Your Answer?
Now that you have some good examples of how to answer what you are passionate about, here’s a few quick tips on what you’d want to avoid in your response.
Don’t pick anything that will sound like a work distraction.
You might have a nice side hustle outside of working hours. And many employers will be okay with it as long as it won’t compete and doesn’t appear that it will take up your working hours.
Whatever specific passion you pick, you don’t want to create a sense that you’ll be taking off a lot or will be occupied with that over the job.
Don’t make something up to try and be more interesting.
I would think this is obvious, but people still like to lie and embellish things to sound more important. You might get away with it, but often an interviewer will have follow up questions.
And it can be pretty telling to the recruiter or hiring manager that you are lying or trying to make yourself look very accomplished. Always tell the truth and pick an ACTUAL passion of yours.
Avoid choosing multiple passions in your answer.
Having specific passion and concise answers will show you are decisive and can expand upon that answer if asked by the interviewer. It’s totally cool to have more than one passion or hobby, but picking one thing keeps your answer focused.
Don’t pick something that could be controversial.
Whatever you do in your spare time is up to you. But you want to be cautious in which passion you choose to share with the interviewer.
Something inappropriate or that often is a controversial subject, probably won’t go over well in your interview. And could hurt your chances of moving along in the job interview process. Just use your best judgment about what you plan to share as your answer.
If an interviewer asks what you are passionate about, it’s a great sign they are taking more interest in you as a person.
But you also don’t want to spend too much time on this response either, otherwise you might drone on a bit too much.
Use the answer examples above to formulate how you’ll approach this question. And just like many general interview questions, this one is typically pretty straightforward. But you should prepare and practice what you’ll say ahead so you leave the hiring manager impressed.
Interested in other job interview question examples similar to this one? Here are a few others:
- What Does Integrity Mean to You?
- What Are You Most Proud Of?
- Do You Want To Tell Us Anything Else About You?
- What Do You Like To Do For Fun?
- Who Inspires You?
Looking for a new remote job? Check out the Remote Work Junkie Job Board to apply for remote opportunities or create your free job seeker account.