Artwork by: Antonina Kasyanikova
During a job interview, your interviewer is likely to ask you what you’re passionate about. This is your opportunity to showcase why you’re the right fit for the job. Read on to learn more about how to answer this question.
When you’re preparing for a job interview, you’re likely to glance over the “What are you passionate about?” interview question. Even though it seems like a harmless question that should be easy to answer, your response might come across as awkward and irrelevant if you don’t put some thought into it.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss:
How to respond to an interview question on your passion
Some of the things you should feel passionate about at work
If an interviewer wants to know what you are passionate about, the reason is simple. They want to get to know you better. When asking this type of interview question, the hiring manager wants to know what motivates and entices you, even if it’s not something related to work. This gives them a glimpse into your life outside of work, and it helps them determine your approach to things in life.
When preparing your answer to this question, you shouldn’t worry about discussing all the things you’re passionate about with the employer. A good approach is to showcase your strengths and aptitude for the job.
If you’re a finance executive who loves conducting financial planning seminars on the side or a fitness instructor who loves hiking, then you’re in luck. When your passion aligns with your current job role or the job you’re applying to, then you have a lot to talk about.
Make sure to read the job description, pick out a few keywords, and add them to your answer. For example, if the organization is looking for someone with excellent communication skills, you can talk about how you’re passionate about communicating with internal and/or external stakeholders to identify areas of improvement and collaboration.
“This might not come across as a surprise, but, as a content strategist, I’m passionate about creating content for organizations committed to making a difference. During the weekends, I create blog posts, social media content, and press releases for a nonprofit responsible for fighting climate change and encouraging sustainable living. This type of volunteer work not only allows me to pursue my passion, but also helps me learn more about the wider aspects of content creation, such as SEO, WordPress posting, and website traffic analysis.”
“One of the things I’m passionate about is healthy eating and living, which is the biggest reason I love working in the fitness industry. This allows me to actively listen to fitness business owners, understand their pain points, and recommend strategies and tips for improvement. I feel like I’m helping people with something that’s important to me, and this motivates me to go above and beyond in alleviating our customers’ concerns and helping the organization improve its customer satisfaction score.”
It’s natural to feel weird when your passion has nothing to do with your existing job role or the job you’re applying to. However, it’s completely fine to mention an unrelated passion as long as it showcases your strengths.
Most employers want applicants to have a life outside of work and pursue whatever makes them happy. If you’re able to connect your passion with your strengths, you can easily steer the interview in a positive direction and make a lasting impression on the interviewer. Again, the trick is to review the job description, look for specific skills, and then relate your passion to those skills.
“One of my favorite hobbies is sculpting. I like creating objects from clay and stone for different online buyers. Sculpting requires patience, strong attention to detail, and the ability to design materials according to a customer’s specifications. Luckily, the product manager job at your organization also requires these skills, which is why I think I would make a good fit.”
“In my spare time, I enjoy bowling. My friends and I regularly compete in the city-level bowling championship matches, and we recently finished 2nd. My dedication to this game has equipped me with the right amount of patience, perseverance, and drive to overcome all obstacles, remain productive, and complete some of the most challenging tasks with ease.”
You might be at a stage in your professional or personal life where you don’t have a clear idea of your passions. Maybe there are several things that motivate you, and it’s difficult for you to talk about only one thing or you might’ve been passionate about several things in your life, but they don’t excite you anymore.
If this is the case, think about a few tasks outside of work that take up most of your time in a day and excite you. Ask yourself if you had a free day where you could do whatever you wanted to, what would you do? How would you like to spend your time on an ideal day? Is there something specific you want to pursue? Make sure whichever activity you decide to talk about must relate to the job you’re applying to.
“There are a few activities that interest me, but lately I’ve been spending a lot of time working as a volunteer at a local animal shelter. I’m passionate about animal welfare, and working with the organization has given me a sense of purpose. The job has allowed me to hone my organizational skills and attention to detail as I keep the animals on a fixed daily routine.”
“I’m passionate about video games, especially first-person shooter games, in campaign modes. I play regularly with people all over the world and collaborate on different campaigns. This allows me to hone my organizational skills, problem-solving skills, multi-tasking skills and communication skills as I get to talk to people from different countries and cultures while focusing on winning.”
Being passionate about your work means learning to do your job well and taking pride in your accomplishments. Your objective is not just to learn and grow, but also to remain fully invested in your work and committed to achieving your goals.
Whether you’re preparing for a job interview, starting a new job, or working an existing job, here are a few things you should be passionate about in the workplace.
Gaining knowledge and acquiring new skills can help you stay up to date with the latest trends and stay ahead of your competitors. Whether you come across an internal job training opportunity or an external seminar/workshop, seize the opportunity. The more you learn, the more you grow, and the more you’ll enjoy working at your job.
Creating a clear set of goals helps you stay on track and remain motivated at your job. Make sure your career goals are achievable, they align with your long-term objectives. Next, break down those goals into a series of manageable tasks with realistic deadlines.
Making a positive impact goes a long way in helping you feel passionate about your job. Look for ways you can contribute, and try to make meaningful contributions to the lives of your colleagues and the society at large. If you’ve participated in some CSR initiatives at your workplace, it could be a good response to the interview question, “What are you passionate about?”
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If a job interviewer wants to know what you’re passionate about during an interview, they want to assess your skills, strengths, and aptitude for the job you’re applying to.
Your passions do not necessarily need to relate to your job. However, they must showcase your strengths and align with the skills and expertise needed for the job.
When you’re preparing for an interview, think about all those things at work and outside of work that bring you joy, and see how they relate to the job you’re applying to.When you’re preparing for a job interview, you’re likely to glance over the “What are you passionate about?” interview question. Even though it seems like a harmless question that should be easy to answer, your response might come across as awkward and irrelevant if you don’t put some thought into it.
Asad's writing expertise lies in the fields of HR and marketing—putting him in the unique position of understanding the job-search process: both from the side of the applicant, and the side of the hiring managers. With this valuable blend of perspectives, he’s able to help his clients position themselves as top candidates for their desired roles.