How the Interview Question “What Are Your Interests?” Can Determine If the Company Is a Good Fit

You’re at an interview, and the hiring manager asks, “What are your interests?” So, what should you say? And how can their reaction to your response help you to determine if the company is a good fit?

Why Do Hiring Managers Ask This Question?

As with other common interview prompts such as, “Tell me about yourself,” there’s a motive behind this question. Especially, hiring managers are trying to discover…

1. Are You Passionate About Your Field?

Employers want to find employees who like what they do. After all, people who genuinely enjoy their work will be more engaged and productive. This doesn’t mean you need to spend 100% of your time working. However, you should display an ongoing enthusiasm for your field. For example, maybe you regularly read industry journals, expand your knowledge by taking online classes or run a career-related side gig.

2. Would You Be a Good Culture Fit?                                         

Often people within an organization share outside-of-work interests. There may be sports fans, pet lovers, cooking aficionados, or video game buffs. Of course, finding a perfect match isn’t realistic. Nevertheless, you should be able to identify some similarities as this allows you to build stronger relationships with your co-workers.

How Should You Answer, “What Are Your Interests?”

Be strategic. If the hiring manager asks the question early in the interview, they’re probably trying to get to know you. Therefore, highlight personal as well as job-related interests. If the question comes up mid-to-late in the interview, keep your answer more career-focused. Additionally, tell the truth and NOT what you think people want to hear. Expressing your enthusiasm for fantasy football when you’ve never watched an NFL game, probably will come back to haunt you.

What Suggests the Company Is a Good Fit?

  • Your Answer Sparks a Positive Response

Let’s say you mention you take a week-long bike trip every year. The room lights up and the interview team instantly starts telling you about a bike-a-thon they sponsored last year. This is a sign you could be in the right place.

  • Your Interests and the Organization’s Interests Overlap

Again look for common threads. If you love volunteering, and the business has an active volunteer time off (VTO) program, you’ll automatically share similar goals. If on the other hand, you can’t seem to identify many (if any) similarities, don’t worry. You simply need to keep searching to find a better match.

Are You Looking for More Job-Hunting Advice?

Connectology posts weekly blogs posts on topics ranging from how to negotiate your salary to how to decline a job offer. And if you’re hoping for a better-fit position, we can help with that too. Our recruiters place engineers, supervisors and more with top manufacturing organizations throughout the upper Midwest. Browse all our available openings and discover your next opportunity today!