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The ‘what do you do in your spare time’? interview question

The ‘what do you do in your spare time’? interview question

August 20, 2021

How do you answer the ‘what do you do in your spare time’ interview question?

It’s a question companies have posed to interview candidates since the beginning of time. It works because it provides a more rounded insight as to who you are and what motivates and interests you, but is there a right way or a wrong way to respond? Our guide gives you some helpful tips and sample responses to help you ace your answer. 

Building that connection with your interviewer 

Having a common interest with your interviewer can feel like the holy grail of answers to this question but even if you don’t have shared interests, you will still be able to connect by the examples you give. Recruiters are people too and they will be able to relate to elements of your hobbies and some of the passion behind them. It’s worthwhile checking out a prospective interviewer’s profile on LinkedIn ahead of an interview. That way, you can see if there’s any common ground to highlight and to help strike a bond when you meet. 

What you should talk about 

The ‘what do you do in your spare time’? interview question CMD Recruitment

Your lifestyle – being active shows that you have the energy and enthusiasm to set goals and persevere with a task. Your walking, running, gym routine or team sports activity conveys that you know the importance of staying fit. People who look after their fitness and well-being are likely to suffer fewer illnesses. Physical activities often generate higher energy levels too – all good news for prospective employers. 

Something you are learning – this communicates that you have the capacity and desire to pick up new skills. In a fast-paced technological world, companies are always evolving so an ability to learn is critical. If you’ve recently taken up a new language or are you learning to play a new instrument talk about this. If you haven’t, then don’t worry! Talking about the latest developments and news in the sector you specialise in or want to work in, will show an eagerness to learn too. 

What types of interests and hobbies do interviewers like to hear about? 

The ‘what do you do in your spare time’? interview question CMD Recruitment

Interviewers will want to hear about any of your interests and past times. If you are a volunteer for a charity, take part in leading a team for a sports club, or have an interest that directly correlates with the nature of the company’s business, then make sure that you highlight these. 

Sample answers to ‘what do you do in your spare time’ interview question 

You don’t have to have a cram-packed agenda of activities to win with the spare time questions. Sometimes, our lifestyles dictate that we don’t have masses of room for a hobby due to other responsibilities. Take a look at the below sample answers that suit a diversity of circumstances:  

  1. I enjoy going to the park with my children at the weekend. As my children are still relatively young, I don’t have lots of time to myself but we do things that are fun together when we can. A lot of my time is taken up with domestic chores but I love being a parent and the rewards it brings. 
  2. I like seeing my friends on a weekend and in my free time usually. It helps me wind down from a busy working week, as I am on the road/at my desk a lot, it’s good to get amongst other people, it helps me feel connected. 
  3. I really like to relax on a weekend. As my job is very physical, I find my body needs to take five after a busy working week. I like to read and watch documentaries and focus on something different and new in my downtime.  
  4. I love getting back to nature when I have some free time. As I work in a town/city I find that exploring the great outdoors helps me to feel grounded again. 
  5. I like to do sports as much as I can, both individual and team sports. As my job is often sedentary, I find I need to exert some energy and get my heart rate going. I like to keep fit, it gives me a sense of purpose and makes me feel good that I am looking after myself physically and mentally. 
  6. I’m really interested in art/ woodwork/ railways/ yoga at the moment, I enjoy reading more on the subject and finding out about it. It’s relaxing and engaging and takes my mind to another place which is really refreshing and sets me up ready for another working week. 


The key strengths to demonstrate when answering a question about what you do in your spare time, are your enthusiasm, passion and commitment. Get these points across effectively and you’ll reap the positive feedback.

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