How to Answer What You Are Passionate About

Key Points About How to Answer What You Are Passionate About

  • Learning how to answer what you are passionate about during a job interview is critical and an excellent opportunity to discuss your favorite cause, hobby, or anything else that might be important to you.
  • Be prepared for this question and consider how it might link to the new job or company.

Why Employers Want to Know What You Are Passionate About

Learning how to answer what you are passionate about during a job interview is critical and an excellent opportunity to discuss your favorite cause, hobby, or any other passion.

Believe it or not, many employers are just as interested in your character and personal interests as they are in the skills that qualify you for the job.  These are the qualities that ensure you’ll fit in with the corporate culture, as well as share the beliefs and values of the company.  Your passion can be unrelated to the position you’re applying for; however, it still shows employers that you’re passionate enough about something to dedicate time and effort to it.

professional learning how to answer what you are passionate aboutYour commitment to your passion will reflect the knowledge and the skills you’ve developed from pursuing it. Then you can link this focus and commitment to the job post.  It also gives managers insight into what motivates you as a person, so that you’re as efficient as possible as you work.

Choose Something You Are Truly Passionate About

Learn how to answer what you are passionate about, before the interview, by specifying a passion that you can talk about excitedly.  Your specialty isn’t limited to a hobby, as it can also be an idea or a cause that you believe in strongly believe.

Whatever it is, make sure your enthusiasm about it leaves you confident enough to answer any follow-up questions that come your way. It should also be appropriate for the workplace environment.  The more passionate you are about something, the more you’ll be comfortable talking about it, and the more the employer is likely to believe you.

Allison Doyle at The Balance Careers suggests the following points when deciding on the passion for discussing:

  1. Select something that genuinely excites you.
  2. You also want to pick a passion for which you are knowledgeable.
  3. Pick a passion that you are actively involved with in some way.
  4. Keep in mind that your passion can be almost anything.

Are you still searching for that absolute passion?  Here are some ideas.

  • Learning
  • Creativity
  • Personal Growth
  • Mindfulness
  • Helping & Uplifting Others
  • Decluttering
  • Health and Fitness
  • Career Growth
  • Money Management
  • Relationship Health
  • Kids
  • Pets
  • Hobbies

Demonstrate How You Pursued Your Passion

Don’t only tell the employer what you’re passionate about, show them how you were able to put this passion into use and how you’ve developed it.  Achieving a goal or a target is one way to do that.  Your accomplishments show the level of devotion you have for this passion and that you’re willing to work towards what drives you.

Link What You Are Passionate About to the Job

If you have something you’re passionate about, it means you’re willing to set aside time and pursue it.  The things you’ve learned while following your interests can be translated into skills.  Those will likely relate to and qualify you for the position to which you are applying.  So, make sure you communicate them to your employer as you speak.

What Not To Say When Answering

Allison also suggests keeping a few of these points of what not to say when deciding on the passion.

  1. Try not to overemphasize your passion.
  2. Do not share a passion that isn’t workplace friendly.
  3. Don’t make something up.

Sample Answers to What Your Are Passionate About

interviewer talking about what she is passionate aboutMaybe you’re a construction project manager who spends all of your spare time working on a DIY project. The big relatable projects you do around the house are the most straightforward scenarios to be in since you can draw a direct line between what you love to do outside of work and the actual job duties.

Your answer might sound something like this:

“This probably isn’t surprising coming from a project manager, but I love working on DIY projects around the house. For example, when I saw people building furniture online, I wanted to try to design and build my own. I have to teach myself many new construction techniques to finalize each new piece. I enjoy the process of discovery and getting feedback from friends and family. Living this process is why I enjoy what I do all day on the construction site.”

Perhaps you’re passionate about health and well-being.  Algrim suggests the following:

“I’m very passionate about health and well-being. This year I held a community running event, community yoga event, and general fitness event. I love seeing others push themselves to new levels and encourage the fact that we can educate ourselves on health and wellness.”

Interested in More Tips on Answering Common Interview Questions?

The STAR interview technique is the most recommended and straightforward strategy to use when answering behavioral interview questions because the questions require you to provide a real-life example of how you handled a  situation at work in the past.

It’ll be easy to understand when these types of questions are coming because they often start with, describe a situation when you.

  • Tell me about a time when you
  • Have you ever
  • Give me an example of a time when
  • What do you do when
  • Describe situations where

The STAR interview technique is an excellent strategy for tackling these types of questions.  STAR is an acronym that stands for:

Situation:  Describe the case were you in
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain precisely what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.

For more detail, check out our post on the STAR technique and behavioral interview questions and answers for management positions.

Final Thoughts on How to Answer What You Are Passionate About

In short, when discussing these interview questions about your passions, you will want to demonstrate your commitment to it no matter what it is.  Keep in mind that interviewers can easily spot a when you are not answering honestly.  Answer genuinely and with enough detail, and you will nail this question every time.

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