Learning the best way to answer “What are you passionate about?” or “What is your greatest passion?” is extremely important when interviewing with a potential employer and achieving your career goals. The job interview question is among the most common because it is a great way for the hiring manager and prospective team members to learn more about you, your motivations, and how well you communicate. It’s also an opportunity to create a personal connection and rapport with the interviewer. For some job candidates, it isn’t easy to talk about their personal life, determine what passion to use, and how to communicate it effectively. So, we’ll try to get the juices flowing with some example answers here.
What is the best answer to “What are you passionate about?”
A great answer includes a compelling passion, consists of a specific example, and is concise in a way that entices engagement from the interviewer.
At MatchBuilt, we’ve counseled 1000s of job seekers on how to answer common interview questions like this one about your biggest passions. In this post, we hope to take some of the hard work out of your preparation by sharing sample answers if a particular passion isn’t coming to mind. No matter how you frame your answer to this question, you should be prepared to maximize the opportunity and showcase something you love doing in your free time and that you’re a well-rounded person.
“What are you passionate about?” Topic Examples
- Learning to code and build websites
- Refinishing furniture
- Rehabbing houses
- Creating art
- Building video games
- Running marathons and triathlons
- Practicing mindfulness
- Helping and uplifting others through philanthropy
- Working with animal rights groups
- Stock trading and money management
While it’s sometimes not easy to talk about ourselves, practicing for this and other key questions will pay dividends in the long run. When appropriately answered, you’ll be able to share what you value most on a personal level, your ambition and drive, your personal values, and whether you have the soft skills they are looking for. Further, great answers about your personal passions can show how well you communicate, fit with the company culture, and maintain self-discipline.
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 via our sample answers below.
Why do employers want to know what you are passionate about?
Believe it or not, many employers are just as interested in your character and personal interests as the skills that qualify you for the job. Companies love candidates who challenge their comfort zone and have great life experiences outside work.
They’re looking for qualities that ensure you’ll fit in with the corporate culture and meet 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.
Your commitment to your passion will reflect the knowledge and new 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 so that you’re as efficient as possible as you work.
10 Best “What Are You Passionate About?” Example Answers
Example Answer 1 – Passion For Tech and AI
I’m passionate about artificial intelligence and where it will take us in the future. I find myself lost in books and videos discussing how AI will change the world for the better in the next 50 years. While many people are afraid of what artificial intelligence can do, I’m enthralled by its potential.
Example Answer 2 – Passion For Seeing the World
Latoya Anderson is a seasoned career coach with over ten years of experience in leadership roles with a passion for helping people find their ideal job. She has helped many people choose their ideal career pathway by identifying and honing their vital skills. Here she shares a great example answer about exploring the world.
I have an interest in a lot of things; however, traveling is one thing I’m most passionate about. Traveling is so much fun and allows me to meet and interact with new people from different walks of life daily. Traveling has broadened my perspectives and helped me improve my communication and collaboration skills. I can blend with my teammates and colleagues effortlessly regardless of their social or economic background, which is essential to excel in this role.”
This answer is compelling to employers because the job seeker is willing to collaborate with other teammates to achieve a set goal.
Example Answer 3 – Passion for History
Sam Underwood, an industry-recognized Ecommerce SEO consultant and the founder of Bingo Card Creator, recommended this history-related answer.
I’m passionate about history and its influence and comparison to present-day challenges. I like historical philosophy along with the history of wars and political revolutions. Contrary to popular belief, the people and events in the past still have much to do with the present.
We could improve the world if everyone put genuine effort into knowing about history. There are a lot of voices out there that go unheard. I was studying the philosophy of art in a book. Therefore, meaning, intent, and replications are what define art. I enjoy learning how to view art and value it more genuinely.
Example Answer 4 – Passion for Destigmatizing Mental Health Challenges
Kelly Neupert, a licensed psychotherapist and career coach with a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling with KJN Therapy, believes companies would appreciate candidates focused on improving mental health challenges.
I’m passionate about destigmatizing mental health and normalizing therapy as a regular part of self-care. Not only do I go to my own treatment sessions weekly to ensure I’m “working out” my brain and taking care of myself and my relationships, but I also foster and create conversations about mental health challenges to create awareness and ensure people know they’re not alone.
Example Answer 5 – Passion for Animals
Kelly adds an example of a passion for animals and volunteering personal time to assist in the movement.
I’m passionate about fighting for the underdog and bringing positive change. It’s important for me to spread the message about what phenomenal shelter dogs there are and how buying from breeders facilitates a never-ending cycle of dogs getting discarded for no fault of their own. I volunteer at my local animal shelter to comfort those I can’t rescue personally.
Example Answer 6 – Passion for DIY Projects
Here’s a great answer that draws a connection between a passion and a potential job opportunity as a Project Manager.
I love working on DIY passion projects at home. When I saw people building furniture online, I had to try it myself. My first project was a new walnut kitchen table. To build my own, I watched many videos to teach myself many new construction techniques to finalize it. 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.
Example Answer 7 – Passionate About Health & Wellbeing
I’m passionate about health and well-being. This year I held a community running event, community yoga event, and general fitness event and generated interest through a community FaceBook group. I love seeing others push themselves to new levels and encourage others to educate themselves on health and wellness.
Example Answer 8 – Passionate About a Hobby
Monte Deere, the CEO of Kizik, is committed to making shoes that people can put on hands-free; no tying, no pulling, no heel crushing, no hands. Below, he shares another good answer with MatchBuilt.
A passionate hobby of mine is collecting rare books, focusing on modern literature. I’m an avid reader and realized there are only a finite number of first printings of my favorite works. Collecting these over time has kept my passion for reading new things strong and strengthened my relationship with the works I have collected. It’s like owning and protecting a piece of history. Reading has opened my eyes to other perspectives and having shelves of my collector’s editions of my favorites continue to inspire me to continue learning.
Example Answer 9 – Passionate About Helping Others With Their Careers
Sharon Dylan, a co-founder and career coach at Management Help shares another valuable answer to our query.
I have a new passion for helping people through their careers. Recent years have taken so much from humans, be it time, money, resources, or even career development. Hence, this big slump drives my passion to help more people. I hold several free consultations online quarterly to help people who lost their jobs land on their feet and start over again. This way, I not only help them regain their confidence but also help the economy.
Example Answer 10 – Passionate About Art and Creativity
Max Shak, the founder of a leading survival guide, Survival Shack, shared another great anecdote with MatchBuilt.
Through art, I can express my emotions and create anything I’m feeling. I can let out all my anger, sadness, and stress go with just a few brushstrokes. I would feel calm and happy again, no matter how wacky or strange the artwork turned out.
For me, art isn’t just about creating a beautiful piece; it’s about creating something that brings you happiness and helps you shut out everyday life’s stresses. Art isn’t the only thing that can make you feel good. Writing, creating music, or doing any other type of art can also let you express your feelings and relieve the stress and negativity of everyday life.
How to Answer “What Am I Passionate About?”
Choose a Genuine Interest
Genuine passions that bring you a sense of purpose are the easiest to explore and get excited about in an interview.
Pro tip: Bring peak energy when this question arises, and practice specifying a passion that you can talk about excitedly. Your specialty doesn’t need to be limited to a hobby; it can also be an idea or particular cause you strongly believe in.
Whatever it is, make sure your enthusiasm about your passion leaves you confident enough to answer any follow-up questions that come your way. The more passionate you are about something, the more you’ll be comfortable talking about it, and the more the employer will likely believe you.
Pick a Passion that Excites You
Allison Doyle at The Balance Careers suggests the following when deciding on the passion for discussing:
- Select something that genuinely excites you
- You also want to pick a passion for which you are knowledgeable
- Pick a passion that you are actively involved with in some way
- Keep in mind that your passion can be almost anything
Are you still searching for that absolute passion? Here are some possible higher-level topics worth considering.
- Personal Growth
- Helping & Uplifting Others
- Health and Fitness
- Career Growth
- Money Management
- Relationship Health
Demonstrate How and Why You Pursued Your Passion
Don’t only tell the employer what you’re passionate about; show them how you could 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 your devotion to this passion and willingness to work toward what drives you.
Link Your Passion to the Job or Company if Possible
If you have something you’re passionate about, you’re likely willing to set aside time and pursue it. The things you’ve learned while following your interests can be translated into skills, and those will likely relate to and qualify you for the position you are applying for. So, make sure you communicate them to your employer as you speak.
Avoid Interests that Aren’t Workplace Friendly
You want to avoid bringing up objections to your candidacy by sharing inappropriate interests or politics. Do not share a passion that isn’t workplace friendly, and don’t make something up. If you make something up, you may be faced with follow-up questions you won’t be able to answer.
Consider the STAR Method for the Most Common Interview Questions
The STAR interview technique is the most recommended and straightforward strategy to use when answering 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’s easy to understand when these types of questions come because they often start with describing a situation when you did something. For example:
- 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
STAR is an acronym that stands for:
- Situation: Describe the situation you were 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 efforts achieved.
For more detail and other interview tips, check out our post on the STAR technique and behavioral interview questions and answers for management positions.
What Is Your Passion Topic Ideas Infographic
Best Answers and Examples to “What Are You Passionate About?” Summary
In short, when discussing these interview questions about your passions, demonstrate your commitment to it no matter what it is. Use positive body language, and keep in mind that interviewers can easily spot you not answering honestly. If you answer genuinely about a true passion with detail and energy, you will nail it every time.
At MatchBuilt, we’ve explored other common interview questions, such as “Why do you want to work here?“, “Why do you want this job?“, “Tell me about yourself,” “What is your biggest achievement?“, “What areas need improvement?” and “Why should we hire you?” and we invite you to review them as well.