Here’s what you need to know about coming up with a great answer to this interview question.
A hiring manager is partially asking you this question to learn more about you on a personal level and to see what you’re like in your personal life. While it’s true that this isn’t the only reason, they do want to know a bit about who you are and what you enjoy. People’s lives impact how they perform at a job.
One of the biggest reasons that recruiters ask this question is to see what you’re like when you’re comfortable. When you’re talking about your true passion, you’re going to behave a little differently than you might in the rest of the interview. This question gives the interviewer an opportunity to see how you’ll behave in a more “normalized” context, which is mostly how you’ll be at the actual job.
Recruiters may also ask this to see if you’re a good culture fit with the company. The company culture at every location will be different, and, if you don’t fit in well, it might impact your ability to fit in with the team. A potential employer wants to know that you’re passionate about the same kinds of things that the rest of the company is.
Note that in all of these example answers, the answer connects to the new job in some way, but it’s also truthful.
In all of these situations, you should use the same approach as outlined above. Find something you’re passionate about, talk about why it’s important to you, and connect it to the job.
Not unless your passion seems obviously incongruent with the company. If you can’t find any way to connect your passion to the company, then you may want to find a different passion to talk about. There are many different passions that most people have; because this is one of the most common interview questions, it’s a good idea to brainstorm a few ideas to talk about on this subject before the interview.
Before the interview, it’s a good idea to research the company culture and see what kinds of things they most care about at this company. Do they seem like they really care about an overarching career path? Are they very formal? Does the company have more of an informal appearance? This can help you determine which interview answers to lean toward.
No, this will likely not end well for you. It’s very difficult to fake a passion because the way that you talk about something you’re interested in is different from the way you talk about something you don’t really care about. Additionally, you might get some follow-up questions, and if you’re just pretending to have a passion so that you fit in, you won’t be able to answer those questions. Find a way to tie your real passion into the job interview instead.