10 Answers To "What Are You Passionate About?"
When an interviewer asks, “What are you passionate about?” you might be stopped like a deer in headlights. It can be hard to think on your feet with regards to yourself and pull out an answer which is what the interviewer or hiring manager is looking for. We’re here to help!
The interviewer, when asking a question like this, is looking to know a little more information about you beyond the regular interview questions. This is an opportunity for them to get you to know on a slightly more personal level. Keep in mind, they cannot ask certain questions for legal purposes related to the interview. So how can they professionally get to you who you are? They can ask a question like this.
But it can be confusing. How are you supposed to think about what you are passionate about? It’s a very difficult question to be asked in general. And isn’t something we often think about on a daily basis, what fuels our passions. The way to go into the interview is to have your question prepared in advance. You’ll need to make sure you spend enough time thinking through who you are, what drives you, and how you might be able to share that in a way that also captures your professional life.
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Answering "What Are You Passionate About?"
It’s really important to share parts of your life that are more than simply passions. For example, you may be passionate about makeup. But makeup is going to be very hard to explain to someone and sound enticing to an interviewer, unless you are interviewing at Revlon, for example. Because of this, think through passions that you have which also show where you are trying to take your professional career (your career path). Are they regarding your passion for leadership, your passion for helping others, your passion for being part of a team? These are all area’s which the interviewer will have a better time relating to in the conversation.
If you are thinking through potential passions of yours, try to pick those which:
- Show your compassion for others.
- Show you’re an executer.
- Show you have a drive to succeed.
- Are easy to relate to your professional career or accompanying to where you’ve taken your professional career.
Avoid emotional or too personal of passions. For example, the interviewer won’t be able to do much when you share your passion for a doll collection. While it does, in fact, tell them more about you, it neglects to be able to show that you stand out from the rest of the candidates because it shows a proactive duty to grow. The more goals you have for work that you can relate to your passions in this answer, the better off you are with the answer. Remember that this question is to help them get a sense of who you are without looking at the resume. Choose passions which aren’t already listed on the resume so that you can ensure they are extracurricular passions you are sharing. If you are having a difficult time finding passions, ask a family member or friend what their opinion of your passions are. And start there.
Pro fact: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire (for a company) is estimated at a minimum 30% of the employee’s first-year salary. This means hiring is now more strict than ever before.
Common Mistakes When Answering This Interview Question
There's one very simple mistake that's often made when answering this question. That's using this an opportunity to "brown nose". A very common answer to this interview question is, "I'm passionate about this job!". And that's not a good answer at all. The reason is, you don't currently have the job. So how do you know that you are passionate about it?
The better way to answer this question is to ensure that there are qualities about the job that you are passionate about. For example, a passion for learning new skills.
Try to avoid answering with:
- An answer that doesn't seem logical.
- An answer that suggests you are desperate about getting the job.
- An answer that doesn't reflect your personality.
- An answer that isn't truthful.
Why Do Employers Care About Your Passions
Simply put, employers care about your passions because they want to make sure that they are placing you into a job function that you are going to enjoy. That's the truth. If they can align your passions with parts of the job that drive excellence, they know they'll get the best performance out of you. And that saves them money and difficulty in the long run.
Pro tip: In a study performed by HireRight in 2018, 55% of companies say they struggle with employee turnover. Meaning they are seeking employees who are more committed and passionate about their jobs, resulting in longer employment.
It is a frequent occurrence to have employees be disgruntled with their work and quit after a very short period of time due to the fact that the interviewer and interviewee were not clear about their intentions with the job.
10 Example Answers To “What Are You Passionate About?”
“I’m very passionate about working within local communities. Especially within neighborhoods that are in need of assistance. Last year I was able to help raise money for a community garden. Building community and nurturing our society are absolutely a passion of mine.”
“Last year I was able to take part in a retreat on behalf of my church. It was to a third-world country where we spent two weeks developing homes for those less fortunate. It is absolutely a passion of mine to help those in need.”
Shows team work
“This year I’ve been playing in a men's/women’s sporting league. It feels really good to be apart of a team, where everyone plays an integral role together in competing. It’s a passion of mine to play sports, primarily for the teamwork and discipline required to advance forward.”
“I’ve been very passionate about helping with extracurricular activities at nearby schools. I volunteer and coach various after-school activities. My favorite part of this is how I can teach our youth that you are better off working together, than working against each other. This is definitely a passion of mine.”
Shows philanthropic desires
“Over the last year, I’ve been part of many fundraising efforts. Primarily for those in need in our housing community. Last year someone was diagnosed with cancer and I was in charge of creating the events which brought our community together and raised over $15,000 for the donor. Helping others in need is absolutely a passion of mine”
“I’m a big part of our communities orphanage. Through my efforts with the orphanage, we’ve been able to take children without families out on trips. We’ve also been able to take them to community dinners, game nights, and much more. It has been extremely gratifying working with these children. That’s absolutely a passion of mine.”
Shows ability to execute
“Last year the dog shelter in the area needed a helping hand. They were understaffed and the animal living conditions were beginning to suffer. I put together a Facebook group and got more than 20 volunteers to sign up and help with efforts to clean up the habitats for the animals. Helping animals is a passion of mine.”
“I’m very passionate about health and well-being. In fact 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.”
“My biggest passions are actually helping my family. I know it seems somewhat odd but I’m very close to them and we all help each other on a regular basis. From rebuilding decks to walking each other's dogs. We act as a family unit and spending time with them is a passion of mine.”
“I’m very passionate about working at our local library. I’m a fan of books. They show our history and records of life in a way that I believe children should have available to them in the future. So I spend a good portion of my free time volunteering there to ensure our youth has the same opportunities that I did growing up.”
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