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What do you do to relax?


Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > What do you do to relax?

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also


The question

What do you do to relax?

Do you have any hobbies?

Do you do any sports?

What do you do in your spare time?

What they are looking for

This type of question can seem like a friendly aside to help you relax, but it can have more deliberate purpose, and can contain hidden tripwires.

If a person has difficult answering, then this may well indicate that they are unable to unwind and work all hours. In some companies this is a good thing, though for many who seek a more balanced person it is a danger signal.

Just what you do when you relax can also be a strong signal about the type of person you are. Information about a person's private life often tells a lot more about the person inside than bland career information. Someone who goes to football matches may be a quite different personality to a person who plays in the local chess club.

How to answer

It is generally not a good idea to be confused and stumble over this question. Show that you have a balanced life and that you are able to unwind and be ready for the next day. Try to sneak in a linkage to the job and aspects that it requires, such as being social and outgoing or bright and alert.

In a job that is largely sedentary, I think it's important to stay physically healthy. I go to the gym twice a week and go running with friends on alternate days. 

Choose carefully what you tell them as your hobbies or relaxation. Avoid subjects that might be contrary to their company culture or show you as uninteresting or otherwise undesirable, such as boxing or watching television. Pick something that shows you as interesting and a person worth employing!

I like to give something back to society and work with the Samaritans once a month. I also coach my son's football team on Saturdays -- You know I'm so pleased: they are doing particularly well this season.

In a job that requires working long hours, make sure that you do not appear too interested in your hobbies!

My first interest is my work, where I enjoy achievements as much as anything. I like socializing after work with customers and workmates. I find friendly company as good a relaxation as any exercise!

See also

Theories about helping others

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