What sports are you/have you been involved in?

  | James Innes

What sports are you/have you been involved in?

Alternative and related questions:

Do you play any sports?

The meaning behind the question:

It’s hard to say what the interviewer’s precise motivations are in asking you this question. There are a number of possibilities; it depends on the interviewer. All interviewers will be looking for evidence that you are a fit and physically active individual. Some will also be looking to gauge whether or not you are a ‘team player’ – or even a team leader. And others will be trying to identify a competitive streak. However, there’s actually no evidence that individuals who play sports are any more competitive or any more likely to work well in a team than those who never go near a pair of trainers!

Your answer:

If you are involved in any sports then it should already say so on your CV – and the interviewer should therefore know this. In asking you this question, they’re consequently expecting you to elaborate on what you’ve stated on your CV.

If you’re fortunate enough to be Captain of the local football team then, besides the obvious selling point of football being a team activity (and your hence being a ‘team player’), you’ve immediately got an opportunity to communicate your leadership qualities, your ability to take responsibility for others, your ability to commit yourself to a project, etc.

However, if, like many of us, you rarely find time to engage in any sporting activity, then there’s no need to fear. This question is unlikely to be a deciding factor in whether or not you get the job. Stick to the truth and try to mention at least one physical activity, even if it’s just walking in the park at the weekend!


There’s currently little routine to my life. Business needs are such that I travel very frequently and consequently work irregular hours. This leaves little room for me to participate in any sporting activities. However, I do like to keep myself fit and healthy and, if at all possible, I take the opportunity to go for a walk in the morning before I start work. This helps to wake me up, get some oxygen into my brain and I also use the time to think through the day ahead of me and what it is that I need to achieve. I’m aware that there’s a lot less travel involved in this job so this means I may have more opportunity in the future to play tennis again.

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