Does your Resume pass the 10-second test?

Top Interview Questions and Answers

You've mentioned x under the Interests and Activities on your resume. Can you tell me a bit more about that?

Alternative and related questions:

What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
What are you interested in outside of work?

The meaning behind the question:

There are a variety of possible reasons an interviewer might ask this question:

  • They’re trying to get some insight into your personality and character.
  • They’re testing to see how truthful you’ve been on your resume.
  • They’ve run out of other questions and are killing time!

Besides knowing whether you’re capable of actually doing the job, most employers are keen to know what sort of a person you would be like to work alongside. Employers are generally keen to have a diversity of characters within their team and are always on the lookout for someone who can add a new dimension to the team.

While nobody has yet conducted a survey specifically to research this, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of recruiters deciding to call someone in for an interview purely as a result of what they’ve included on their resume under Interests & Activities. I, for one, will admit to having done so when hiring.

Your answer:

This is a very simple question to answer - provided, as always, that you’ve prepared for it in advance. If you have a hobby that makes for an interesting talking point at the interview then it will reflect positively on you as an individual.

You should of course be able to back up anything you’ve listed on your resume. If you mention chess to give your resume some intellectual clout but haven’t actually played since your were at school then you could well come a cropper in your interview if your interviewer turns out to be a chess fan and asks you which openings to the game you favor!

It’s always a good idea if you can subtly slip in mention of any positions of responsibility you hold outside of work. If your passion is, for example, football, and you’re also the Captain of the local team then do say so.

Besides the obvious selling point of football being a team activity (and your hence being a ‘team player’), you’ve immediately communicated your leadership qualities, your ability to take responsibility for others, your ability to commit yourself to a project, etc.

Example:

I’ve always been fascinated by planes. I remember my first flight as a child; it was a thrilling experience. Even though I understand the science behind it, I’m still in awe each and every time I see a plane clear the runway. It’s quite an expensive hobby to pursue but, as soon as I could afford to do so, I started taking flying lessons. I gained my Private Pilot Licence, went on to qualify as an Instructor and I’m now a senior member of my local flying club. While it’s not something I’ve ever wished to pursue as a career, I do enjoy giving the occasional lesson and generally participating in the club community. It’s definitely something about which I’m very passionate.



The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

Take the fear out of your interview and never be stuck for the right answer to even the toughest questions with The Interview Question & Answer Book.

The job market is fierce, competition has never been greater and it's important that you can grab every opportunity for competitive advantage and stay one step ahead. Written by one of the world's leading careers experts and bestselling author of The Interview Book, this definitive guide to questions and answers encourages every job-hunter to think on your feet and express your individuality while supplying ideal responses to interview questions so that you’re seen as the ideal candidate for the job.

 

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More top interview questions and answers

 

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Why have you applied for this vacancy?

Why do you wish to leave your current position?

Why do you want to work for this organization?

What are your strengths?

What are your weaknesses?

What has been your greatest achievement/accomplishment?

What can you, above all the other applicants, bring to this job?

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

You've mentioned x under the Interests & Activities on your resume. Can you tell me a bit more about that?

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