How to answer “what do you do for fun?”

Unlike some interview questions, you don’t really need to prepare a full answer to this question, and doing so might even work against you.

You’re looking for common ground with your interviewer or for a way to portray your unique interests in such a way that they’ll understand what you find valuable about your hobbies.

Here’s a four-step strategy for giving a winning answer to “what do you do for fun?”

Name your hobby. Identify one or more hobbies that you actively participate in. If you’re really passionate about one hobby that indicates attractive job-related skills or qualities, stick with just one.

But if you want to show how eclectic your tastes are, giving two or three things you do for fun can work well also.

Focus on values. How you spend your free time reveals a lot about what you value in your life outside of work. It can also tie into skills or qualities that are helpful for the job you’re applying for.

For example, if you spend time knitting, you can mention something about finding detail-oriented tasks meditative and relaxing.

Tell a story. This isn’t a behavioral interview question, and you don’t really need the STAR method here. That said, you can tell a brief, interesting anecdote about one of your hobbies.

If you can show how you’ve built skills through your hobby or that it directly ties to the company’s values (like volunteering, sustainability, etc.), you’ll have a much more robust answer.

Talk about why you like it. Don’t just say you enjoy doing X, Y, and Z. Mention what your motivation for this hobby is and what you get out of it.

Your intrinsic motivations reveal a lot about you as a person and potential coworker/subordinate, so your answer could be just what you need to seem like the perfect cultural fit.