When Your Passion Is Unrelated to the Job?

It might feel weird to talk about your passion when it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the job you’re interviewing for. Still, it’s perfectly fine to mention an interest that doesn’t seem job-related on paper. Most employers want you to have a life outside of work and do what makes you happy. That being said, if you can, “take it one step further and connect how your passion would make you an excellent candidate for the role you are applying for,” Dea says.

So if you’re that knitting accountant, you might say:

“One of my favorite pastimes is knitting—I love being able to create something beautiful from nothing. Of course, knitting also requires a keen attention to detail and a lot of patience. Luckily, as an accountant I have cultivated both of those qualities!”

Another scenario is when you not only know what you’re passionate about, but you live and breathe it every day. You probably spend every spare minute on it and have no intention of giving it up, even after you land a new role.

Being 100% in tune with your passion is commendable. Still, you don’t want to give a potential employer the impression that pursuing your passion will interfere with your ability to focus on work obligations.

Craft your answer in a way that expresses your enthusiasm for your passion, but also lets the employer know you’ll work on it off the clock. You might say something like:

“I’m actually a semi-pro tennis player and spend most of my spare time training. In fact, all of my vacation time in the past few years has been used to travel around the country to compete. Playing this sport has given me drive and focus, and makes me even more productive at work so I can complete my tasks efficiently and still have time for training.”