Why interviewers ask “what do you do for fun?”

As with most interview questions, it’s important to understand exactly what hiring managers really want to know.

You see, while it’s definitely important for a hiring manager to know what your qualifications for the job are, they also have to work alongside you at the end of the day (if they decide to hire you).

In the event that this happens, they need to know how you’ll fit into the company culture, or even just if you’re a baseline interesting person to talk to.

All of this means that it’s important for your boss to figure out if you’re willing to hang out and develop relationships with strangers, or if you’re more likely to stay home and play obscure indie games on your VR console.

Here are some things the hiring manager or recruiter might be trying to figure out about you by asking this question:

Good work-life balance. They want to know that you have a good sense of how to keep yourself from being overwhelmed with work stress without spending so much time on non-work activities that your productivity suffers.

Things in common. Your boss is going to have to hang out with you all day, so they want to know there’s at least some non-work common ground they have with you.

A good filter. There are a lot of perfectly reasonable hobbies or habits that are nonetheless inappropriate to bring up in a work setting, and your interviewer wants to know that you have the ability to censor yourself when necessary.