How to use your hobbies to your advantage in a job interview

How to use your hobbies to your advantage in a job interview

What do you like to do in your free time? Perhaps the more pertinent question is how on earth does this impact on your ability to do your job?

When filling out CV templates, candidates are often bewildered at the “Hobbies/Interests” section at the bottom. This may just seem like helpful filler if you’ve not got much work history behind you, but the hobbies section is actually so much more important than that.

Some career advisors even go so far as to say you shouldn’t mention your hobbies in your resume or at job interviews as they simply aren’t relevant to your potential employer.

While this may be the case for working on the job, we believe the no-interests-and-hobbies rule is one to be broken. Here’s why.

Hobbies show the employer that you are human

With so much etiquette and advice on how to act to remember, it’s easy to see how people forget “themselves” in an interview. But the fact of the matter is, an interview is about the employer getting the chance to know you and your suitability to the organisation.

While hiring managers may not get enough time as they’d like to have a chat with every candidate, but they still like to get a good sense of who their interviewee is. Having an interesting hobby on your CV gives them an instant insight into you as a person, and can make for the perfect ice breaker that the employer is sure to appreciate.

Unusual activities set you apart from the crowd

Hiring managers know disheartening it can be to look through page after page of virtually identical CVs without a splash of personality in a single one. That’s why when, once in a blue moon, a CV falls on your desk with “raising chickens” listed under the hobbies section, it’s impossible to not invite that person in for a chat.

Something as simple as an unexpected hobby may be enough to get your foot in the door when it is between you and another candidate for an interview.

Difficult hobbies show you’re up to the challenge

Running marathons, hiking up mountains, and restoring classic cars aren’t just an insignificant footnote at the bottom of your CV. Rather, they are a testament to your character.

Activities that are well known for being particularly challenging - either physically or mentally - show potential employers that you are naturally hard-working, goal-oriented, and determined person.

Don’t be afraid to mention your hobbies to show your self-motivation. In addition to this, mentioning any certificates and awards you have earned for your chosen activity can also prove impressive.

Create a bond with your interviewer

While this is not something you can influence, if you are incredibly lucky, the person in charge of reading all those CVs may share some of your interests. If you’re even luckier, this may help to sway them to call you in for an interview.

Have you ever walked into a boss’s office and seen their old rugby trophies adorning the shelves behind them? Chances are, that means rugby will be a successful conversation starter.

Not only could this help you to break the ice, people are naturally inclined to prefer people they find similar to themselves. It may not be something your employer does (or can) look for on paper, but this subconscious nudge will definitely paint you in a good light.

You never know, if you get the job, you could even get a work buddy to go with you to the next match!

Ready to find your perfect job?

If you’re looking to take your next step on the career ladder, speak to Additional Resources today.

Our team will be happy to guide you through the entire process; from perfecting your CV to acing your interview. Call us today on 01277 822 668 to find out more.

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