Team English -
Created by: Team English -, Last Updated: June 4, 2024


When stepping into the arena of job interviews, your resume may open the door, but it’s your interests and passions that often secure a seat at the table. Imagine walking into a room where every word you say could turn the tides in your favor. This isn’t just about showcasing your skills or professional background; it’s about connecting on a human level, sharing what lights your fire and how it aligns with the company’s vision. In this article, we delve into the pivotal role that discussing your interests plays during an interview, transforming it from a mere interrogation into a conversation that could launch your career.

Why Should You Mention Interests on Your Resume?

Enhancing Personal Connection

Including interests on your resume can help create a more rounded image of who you are beyond your professional qualifications and work experience. This personal touch can make your resume stand out in a sea of similar applicants by showcasing your unique personality and qualities.

Demonstrating Soft Skills

Interests can indirectly demonstrate valuable soft skills that are relevant to the job. For example, a hobby like team sports can highlight leadership skills and teamwork, while a hobby like blogging about technology can showcase your communication skills and passion for the industry.

Aligning with Company Culture

Many companies look for candidates who not only fit the job requirements but also the company culture. Mentioning interests that align with the company’s values or culture can make you a more attractive candidate. For example, if a company values community involvement, mentioning your volunteering activities can be beneficial.

Sparking Conversation

Interests can serve as great conversation starters in an interview. They give the interviewer a chance to ask about something more personal and less formal than your work experience, which can help break the ice and make the interview more engaging and memorable.

Showing Diversity and Adaptability

Listing diverse interests can also illustrate your adaptability and openness to new experiences, qualities that are highly valued in many fields. It shows that you are a person with varied facets and that you can likely adapt to different situations and challenges.

Interests Examples

Creative and Artistic

  1. Painting and Drawing – Engaging in visual arts to express creativity.
  2. Photography – Capturing moments and landscapes through a camera lens.
  3. Writing – Crafting stories, poetry, or articles.

Outdoor and Adventure

  1. Hiking – Exploring nature trails and mountainous terrains.
  2. Kayaking – Paddling in rivers, lakes, or seas.
  3. Rock Climbing – Ascending rock formations or artificial rock walls.

Technology and Innovation

  1. Coding and Programming – Creating software, apps, or websites.
  2. Robotics – Designing and building robots for various tasks.
  3. Gaming – Playing video games competitively or for leisure.

Music and Performance

  1. Playing Musical Instruments – Learning to play instruments like the guitar, piano, or violin.
  2. Singing – Performing music vocally, solo or in groups.
  3. Dancing – Engaging in different dance styles for fitness or performance.

Culinary Arts

  1. Cooking – Experimenting with recipes and cooking techniques.
  2. Baking – Making bread, pastries, and desserts.
  3. Wine Tasting – Exploring and appreciating different types of wines.

Sports and Fitness

  1. Yoga – Practicing poses and breathwork for health and relaxation.
  2. Martial Arts – Training in disciplines like karate, judo, or boxing.
  3. Cycling – Riding bicycles for fitness or as a competitive sport.

Academic and Intellectual

  1. Reading – Diving into books and literature to learn or escape.
  2. Chess – Strategizing and competing in the game of chess.

For Students

  1. Volunteering – Engaging in community service projects.
  2. Debate Club – Participating in discussions and competitions.
  3. Science Clubs – Exploring interests in various scientific fields.
  4. Sports Teams – Joining school or community sports teams.
  5. Music Bands or Choirs – Performing in school or community groups.
  6. Art Classes – Taking extra classes in painting, sculpting, or drawing.
  7. Student Government – Getting involved in student council activities.
  8. Coding Bootcamps – Learning programming skills.
  9. Environmental Clubs – Participating in or leading sustainability initiatives.
  10. Theater Productions – Acting in or helping to produce school plays.

For Resume

  1. Public Speaking – Enhancing communication and leadership skills.
  2. Foreign Languages – Studying languages to improve cultural competence.
  3. Entrepreneurial Ventures – Starting a small business or side project.
  4. Professional Memberships – Joining relevant industry associations.
  5. Technical Skills – Mastery in software tools related to the field.
  6. Project Management – Organizing and leading projects.
  7. Blogging or Vlogging – Creating content relevant to the industry.
  8. Mentoring – Tutoring or mentoring others in your area of expertise.
  9. Traveling – Gaining global exposure and understanding different cultures.
  10. Creative Design – Using design skills in practical applications.

For Work

  1. Team Sports – Demonstrating teamwork and collaboration.
  2. Networking Events – Engaging in industry meetups and conferences.
  3. Investing – Managing personal or group investments.
  4. Workshop Facilitation – Leading training sessions.
  5. Data Analysis – Using analytics skills in a practical setting.
  6. Photography – Using visual skills for marketing or events.
  7. Wellness Activities – Promoting a healthy lifestyle within the workplace.
  8. Tech Gadgets – Keeping up with the latest technology trends.
  9. Customer Service – Volunteering in roles that improve customer relations.
  10. Creative Writing – Contributing to company newsletters or blogs.

In Healthcare

  1. Medical Volunteering – Working in clinics or hospitals.
  2. Health Blogging – Sharing health tips and medical knowledge online.
  3. Nutritional Planning – Developing diets and nutrition plans.
  4. First Aid Certification – Being certified in emergency response.
  5. Yoga or Meditation – Practicing mindfulness and stress reduction.
  6. Research Projects – Participating in medical research studies.
  7. Healthcare Policy – Advocating for healthcare system improvements.
  8. Medical Technology – Exploring new medical devices and software.
  9. Patient Education – Educating patients on health management.
  10. Fitness Coaching – Promoting physical health and fitness.

For Medical Students

  1. Anatomy Workshops – Attending or organizing educational sessions.
  2. Medical Conferences – Participating in national and international events.
  3. Clinical Rotations – Gaining varied experiences across different specialties.
  4. Peer Tutoring – Helping fellow students in complex subjects.
  5. Medical Research – Contributing to scholarly articles and studies.
  6. Surgical Skills Courses – Enhancing practical surgical techniques.
  7. Medical Ethics Debate – Engaging in discussions on ethical medical practice.
  8. Healthcare Innovation – Developing new solutions for healthcare challenges.
  9. Medical Simulation – Using simulation tools for learning.
  10. Global Health – Engaging in international health initiatives.

Differences Between Hobbies and Interests

DefinitionActivities done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.Preferences or desires to learn about or engage with something.
EngagementActive participation and regular involvement.Can be passive, such as an appreciation or liking for something without active engagement.
Skill DevelopmentOften involves learning and developing specific skills.May not necessarily involve skill development.
Time CommitmentUsually requires a significant time commitment to practice and hone skills.May only require time spent learning or observing, with no need for regular practice.
ExamplesPainting, playing a musical instrument, woodworking.Interest in history, fascination with space, love for music without playing an instrument.

When to Include Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume

Relevance to the Job

You should include hobbies and interests on your resume when they are directly relevant to the job you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for a position in a sports-related field, mentioning your involvement in sports can be beneficial. Similarly, if the job requires creativity, listing hobbies like painting or writing can demonstrate your creative skills.

Enhancing Your Resume

Hobbies and interests can be included to enhance your resume when they showcase transferable skills that might not be evident from your professional experience. Examples include leadership skills shown through a club or team involvement, or problem-solving skills highlighted by strategy games or puzzles.

Making a Personal Connection

Including personal interests can also help you make a connection with the hiring manager, especially if your hobbies align with the company’s culture or the personal interests of the team you’re hoping to join. This can make your resume stand out and show that you are a good cultural fit.

Filling Gaps in Professional Experience

If you are new to the job market, have gaps in your employment, or are changing industries, hobbies and interests can fill out your resume and show your enthusiasm and adaptability. This is particularly useful for graduates or individuals entering a new industry where practical experience might be lacking.

Tailoring to the Application

Always tailor your hobbies and interests to the specific job and company. Avoid generic interests like “reading” or “traveling” unless you can tie them directly to job-relevant activities, such as reading technical literature related to your field, or traveling for volunteering or research purposes.

How to List Hobbies and Interests on a Resume

Selecting Appropriate Hobbies and Interests

Before adding hobbies and interests to your resume, consider their relevance to the job you’re applying for. Choose activities that demonstrate key skills or align with the company’s culture. It’s important to be genuine in your selection to avoid misrepresentations.

Formatting Tips

  • Location on the Resume: Typically, hobbies and interests are listed at the bottom of the resume. This section should be concise, as it is not the main focus of your resume.
  • Use of Bullet Points: List your hobbies and interests using bullet points for easy readability, or incorporate them into a short, descriptive paragraph.
  • Be Specific: Instead of generic terms, be specific. For example, rather than saying “reading,” mention “reading 20th-century American fiction” if relevant.

Examples of How to List Them

Individual Interests

  • Creative Writing: Regular contributor to a local online magazine with a focus on social issues.
  • Marathon Running: Completed five marathons in the past three years, demonstrating dedication and resilience.

Group Activities or Clubs

  • Chess Club President: Led the university chess team to a national championship, enhancing strategic thinking and leadership skills.
  • Volunteer Work: Organize monthly events for a local food bank, coordinating teams of 20+ volunteers.

Describing the Impact

When possible, add a brief description of how your hobby or interest has contributed to your personal or professional development. This can be in the form of achievements, skills developed, or lessons learned.

Tailoring to the Job

Always tailor this section to each job application. For instance, if applying for a team leadership role, highlight team-based activities or interests that showcase leadership and collaborative skills.

What kind of interests should you put on your resume?

Selecting Relevant Interests

When deciding what interests to include on your resume, aim for those that are relevant to the job you’re applying for or those that demonstrate transferable skills that are valuable in many types of jobs. Here are a few general categories and examples to consider:

  • Professional Interests: These include interests directly related to the field you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying for a tech job, you might mention your interest in coding competitions or tech blogs.
  • Community Engagement: Involvement in community service, local groups, or volunteering shows you’re active in contributing to improvements and are likely to be a positive team player.
  • Creative Pursuits: Interests like painting, writing, or playing musical instruments can highlight your creativity and ability to think outside the box.
  • Sports and Fitness: Active participation in sports can demonstrate teamwork, determination, and a focus on health and energy.
  • Travel: Mentioning travel can highlight your openness to new experiences and adaptability, especially if you’ve traveled extensively or have experience with various cultures.
  • Continued Learning: Interests such as reading, attending workshops, or completing courses show that you are committed to personal and professional growth.

Tips for Including Interests

  • Be Honest: Only include genuine interests, as you may be asked to discuss them during an interview.
  • Keep It Short: List only a few interests (three to five is usually sufficient) to keep your resume concise.
  • Avoid Controversies: Steer clear of potentially controversial topics unless they are directly relevant to the job or company culture.
  • Customize: Tailor your interests to each job application to reflect the most relevant qualities you would bring to the position.

Benefits of having interests

Demonstrating a Well-Rounded Personality

Discussing your interests during a job interview can help convey that you are a well-rounded individual. Interests and hobbies outside of your professional life can show that you have a balanced approach to life. This can be appealing to employers who value a diverse and adaptable workforce.

Showing Soft Skills and Personal Qualities

Many hobbies and interests involve skills that are transferable to the workplace. For example, team sports can demonstrate teamwork, leadership, and the ability to work under pressure. Creative hobbies like painting or writing show creativity and innovation. Discussing these interests can help illustrate how your personal qualities and soft skills make you a suitable candidate for the job.

Enhancing Cultural Fit

Sharing your interests can help potential employers gauge how well you might fit into the company culture. If your hobbies align with the company’s ethos or the team’s interests, it can make you a more attractive candidate. Employers often look for individuals who will not only perform well in their role but also contribute positively to the company culture.

Building Rapport with the Interviewer

Talking about personal interests can also help build rapport with your interviewer. It can make the interview feel less formal and more conversational, which can ease nerves and allow more of your personality to shine through. This personal connection might make you more memorable among many candidates.

Showing Commitment and Passion

When you talk about interests with enthusiasm and passion, it reflects your ability to commit and dedicate yourself to activities. Employers may see this passion as indicative of your approach to tasks at work. Demonstrating commitment to an interest, especially over a long period, can suggest perseverance, dedication, and the ability to manage commitments effectively.

Providing Examples of Achievements and Growth

If your hobbies and interests have led to specific achievements or personal growth, mentioning these can be very powerful. For instance, if you’ve organized a community event or won competitions, these are concrete examples of leadership, project management, and personal initiative. These achievements can reinforce your qualifications and potential value to the company.

What are interests on a resume?

Interests on a resume are hobbies or activities you enjoy outside of work that reflect your personality, skills, and values, potentially making you a more attractive candidate.

Why should I include interests on my resume?

Including interests on your resume can help employers see your personality, demonstrate relevant skills, and create a well-rounded image, making you stand out among other candidates.

What types of interests should I include on my resume?

Include interests that highlight skills or qualities relevant to the job, such as team sports for collaboration, chess for strategic thinking, or volunteering for community engagement.

Where should I list my interests on a resume?

List your interests in a separate section at the bottom of your resume, after your work experience, education, and skills sections, to provide a complete picture of your profile.

How many interests should I list on my resume?

List 3-5 interests on your resume to provide enough information about your personality without overwhelming the reader or taking up too much space.

Should I customize my interests for each job application?

Yes, tailor your listed interests to align with the job description and company culture to show that you’re a good fit and share common values.

Can interests on a resume impact hiring decisions?

Yes, interests can impact hiring decisions by highlighting relevant skills, showing cultural fit, and making your resume more memorable, helping you stand out in a competitive job market.

Can listing interests on a resume be beneficial for networking?

Yes, shared interests can be conversation starters during interviews and networking events, helping you build rapport and establish connections with potential employers and colleagues.

What role do personal interests play in social connections?

Personal interests foster social interactions, build friendships, and create opportunities for networking by connecting with like-minded individuals and participating in group activities.

How can personal interests be included in a resume?

Highlight relevant interests that showcase skills, creativity, and personality traits, aligning them with the job role to demonstrate a well-rounded, motivated candidate.

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