"If you're not passionate, you achieve mediocrity" – Jon Taffer.
"Confident and excited, Sam stayed up all night preparing answers to potential questions the interviewer may ask. He was, in fact, able to answer all the technical questions without breaking a sweat. As the behavioral interview round was coming to an end, the interviewer asked one last question that left Sam completely speechless. He just wanted to know what it is that Sam was passionate about."
Now, you may wonder that a simple question such as this one doesn't require any preparation.
However, if asked the same question, can you provide a well-constructed answer?
Many fail to comprehend that it is usually the simplest of questions that pose the greatest challenges during an interview. These simple yet personal questions require answers that are both professional yet informal.
Creating an overly emotional speech about what intrigued your passion is unnecessary. Some even make the mistake of saying that working is their passion, which many hiring managers consider an elaborate lie.
That is why you must understand how to answer this simple interview question, what are you passionate about?
Remember, this is often as important as technical interview questions!
Hence, keep reading to find out some helpful what are you passionate about sample answers and learn how to construct some responses on your own for this question.
Unless you are applying to a company you were associated with before, your potential employer doesn't know you at all. So, how will they find out more about you? A simple way of finding out more about a person is by figuring out what intrigues them most.
Often, it has been noticed that the passion and career path of a person are complete opposites. For instance, a software developer may be more passionate about photography, or a game designer may be more interested in contemporary art.
There might be only a handful who make their passion their career path. That is why, to find out more about you, your work ethics and your personality, knowing your passion is quite essential.
Let's keep reading to know why employers ask what are you passionate about.
By understanding what are you most passionate about, employers get more aware of what motivates you. This way, when working on team projects, the employer is able to place the perfect incentive before you. They will be able to fire up your inner zeal by simply triggering your passion.
A person's passion is often their greatest strength; therefore, allocating work surrounding it often ensures optimum results. If a software developer's strength lies in coding, keeping them focused on deriving a project report is simply ridiculous and a complete waste of time. You know they won't be able to excel at it as they are more into technical development rather than business management.
Knowing everything about a person you see for the first time is impossible. That is why, if you need to know them well, ask them, "what are you passionate about?" They will immediately initiate an entire conversation talking about their league of interest. This is one of the reasons why an employer always asks the same question to every applicant.
Why is it important to be passionate, especially for a job interview?
Unless you are too bored, lazy, or unexplainably average, you probably have a passion. It need not be centered on your work, society, family, or friends. You can be passionate about anything, be it traveling, art, music, environment, learning something new, etc.
Simply honoring a passion is enough to define you as a person.
This is why, when your interviewer asks you a simple question – "What are you passionate about?" - taking the oath of silence isn't going to help. This is no time to be shy; so, unless it isn't too bizarre to talk about, do mention your passion with a smile.
"But what happens if I don't have a passion? What's wrong with that?" – The answer is everything. Some may even point out that you are devoid of any motivation in life and will prove to be the same in your workplace as well. Instead of hyping your teammates towards achieving a project, you may end up derailing them from a set path. Ultimately, an image is established before your potential big-shot employer that you lack motivation, perseverance, interest, will, or goals in life. You will work only for the sake of it and not for your organization.
This needs to change if you wish to go up your career ladder. It is alright if you don't have a passion now. But don't just let it be. Find your passion. Search for it, or let it find you.
Any comprehensive technical interview preparation courses would be incomplete without venturing into this aspect.
After all, passion precedes phenomenon.
So, how will you formulate an answer to a question so simple yet personal?
Here are some ways if you're wondering how to answer what are you most passionate about.
One of the key aspects of any interview is to sound professional and confident. Stuttering to answer simple questions won't do you much justice. If your interviewer wishes to know about your passion, confidently explain your passion, likes, and dislikes. It is information you are explaining about yourself, so don't shy away from it.
When talking about your passion, there must be a root. What led you to acquire your passion, or what was the starting point? This is why you must explain where it all began. Don't go for an entire narrative, though. A few sentences about where it all began will be enough.
While your source of motivation is a must, dedicating the entirety of your time towards it won't do. There must be a certain percentage of your day that you dedicate towards your passion. So, when talking of your strengths, do mention how much time you spend doing what you love; this way, the employer gets an assurance that you are willing to focus on your career when not surrounding yourself with things of interest.
Things that should NEVER be your passion! (At least, do not mention these at any interview.)
Before you head out for your interview, you need to figure out how to answer what are you most passionate about.
It is quite apparent by now that any interviewer will ask what you are passionate about.
"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you." – Oprah Winfrey.
Deriving a thoughtful answer for the same can prove to be difficult. That is why, instead of creating a new passion, you must realize and acknowledge an existing one. You can hold passion for almost anything. It can be associated with your career path or something entirely different. So, when talking of passion with your hiring manager, choose to be truthful.
Keep reading to know more about some of what am I passionate about examples.
"Sam learned his lesson from his last interview and was now ready to counter all questions that come his way. As the "what are you passionate about question" came rolling, he immediately responded by saying that his true interest lies in contemporary art despite choosing a career in software development. A peculiar interest such as this piqued his interviewers' interest, and they wished to know more. However, by the end of the conversation, the hiring manager had lost all interest."
The reason behind it was Sam, besides possessing an interesting passion, was unable to explain the reason for his passion. Often, interviewers encounter applicants who make up certain passions and hobbies for extra credit. That is why a proper explanation is expected from you to the question of what are you passionate about and why.
Every event that takes place in your life has a backstory. When telling this story to someone, you cannot abruptly skip to the end.
A proper explanation of where it all began and why you are still here is expected. That is why, when you tell your interviewer about your passion, don't be abrupt!
Take your time and explain with ease what made you pursue this interest. Let it sink into your interviewer's head what turned a minor interest into your passion. Remember, it is your responsibility to create a lasting impression on your employer. The trick is to answer what are you most passionate about in a way so that it makes you unforgettable.
While having an interesting passion is a distinctive quality that not many possess, it cannot be completely bizarre. For example, if you hold an interest in graphic designing despite applying for a project manager's position, that doesn't mean your interest has no value. You can always use your creative capacity to enable your team with innovative ideas.
"Creativity is intelligence, having fun" – Albert Einstein.
However, if you are a data analyst with interest in photography, that might pose some issues. This would be due to you being unable to establish a connection between the two. Your interviewer may even end up assuming that you hold no interest in working and will only be taking up this job for monetary satisfaction.
Your passion cannot manifest in a day. It takes years of perseverance to turn simple interests into an undeniable passion. So, answering a question such as what are you passionate about cannot end with a made-up interest.
Then, what should you do? You state your true passion. The one that you are interested in and like to contribute your time towards every day!
Defining passion is simple but explaining it will be difficult, especially if you hold no interest in it.
That is why mention the one you know about. You mustn't state outrageous ideas which, although they sound interesting, seem too far fetched to be someone's passion.
You are a chartered accountant, but you love to paint portraits. This can't be defined as a passion. Hobby – Yes! But not passion.
Try to link your passion to your job. Also, your passion cannot be a one-time thing. It must have piqued your interest in some way that you still associate with it.
"Passion is the difference between having a job or having a career." – Anuragi Joshi.
For example – A programmer with a passion for coding cannot suddenly switch to something else after a few weeks. Then, the word "passion" becomes redundant. That is why if you have a passion for any activity, keep yourself occupied with it.
It enables you to practice and develop your skills. Always work towards your passion as it becomes your driving force towards success.
What do you think can be defined as passion? While some may say art, others may prefer technical knowledge.
However, passion holds no barriers and limitations. The question "what are you most passionate about" has an elaborate playground and isn't talking about certain hobbies or interests of yours. Passion is more about an aspect of your life that you invest in.
So, when stating your passion, you need not make it sound too farfetched or interesting. If it piques your interest enough, it should impress your employer well.
For example, if you are a software developer and need to answer what are you passionate about in your career, you can try this route mentioned below:
"As a software developer, I love coding and have found interest in this subject way before pursuing my degree. Often, when I was not too fond of the interface of any game, I would try writing my own. I enjoyed the process of discovery and receiving feedback when someone liked the changes I made."
For example, if you are a chartered accountant who is into modern art.
"As a chartered accountant, most of my time goes into focusing on numbers and balance sheets. Creativity holds no place in this line of work. However, when working with sheets and numbers all week, concentrating on modern art and visiting galleries helps me regain my flair for work. It is my form of motivation."
For example, if you appear for an interview with multiple interests and need to answer, what are you most passionate about?
"I am someone who enjoys multiple interests but to segregate any one of them as passion may be difficult. I love volunteering in shelters, participating in drives, and helping people. Other than that, I also love food, be it cooking or eating. My list of interests may seem overwhelming, but through the years, they have taught me that having a singular passion only holds down your power of innovation."
"I am passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to work, I always enforce discipline. I believe that following set rules and adhering to proper guidelines enable a healthy work environment, ensuring the taskforce some mental peace as well."
"My biggest passion is to learn about software and computers. This interest of mine began when I was in high school and has persisted ever since. This is why I pursued the subject at the time of getting a degree. However, while I do possess avid knowledge currently, I believe there is still room for more. Much more."
"I am passionate about self-improvement. I believe this interest of mine is like a third nature to me by now. Whether it is learning something new or improving a particular skill, working on myself has always given me certain zeal."
"I love traveling as it is fun, and I get to interact with new people every day. This side of mine has enabled me to broaden my perspective. I can blend with my colleagues and teammates with ease."
"Cooking is a passion of mine mainly because all food comes with a definitive recipe. I love doing the same in my work life, as well. I am a follower of principles and guidelines and adhere to them, till the very end, especially when it comes to leading a team."
"I am an avid book reader, and it is where my passion lies. However, rather than fiction, I prefer books surrounding life tales of famous business people. It teaches me a lot about how they became successful and helps me persevere in life with a bit more enthusiasm."
"My passion is modern art. I love to paint, and although it holds no connection with the position of a sales manager, it always helps boost my creativity. By concentrating on my passion, I can bring innovation to my work as well."
"My passion lies in fishing. It is an odd sport; however, it requires endless ounces of patience. My passion for the sport enables me always to be calm when dealing with complicated situations. It also calms me down after a long stressful week of work and prepares me for harsher challenges."
Your passion comes from within, and to exude it to your interviewer is where the challenge lies. While you can read and learn how to answer what are you passionate about, knowing exactly what to say can be difficult.
"The most successful people follow passion, not paychecks." - Anonymous.
Often, the answers that you derive on your hold more value than the ones you learn. Hence, if you're wondering how to answer this question, the simple formula is to let yourself free and respond with integrity.
And while you're at it, it would be yet another step forward if you prepared answers to common Google phone interview questions, Amazon phone interview questions, and Netflix phone questions as well.
Happy job hunting!