What Can Hobbies Reveal About a Candidate?

Tennis ball

While a lot of recruiters look at the bare bones of a CV – qualifications and previous roles – there’s a lot to be said about taking a closer look at the extra bits and pieces. Reading between the lines can reveal a lot more about the personality of the candidate – something which is often hard to decide from just the CV. So what do hobbies and interests reveal about your potential hires?

That Extra Mile

If someone has taken the time to include their hobbies on their CV and use them to exemplify their suitability for the role, it shows they have put a lot of thought into their CV. A conscientious and well thought out CV is the sign of a good candidate. It also means they have the creativity to apply out-of-work scenarios and skills to a professional life. For example, if a person has written about the leadership skills they have adopted through sports teams, they can use this to indicate their suitability for the role. The candidate is showing you they have more to offer than the normal criteria for the job, and they have unique and interesting skills they would like to bring to the table.

Person Attributes

Hobbies can reveal a lot about someone’s personal skills and attributes – which are difficult to infer from qualifications and previous experience.  For example, a team sport loving person is probably sociable with a competitive spirit, while a Cub Scout leader is likely caring and creative. When it comes to recruiting, job specification is only half of what you’re looking for. Whether the candidate will fit well within the company relies heavily on their personality and attitude. Hobbies and interests are essentially the candidate telling you what they enjoy and what they care about, which massively relates to what kind of worker they will be. You can therefore use these as indicators to help you decide who to call in for the interview stage.


As well as looking at what people’s hobbies are, it’s important to look at how they pursue them. If a dog lover spends their spare time helping at the local dog sanctuary, then you know they are the kind of person that actively pursued something they are passionate about. This is a key indicator that this person grabs opportunities with both hands. Volunteering especially is an indication that this candidate is dedicated and willing to give up their time to help. This is an attractive trait in your employees as it means you staff will be proactive and willing to take things on.