Tips for Answering 16+ Interview Questions on Hobbies & Interests

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Understanding how to articulate your hobbies and interests during 16+ interviews is crucial for presenting yourself as a well-rounded candidate. This article will guide you through a four-step approach to effectively discuss your hobbies and interests, ensuring they reflect your personal values and align with your prospective school’s ethos.

4-Step Approach to 16+ Interview Questions on Hobbies & Interests

1. Identify Your Hobby or Interest

Start by pinpointing a hobby or interest that is meaningful to you and can showcase desirable qualities such as dedication, creativity, or leadership. Choosing something you are genuinely passionate about will make your discussion more authentic and engaging.

2. Provide Background

Explain how you became involved with this hobby or interest. Offering a story or background gives depth to your interest and shows it’s a significant part of your life, not just a superficial choice for the interview.

3. Characterise the Hobby

Discuss the skills and attributes you have developed through this hobby. Whether it’s teamwork from sports, creativity from arts, or strategic thinking from chess, highlight how these qualities have contributed to your personal and academic growth.

4. Future Engagement

Talk about how you plan to continue or expand your involvement in this hobby, especially in ways that align with opportunities at the school. This shows your commitment to growth and how you can contribute to the school community with your interests.

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Model Question & Answer 1:


“Can you tell us about a hobby of yours and how it has contributed to your personal development?”


Identify: “One of my main interests is community theatre, where I’ve been actively involved in various productions.”

Background: “I was drawn to theatre at a young age, finding it an exhilarating way to express creativity and explore different perspectives.”

Characterise: “Through theatre, I’ve honed my ability to work collaboratively, developed strong communication skills, and gained confidence in public speaking.”

Future: “I’m eager to join the drama club at this school, contributing to its productions and exploring theatre’s potential for community engagement.”

Model Question & Answer 1:


“Discuss how a particular hobby of yours has shaped your approach to challenges and problem-solving in both academic and personal settings.”


Identify: “A hobby that significantly impacts my life is competitive chess. It’s not just a game to me but a way to sharpen my strategic thinking and patience.”

Background: “I was introduced to chess at a young age by my grandfather. Initially, it was a way to bond, but as I delved deeper, I became fascinated by the complexities of the game and started participating in tournaments.”

Characterise the Hobby: “Chess has taught me to look at situations from multiple perspectives, anticipate outcomes, and stay calm under pressure. Each game is a new challenge, requiring not just understanding of the opponent but also self-reflection on my strategies and decisions. It’s about planning moves ahead while being adaptable to the unexpected.”

The Future: “This hobby has profoundly influenced my academic approach, especially in subjects requiring critical analysis and strategic planning, like mathematics and science. I’ve learned the value of patience, thorough preparation, and adaptability, which are skills I intend to apply in future educational pursuits and problem-solving scenarios. I’m also eager to join the chess club at your school and explore how I can contribute to and learn from the team.”

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Further Tips for Answering 16+ Interview Questions on Hobbies & Interests

Understanding the ethos and culture of the school you are applying to is crucial in effectively discussing your hobbies. If the school is known for its sports programs, for instance, highlighting your participation in athletics or team sports can show your alignment with their focus. Similarly, if a school emphasises artistic endeavours, discussing your engagement in activities like painting, music, or theatre can demonstrate your fit with their culture. This alignment shows not only your awareness of the school’s values but also how your personal interests contribute to and enrich the school community.

Your hobbies can also be a window into your personal development journey. Use your interests to showcase skills like discipline, creativity, teamwork, or leadership. For example, if you are involved in organising events for a club, you can discuss how this has enhanced your leadership and organisational skills. Or, if you are into solo activities like writing or painting, you can talk about how these hobbies have helped in developing your creativity and independent thinking. This aspect of the conversation can give interviewers insight into your character and how you have grown through your engagements outside of academia.

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