Jobpostings Magazine asked Angela Fennelow, Director, CSF Recruiting and Selection at Sun Life Financial, about one of her favourite questions that comes up during interviews.
Interviewers want to learn more about you! They wants to know your interests, what motivates you, and why you participate in extra-curricular activities. This is an opportunity to share what is important to you, and it helps the interviewers determine if your values and motivators are a good fit with the company and the role you are applying for. It will also help them decide if they should share specific aspects of the role you are applying for that may be of interest to you and your current career path.
Do you just show up for meetings, or are you an active member in your extra-curricular groups? Share the vision and mission of the group and your role within it. If you are a member of a student or community organization or team, and you are in a key role that drives the strategy and direction of the organization, this demonstrates commitment and leadership. If you are active in more than one group, be sure to give details because this shows you can manage multiple projects concurrently.
Your answer to this question also demonstrates your skill in balancing work (school projects, assignments, and attending class) with your life outside of work. Balancing work and life, while maintaining your overall health is important in today's work environment, and if you are already doing this in school, then you are putting in place the foundations for your career and life balance.
How you answer this question also provides information about your networks in the community and your ability to build and maintain relationships with others. Networking and relationship building is an expectation of your career development today. Meeting company objectives is rarely an individual event. For example, our career sales force advisors succeed when they help their clients, for which trusting relationships are necessary.
Your extra-curricular activities provide you with a lot of experiences that you can draw on in most interview situations. Good luck!