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What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

A Discussion of This Frequently Asked College Interview Question


"What do you do in your free time?"

The interviewer might ask this question in one of many ways: What do you do for fun? What do you do when you're not in school? What do you do on your weekends?

This is not a trick question, and many kinds of answers will do well. The interviewer is simply trying to get to know you better. College is about much more than academic classes, and the admissions folks want to know how you keep yourself busy when you're not doing schoolwork. The most attractive students are those who do interesting things in their spare time.

So, when you answer the question, make sure you actually sound like you do interesting things in your spare time. Answers like these will not impress:

  • I like hangin' with my friends. (Do you actually do anything with those friends, or do you just take up space on our little planet?)
  • I do Facebook in all my free time. (This is true for many students, but too much online time is a major source of poor academic performance in college)
  • I like partying. (Another activity that, if a abused, has caused many students to fail out of college)
  • I watch lots of TV. (Many of us watch too much TV; don't highlight that fact during your interview)
  • I don't have any free time. (This answer is true for some highly involved students, but it is an evasive answer; what would you do if you did have free time?)
  • I've been reading all of the Greek classics. (Good for you, but really? Colleges like good scholars, but they also want students who occasionally take their heads out of their books)
The best answer to this question will show that you have passions outside of the classroom. The question allows you to show that you are well rounded. Within reason, it doesn't much matter what you do in your free time as long as you do something.

Do you love working on cars? Playing a pick-up game of soccer? Hiking in the neighboring mountains? Experimenting in the kitchen? Building rockets? Playing word games with your younger brother? Painting sunsets? Surfing?

Your transcript will show that you are a good student. Your answer to this question will show that you are also someone who has diverse interests that will enrich the campus community.

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