Evaluating Passion During an Interview

Many factors get candidates in the door of your company, but passion is often what makes them stay and be successful. Candidates who have passion, even if they are lacking some technical proficiencies, are more likely to be engaged and productive, and less prone to burnout. Their personal drive is what keeps them motivated, rather than external sources. Learn how you can pick out the passionate candidates from the rest – ask questions regarding these topics to evaluate passion during an interview:

Professional Goals

Candidates who are passionate tend to have a career plan, rather than just job hop. They approach new positions with strategy, which means they are more likely to work hard not just for the company’s benefit, but their own as well. Ask candidates what their specific short- and long-term professional goals are to gauge their levels of passion.



Passion is what helps candidates use past mistakes and failures as opportunities to grow, while those lacking passion are more likely to be disengaged or cynical. Talk about past examples of times when the candidate had to deal with a challenging situation and how he or she overcame it. You can likely see how passionate the candidate is in the manner of the provided description.



When candidates who are passionate about an opportunity discuss it, that burning desire can be practically palpable. To see how enthusiastic a candidate is, ask some “why?” questions, including his or her reasoning for getting into the industry, leaving his or her last job, and why he or she is interested in this particular job.


Industry Involvement

This may only be applicable depending on the type of job you’re hiring for, but candidates who go beyond their job duties and involve themselves in their field of interest tend to be more passionate. Whether it’s attending networking events, taking additional training, being part of an industry organization, or even just regularly reading industry news, a candidate who takes it a step further is more likely to be in the industry for the right reasons.


Outside Interests

You can tell a lot about people by what they do in their spare time. Gain a more in-depth perspective of candidates during the interview by asking about their hobbies and other outside interests. How much passion and drive is required for the candidates’ interests can provide real insight into how it could be translated into their work.


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