Killer Interview Question: How Did You Spend Your Weekend?

Killer Interview Question: How Did You Spend Your Weekend?

We’re often told to keep our personal and work lives separate. This week’s KIQ goes against this line of thinking.

Woman by the pool image from Shutterstock

When Amber Guild, president of brand experience for design company Collins, interviews job candidates, she usually starts off by asking about what they did on the weekend. This isn’t a trick question.

“I’m not looking to evaluate their answers but rather start to hear and understand who they are as a person,” Guid said. “Most people tend to get excited to share a story and you start to get an idea of what inspires them and what they’re passionate about.”

This leads to job candidates sharing interesting tidbits about their lives. One applicant had a side bakery business that Guild found out about after asking about their weekend.

“While professional experience and skillset is important, it’s not all we hire for,” she said. “We’re looking for people who are engaged in other areas of their lives — people who are curious, inspired, kind, thoughtful and empathetic. Oh, and insanely smart.”

How would you answer this question? What did you get up to over the weekend? Let us know in the comments.

[Via Business Insider Australia]


  • I took the girlfriend to breakfast on Saturday morning and then took her to buy new glasses because I sat on her frames last week.

    I bbq’d some chicken and played Fifa 16 on Sunday with the boys, screamed at the tv a lot, acquired fish and chips whilst I ate half a jar of tartare sauce to myself and crashed out for the next 12 hours.

  • Any potential employer who asked me about my weekend would set off massive alarm bells. That’s a huge red flag right there…

  • Red flag for what? What does it tell you?
    It tells me that the employer is interested in you as a person rather than just a work robot.
    You spend most of your life with the people – if they are genuinely interested in and care about you and your life, it makes it all that much easier.
    Plus it may find common ground in which to bond, which may help in the decision to hire/not hire you!

    • No, it tells me I’d better say goodbye to weekends. This company is going to put me through the wringer.
      Not as deadly but still bad: they will expect you to “donate” time doing community support stuff. Basically, do PR for the company in your own time, for zero compensation. Failure to comply is considered a “poor work attitude” and your annual evaluation suffers, you get passed over for promotions, and may even impact salary negotiations.

    • What it tells me is that the employer is one that believes there is a connection between what I do on the weekend and my work performance. For example: I reply that I painted some of the fence, fixed the broken gate and helped my 11 year re-string an old guitar because he thinks he wants to learn. I also went out to dinner with my wife and on Sunday we walked together along the foreshore (all true). What does this have to do with my work as a software developer or manager. In fact, the biggest risk is that it will prejudice the interviewers in one way or another. Work and life are separate things and should always be. Your employer is not your friend.

  • I think I’d be honest about what I did, whilst acknowledging (to myself) it may prejudice them against me. That’s because I’m pretty enthusiastic about some of my non-work activities and I might sound too interested in them rather than the job 🙂

    I don’t think you can make a hard-and-fast rule about whether sharing that kind of info is good or bad. Sure, keep in mind that in general one should share with great caution, but it does depend on the interviewer. Some people are genuinely interested.

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