HR pros and hiring managers never stop looking for that next great interview question (nor should they). Well, here’s one that may be worth adding to your must-ask list — if you agree with the CEO’s reason for asking it. 

First, here’s the question:

“What hobby is important to you?”

Next, here’s the person who insists on asking it of every job candidate she meets:

Bonnie Crater, CEO of Full Circle Insights, a sales and marketing analytics company in San Mateo, CA.

Now, here’s her reasoning for highly recommending this question:

After learning firsthand what keeping your nose to the grindstone – without having a “release” – can do to your mind and body, she began insisting on asking this of every applicant her firm interviews, Crater told Business Insider and Inc. magazine.

Crater said she sued to work long hours and felt her productivity drop off as a result — and she doesn’t want her employees to suffer the same fate.

‘Does it consume you?’

Crater said everyone she hires must have at least one hobby she considers “consuming.”

Why? She says having a hobby on the side is essential for creating a release that’s relaxing and wards off burn out, which then keeps employees happy and productive.

“We want people to work really hard, but when they’re not working, we want them to really not work,” she told Inc.

The hobby can be anything – rock climbing, sports, volunteering, etc. But it has to be something.

If a candidate says they don’t have a hobby, he or she’s usually not hired.

Not even Crater, who plays tennis and works with the Bay Area Lyme foundation, is above the requirement.

Is it making a difference?

That kind of commitment to work-life balance may sound a bit overboard, but Crater says it has helped ensure that every member of her firm’s 30-plus workforce shows up engaged and ready to perform.

And it’s hard to argue with the results: Last year, Full Circle Insights tripled in size, and it expects to double in size again in 2016, Inc. reported.

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