Hobbies and Interests – The Differences

~Rishika Dembani

Often, we see that people find themselves puzzled in an interview when they are asked simple questions such as “What are your hobbies and interests?” or “What is the difference between hobbies and interests?”

It’s not because the person doesn’t have any hobbies or interests. Rather, it is just that he/she doesn’t understand what the difference is between them. And can you really blame them?

Hobbies and interests are the two different words, oftentimes used synonymously by most of us. However, in reality, they actually mean different things.

They are interconnected, which is where the confusion arises.

So, let’s take a closer look to understand the meaning and the key differences between these often incorrectly interchanged words, hobbies and interests.


Hobbies are activities of collecting, creating, and doing things that a person enjoys in their leisure time. They are a recreational pursuit. Hobbies arise out of interest in a particular thing.

After a hectic day at work, everyone deserves their ‘me time’ to do the activities that make them genuinely happy. Hobbies let people forget about the pains of their monotonous life while giving them a chance to pursue their interests and take it a step further.

People have different hobbies to fill their heart’s desire.

Listening to music, playing video games, engaging in sports activities, watching television, reading books, crafting, knitting, dancing, singing, cooking, playing a musical instrument, gardening, yoga, fishing, collecting coins, stamps are some of the favorite activities people engage in to satisfy their inner self.

Most of us use the words hobbies and interests interchangeably quite often. But actually, these are two very different words having significant differences.

Your hobbies don’t necessarily have to be random activities and over time, they may become your passion. It is amazing to be passionate about a particular activity as it gives you a certain pleasure that others cannot.

While choosing a hobby, one must look for things that they are genuinely interested in. They should search for a skill that they will love to develop for their own amusement.

Hobbies say a lot about the person and are a major factor in personality development. Try to get out of your comfort zone and just go for it. Do something that challenges you but excites you at the same time.

Cultivating a hobby requires time and effort. But the best part is that it is energy spent on personal thrill and advancement.

However, if you decide to convert your hobbies into your profession, or as a source of income, they no longer can be classified as your hobbies.


Interests are feelings or emotions that arise out of curiosity and intrigue regarding a particular subject. They lead to the development of attention in the person towards the subject or the cause.

People may find many topics and subjects suitable to their taste. Anything and everything that catches your eye and keeps you hooked may be termed as your interest.

You do not have to necessarily work towards the activity for you to be interested in it. However, your interest may one day turn into your passion and you may take it up as your profession making it your primary source of income.


Say, you are interested in the Mughal history and decide to go the extra mile and become an archaeologist.

However, if your interest in the Mughal history ends up in you collecting various artifacts from that period, that will become your hobby. You may even decide to not act on it and the Mughal history just happens to be one of the wide subjects you are fascinated by.

All in all, interests can be seen as the starting point of any idea.

The Differences between Hobbies and Interests

The main differences between hobbies and interests are:

  • All hobbies are interests but all interests may not be your hobbies.
  • For interests to become hobbies, action is required.
  • Interests can become a source of earning but hobbies cannot.
  • Hobbies require consistency.
  • Interests are subjects whereas hobbies are activities.
  • For interests to become hobbies action is required.

Let us discuss the points in details:

  • All hobbies are interests but all interests may not be your hobbies.

They are inter-dependent. For an interest to become a hobby, an active endeavor is required.

For example, a person may find learning about gardening interesting. This means that he/she is interested in it.

But if gardening is what the person does on a daily basis, the main motivation being personal relaxation, then that becomes a hobby.

  • For interests to become hobbies action is required.

A person may have loads of interests in varied subjects. Yet, they may be satisfied, just by gaining some information about their topics of interest.

On the other hand, hobbies actually require your time and effort because you deliberately take part in the activity,

For instance, if a person is interested in cricket, he/she will surely be updated with the latest buzz in the cricket world. Such mere latest updates on their subjects of interest are enough for satisfying them.

However, if a person plays cricket on a daily basis during their free time, we can call their ‘cricket obsession’ to be a hobby.

Thus having an interest may not require any action but a hobby does.

  • Interests can become a source of earning but hobbies don’t.

For example, after generating an interest in yoga, you work towards the necessary qualifications and eventually become a yoga instructor, thus earning your livelihood through it.

However, hobbies are activities done only for leisure purposes. There is no money or profit involved in it.

So, unless you are doing yoga for your personal benefits and finding inner peace during your free time, it will not be considered as your hobby.

  • Interests are subjects whereas hobbies are activities.

Interests are more subjective. One can have an interest in tons of subjects ranging from cooking, pottery to quantum physics, and mathematics.

However, hobbies require acting on that interest daily.

  • Hobbies require consistency.

One must take part daily in a certain activity, like learning how to play the guitar, for it to become a hobby.

Unlike interests, hobbies require effective participation and consistency.


To sum up, hobbies and interests are the two sides of the same coin. Though bilateral, their minor differences make them stand apart from each other.

Hobbies are the diligent deeds that a person engages in during their free time for pure fun and as an escape from their routine life. On the contrary, interests are the initial point of any subject or activity that catches the attention of a person.

They may turn into a hobby or even a profession later or may remain just a subject of attraction. Both hobbies and interests bring a sense of motive in a person’s life.

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious … and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

So working on your avocation and occupying your pastime with things that make you happy not only fills your heart with gratification but also flourishes your intellect.

Hence, you should choose wisely on how to make the best of your recess and just have fun with it.

Anupam Kundu
A professional blogger and an IT freak. The atypical combo of a Civil Service aspirant and a Tech enthusiast.