I was asked about hobbies in two separate situations and I'm not sure if it's a genuine attempt at finding out how I spend my spare time, or looking for an answer without directly asking for it.
During a non-coding position, I was asked what I do for hobbies during the interview. The company was a small community center, that was looking for a internal IT help desk. I answered by saying I love to learn and code, and I seek out well-written, well reviewed textbooks to learn, and I mentioned I play with Python, a language I didn't learn in school, but picked up on my own.
I was working at a bank in a junior level position, and the manager had a one and one meeting with us(team of 6 people), to get an idea of how we were doing, and if anything was bothering us. I was asked about hobbies. I told her I experiment with languages that I didn't learn in school, and have in interest in linux.
Understand, I'm not asking about including hobby projects on a resume, but when employers ask that question, what do they want to know? Am I spending my time constructively or wasting it?