I work on side projects in almost all my spare time because I don't have a programming job and I like programming. No job I have ever applied for has ever been interested in experience I gained on the side, they only want to know what I have done in a corporate setting.
I have asked nearly every candidate I have interviewed this question. And in my last two jobs, personal non-work experience with technology the companies were using featured prominently.
Recruiters don't know how to screen for this, and sometimes hiring managers are just looking for an experienced person to solve an immediate need, but good leads and managers are absolutely looking for passion and personal interests. I try to always have one inexperienced, smart, and passionate individual on my team. They learn a heck of a lot faster than people who "always wanted to try ___, but the company never used it..."