Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Brilliant Answers to Tough Interview Questions by Susan Hodgson (5th edition)

Book review: The blurb says this book will “banish your nerves”. Well I don’t think it will banish them completely but this book, being thorough, will certainly aid you in being as prepared as possible.

The author “was head of the careers service at London South Bank University” and she “worked with a wide range of employers to ensure that she knew exactly what they were looking for.” Basically she has lots of knowledge and she’s put a lot of work into getting the best advice possible, and it is all here in this book.

If you are preparing for interviews then just reading through this book will get you into the mind-set to do well. It covers everything you could think of, although you obviously have to tailor the answers to your situation.

Chapters typically start with a few questions at the beginning with some detailed guidance of how to build and plan your answer for these types of questions, followed by lots of other questions with suitable answers following the same approach. It’ll help you develop your own answers related to yourself.

There is even a chapter covering competency based interviews, which is useful for me if I want to progress where I currently am, and how to interpret these types of questions (which isn’t always obvious). Furthermore things you wouldn’t consider to be covered in this book are, like illegal questions because of discrimination laws, how you should approach the “do you have any questions?” question at the end, and how to deal with Skype and telephone interviews. Even interviews you might conduct yourself to gather information about an industry you are interested in to see whether it would suit you are covered.

Even if you think the material might be a bit dry it isn’t as it is broken up with a bit of humour, e.g. “your answer might provoke a follow-up question – or even the need to reach for a sick bag” and some “Never Never” boxes giving you real examples of where interviews have gone wrong, which may help relax you (at least my interview won’t be that bad). If you still don’t feel like reading the book in detail then you can refer to the index and pick and choose the questions you want to read.

Maybe if you are critical you might say there is a little bit of repetition, especially in the introduction of the book which seems to have been hastily put together at the end. But the rest of the book is excellent (although with the caveat I have yet to put it to test in actual interviews).

Publication date: 1 Dec 2014

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