Nervous about interviews? If so, 101 Greatest Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions by Ron Fry, is a great book offering an inside view of what employers look for in your answers to their toughest questions. The book is divided into ten chapters each addressing common types of interview questions. Though some of the questions discussed in this book are geared toward people who recently graduated from undergrad, most of them are pertinent in any stage of your career.
The first few chapters of the book discuss points that are important in practically every interview. The first chapter explains how it is important for you to be prepared to discuss some of your most important accomplishments. The author provides data input sheets to help the reader map out their experiences and accomplishments. The next chapter builds on this and helps the reader learn how to focus on their qualifications in any type of interview, including behavioral, stress and case interviews. The third chapter helps the reader prepare a strategic answer to the question, “tell me about yourself,” that describes some of the interviewee’s greatest strengths and experience all within 1-2 minutes.
The next chapters delve into some more specific interview questions including those about college major, personal experience, and situational questions. Chapter 4 contains some pertinent information for law school students applying to jobs, but seems to apply more to applicants from undergrad, so I would suggest a quick skim of that section. Chapter 5 discusses helpful answers to questions about past work experience, especially for students applying to job for which they may not have a lot of obviously relevant experience. This chapter gives some tips about how to relate skills from other work or volunteer experiences to practically any job. Chapter 6 explains how to answer questions that ask you to describe specific situations that you have encountered (ex. “When’s the last time you made a poor decision/were fired/dealt with a difficult boss”). Some of these questions can be challenging to answer without sounding like interviewees are making excuses, so this chapter may be especially helpful to people who have difficulty with these types of questions.
The last chapters of the book also deal with answering some potentially difficult questions. Chapter 7 provides tips for answering questions about why you are looking for a job. While this may not sound like a daunting question, some of the follow ups may be tricky (ex. “Where does your boss think you are right now? Why haven’t you received any offers yet?”). Chapter 8 follows up on the previous chapter by helping interviewees answer questions about why they chose to interview at that company. Chapters 9 discusses questions that border on being illegal, for example questions about marital status, race, or age. Chapter 10 addresses issues that are usually brought up at the end of the interview, such as compensation and willingness to travel.
In conclusion, while this book has some information that is more relevant for people who just graduated undergrad, the great majority of the interview questions discussed are applicable to people in any stage of their job hunt or career. Almost everyone has topics that they may be uncomfortable discussing in interviews, but this book provides great advice about how to talk about those issues with confidence so that you can impress any interviewer.