Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Book review: Job interviews for dummies by Joyce Kennedy

Job interviews for dummies – 3rd ed – Joyce Lain Kennedy

The third edition of Job interviews for dummies focuses on every aspect a job seeker may encounter when applying for a job. The book focuses on all the different types of job interviews and methods used within the interviews. Modern methods such as video interviews and other methods using the internet are discussed as well as the traditional interview styles. Examples are given on how to answer certain questions and what to expect. The unique difference with this book and other job interview books is the author’s use of theatre to describe a job interview. Headings such as ‘Backstage rehearsal’ or ‘Casting your character’ are used to liken the interview to a stage performance.

What I gained from reading this book:
Being a recent graduate I have been through so many interviews. At the beginning I was terrified of every stage. The main reason for my terror – I didn’t know what to expect. Reading this book solved my terror problem. This book explains in good detail everything you could possibly expect to encounter during the interview stage. By understanding what types of questions they may ask, or how to handle a phone interview, I was not only prepared for their questions but I was also relaxed and confident. Needless to say, I have this book to thank for finally landing a decent job.
Because I was a recent graduate with almost no experience, I was struggling to convince the interviewers that I am suitable for the job. The tips in this book became very valuable in helping me explain why my lack of experience is a minor detail. Many of my answers to their questions were word for word from the examples used in the book. Not having to come up with answers gave the impression that I could easily ‘think on my feet’. I actually remember the interviewer saying she was impressed with my answers.

Having an understanding (even if it is only basic) of what could happen in an interview will greatly increase your likeliness of succeeding and landing a job.
The book discusses every possible aspect in interviews from panel interviews to handling qualification issues. By learning this information, you can become more confident and more likely to be at an advantage to the other candidates.

While I found this book incredibly useful, I disliked the way the author used theatre and acting references to explain interviews. While other people may like this method, for me it was distracting and at times silly. I managed to look past it though, and found great value in what was discussed. Just remember: if you get tired of the metaphors and similes, just ignore them and focus on the ‘message’ the author is trying to explain.

Recommended for: Job seekers
This book is recommended for anybody currently applying for a new job or may do so in the future some time. Being successful in a job interview is a skill that can be learned. By having an understanding of what happens in interviews and how to handle the situations, you are putting yourself at an advantage. Many people know that normally it isn’t the most qualified person who gets the job in the end; it is the person who can convince the interviewers.
One last tip for those job seekers out there: don’t only read up on the interviewing process. Make sure you learn how to write a good resume or else you won’t even make it to the interview. The author of this book has also written the Resumes for Dummies book (which I have not read). You can check it out at Amazon.

Genre: Career

Overall rating: 7 out of 10 stars

Australians can buy the book by clicking the picture below (although it seems Fishpond only has the first edition):

Job Interviews for Dummies (For Dummies S.)

Where to from here:
If this book has done its job, you shouldn’t need any other book (because you will now be employed). On the other hand, if you can’t seem to get to the interview point, have a search on Amazon for books that teach you to write a good resume. Just type Resume in the search box on the right side panel.

On the other hand, if you want to gain a basic understanding of business (useful in most jobs) I recommend:
MBA in a day by Steven Stralser

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