Book Review: 101 Great Answers To The Toughest Interview Questions by Ron Fry

Apr 2nd, 2016 | By | Category: Career advice

The PracticaL Mentor’s review of: 101 Great Answers To The Toughest Interview Questions, and the companion book: 101 Smart Questions To Ask On Your Interview by Ron Fry.


I am thankful for the invitation from Career Press to Review Ron Fry’s 101 Great Answers To The Toughest Interview Questions, and the companion book: 101 Smart Questions To Ask On Your Interview. Although both books are very useful in preparing for the interview process, the author recommends that if you are only going to read one, read 101 Great Answers To The Toughest Interview Questions.

This is the 4th Edition of 101 Great Answers To The Toughest Interview Questions by Ron Fry. The last Edition was published in 2009, and as Ron Fry explains in the Introduction a lot has changed in the interview and job-seeking arena in the past several years. Most of the changes have come in the way company’s screen applicants for the first interview. More and more the Human Resources Department is responsible for screening applicants to ensure they are qualified for the position. As if it is not bad enough that someone who probably knows little about the position does the interview screening, they are aided by computer scanners programmed to look for key words. One very important point Ron makes early on in the book is how important it is to tailor your cover letter and resume when applying for a job. This requires doing research on the company and selling yourself as the right fit for the job you are seeking. Ron devotes the Introduction to How to Be a Great Prospect.

Once you clear the screening gauntlet, and get an interview you need to prepare. How you conduct yourself during the interview is very important. You have already passed the initial screening, now it is time to sell yourself as the best fit. How you answer the interview questions is what you are judged on. The book gives insight into the most often asked questions and what information it gives about you. Sometimes it is not the actual answer, but the confidence and thoughtfulness that is projected into the answer that counts. We have all heard of some of the off the wall questions that creative companies like Google ask. They really don’t expect you to know how many lawyers there are in San Francisco, but they are interested in how you would approach answering the question.

Ron has years of experience on both sides of the desk. His experience and attention to detail shows as he leads the reader through the interview process, prepping at each stage with answers to most often asked questions, and the main purpose for asking. There is a caution to think before you answer. One common mistake is to volunteer too much information. The book coaches readers on the best way to answer leading questions.   Knowing what types of questions an interviewer may ask, and how to answer them successfully is clearly demonstrated through out the book.

The companion book 101 Smart Questions To Ask On Your Interview is worth the read. Often during an interview the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. It is always good to be prepared to ask a question that demonstrates your knowledge and interest in the company and the position. Sometimes asking a question is a great diversion from questions you rather not answer. Asking the right question at the right time can be beneficial in steering the interview in a direction you want to go. Knowing when and how to ask a question may be more important than the actual question. Ron does an excellent job of ferreting out great questions to ask, and when and how to ask them. Do you ever think to ask permission before asking a question? The book describes appropriate ways to ask questions when you are not asked “Are there any questions?”

I too have been on both sides of the desk, and impressed with the information contained in both 101 Great Answers To The Toughest Interview Questions and 101 Smart Questions To Ask On Your Interview. No matter which side of the desk you are currently on, the information contained in these books will help you perform at your best. I know there are several answers and some questions I would add to my interview toolbox. One tip that I found extremely clever was to develop a 250 to 300 word paragraph that describes your current position, even if you are still a student, your goals, and how you plan to accomplish your goals. This is pretty much like the elevator pitch, but with more structure and content. Not a rehearsed speech, but rather a nice flowing short story that hits all the high notes. There is an example in the book.

Best of luck.

The PracticaL Mentor



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