It's your third interview at a company you reallywant to work for. They ask, “What was the last book you read?”

Your mind is blank! You are 100% sure you have read books before but...

Woman holding book over facePhoto by Siora Photography on Unsplash

seth meyers

Failure To Plan Is A Plan For Failure

Some interview questions can be 100% planned for in advance. This is one of them!

Self-assessment:

  • What was the last book you read related to your work?

  • Are there any books you want to read?

  • What interests do you want to highlight for the person interviewing you?

kitty kitten GIF

But How Do I Choose?

Pick books you have actually read, can remember, and can discuss comfortably.

Not sure where to start? Try googling best books for ____ (job title)

Consider selecting 3 books:

1) Fiction, a novel, or biography

2) A book related to a professional interest

3) A book you are currently reading (1 chapter is enough and shows you value active personal growth)

This approach gives you the flexibility to pick the best book to steer the interview towards topics you want to discuss or areas you want to highlight.

Books, Books, Books...

This question is an opportunity to share your passions, start a conversation, or make a recommendation to your future employer.

Flaticon IconScenario #1

If you’re applying for a UX designer role, you can say:

“I am currently reading Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal. It is about creating user habits that stick based on ideas from psychology. My favourite quote is: 'Many innovations fail because consumers irrationally overvalue the old while companies irrationally overvalue the new.' ”

Scenario #2

If you’re applying for a startup role, you might say:

"The last book I read was Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. I liked it, but it was a best seller a few years ago and the information now ironically feels unoriginal."

Scenario #3

If you’re applying for any role, you might say:

"I have been trying to read more classic books and just finished Catch-22. The audiobook was great — almost like a play!"

Quiz

Does the book you choose have to 100% relate to work?

No

Yes

What About Chris?

Chris is in an interview at a tech company. He is asked, "What is the last book you read?" Which book could he choose?

Flaticon IconA. What To Expect When You're Expecting Robots: The Future of Human-Robot Collaboration

(Published in 2021)

Flaticon IconB. Future Food Today: A Cookbook by SPACE10

(A 2019 cookbook predicting future food trends)

Flaticon IconC. Brave New World

(A dystopian social sci-fi classic from 1932)

Flaticon IconD. Any of these

Quiz

How could Chris answer?

D

C

B

A

Take Action

Woman grabbing a ton of books off a shelfThink of books as a form of mentorship and use them to not only excel in interviews but propel your career!

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This Byte has been authored by

KD

Kassie Dwarika

Director of Content Programs | Debate Coach