Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 2000
When job interviewers want a question answered, they don’t write it down for the applicant to read. They ask it. That’s why audio is an excellent way to present job hunting advice, and the question-and-answer format used by the director of career planning and placement at Vanderbilt University is particularly good. Male and female voices alternate answering an interviewer’s questions, allowing all listeners to better imagine themselves in the interviewee’s position.
The Q-and-A section is preceded by a primer on conducting a job search, from interview preparation to follow-up phone calls to thank-you notes. Given today’s booming economy, where workers are an endangered species, some listeners may want to fast-forward through the rather basic information. It’s worth listening to, however, in order to get the desired job, rather than the simply available job.
Once to the Q-and A, especially valuable are Veruki’s suggestions for answering so-called negative questions. Job applicants can turn “Tell me about your weaknesses” to their advantage by citing a minor, early-career mistake, and explaining what they learned from it and how it improved their job performance, he says.
Veruki’s suggested answers to some questions might inspire some debate. For instance, he recommends answering honestly when interviewers ask about present salary. Others would argue that it weakens the applicant’s position when it comes to negotiating an offer.
In addition to suggesting answers, Veruki also dissects the questions. He explains the purpose behind asking it, and what applicants should strive for in answering it. The actual answers aren’t always the point, he says; it’s how the applicant handles the response that interviewers want to observe.
The audiobook would benefit from better organization, perhaps tied to a written guide or outline. The questions come seemingly at random, rather than following the flow of a typical job interview. Some are also repetitive. One question asks the applicant where they see themselves in five years. A later question asks the applicant about their long-term aspirations. Grouping these questions and others like them together would give listeners better strategies for answering multiple questions that vary on a theme.
Most of the questions are geared to those seeking jobs in the business world. A nod is made toward those seeking jobs in creative fields, like advertising. Befitting today’s changing workforce, there is a section devoted to job seekers returning to the workforce after a long absence, career changers or students seeking their first job.
This audiobook is a good investment for one’s livelihood.