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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
As a Columbia MBA student, I found Kessler's book really helpful. I've found interviewing at business school very difficult because I'm surrounded by amazingly well-qualified competition! Interviews are one of my weakest points and I've read a bunch of interview guides in the hopes of finding out what I'm doing wrong. Until this book, I found these guides kind of useless and a waste of money (e.g. the Vault Guide to Finance Interviews). But this book was great. It has changed the way I view interviews and has made interviews considerably less scary. While other books talk about what and what not to say, she focuses more on the approach to your answers. I found this more applicable and practical.

Instead of focusing on you, Kessler focuses on the interviewer. She gives the interviewer's perspective and examples of what the interviewer might have in front of him or her during the interview. This gave me a better idea of what interviewers are looking for and how I should structure my answers. Building answers around competencies has made my answers more strong and concise.

Kessler also has a section of interview examples and her critiques of the candidate's answers. I recognized a bunch of mistakes I made when I was interviewing for jobs after college. I wish I had this book back then! I'm sure it would have opened a lot more windows of opportunity (or at least ended the job search sooner).

These kinds of books tend to stress me out. Kessler's writing is clear and the pacing was just right for someone like me. It was easy to absorb the main points and see how I could apply them to myself. I still got a panic-y feel in my stomach, but much less than I usually get. The summary tables at the end of each chapter were great because they helped me make sure I got what I was supposed to get out of each chapter.

I highly recommend this book. It's helped me get a better idea of why I haven't received offers for jobs I know I was well qualified for. Now instead of just being frustrated about it, I have a way to deal with it!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
Everyone is afraid of the dreaded job interview. Correctly prepare and you can put your mind at ease. I know because I am a former sweaty-palm interviewee. Through this book ---Competency-Based Interviews---I've found the not-so-common-sense skills that are essential to landing that perfect job, or that first job. Clear, concise, and step-by-step this leads the job candidate through the modern day interview that is assessing your skill set more than your diploma. I've learned how to identify the competency questions that I will be asked in relationship to the job duties and the company culture. During interviews, I can give examples of my winning experiences using the right, active language. And, I can answer the follow up questions that delve deeper. This is a must-keep reference text with easy to use summary tables that allow the reader to quickly locate key questions and answers. ->Paul Urban in Cleveland, Ohio.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I loaned my copy to two friends going to interviews for big jobs.

Both of them raved about how this book put them in to a fame of mind that made them very comfortable going into and during their actual interviews. It makes you think about questions and areas of your past work expereinces that you should and should not talk about and how to talk about them. Great buy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I live in Houston and initially talked to the author, Robin Kessler, about doing some practice interviews before an important interview. Because I was temping at the time and couldn't afford it, she suggested I read this book to prepare myself. I wasn't too excited about reading a book, but was very glad that I did. I have never studied so hard for an interview before and didn't really understand the need to prepare myself in such a thorough way. However, it was well worth it-this book was a quick read-broken down into bite size pieces and really helped me come up with a way to take my experience, write it down in an outline, and be able to speak it clearly in an interview setting. I also liked the fact that she suggested looking at the job description to pull key/buzz words out and turn those into competencies to be focused on. I took those competencies and found 2 or 3 examples from my experience and had those examples in mind while in the interview. It worked and I felt prepared. Definitely worth the read and price for any interview setting. Thanks, Robin!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Competency-Based Interviews, who would have thought that the world of interviewing had changed so much and that no one had told me or the career services counselors at my school. Well for those how don't know, it has. I should know, I had been looking for a job and going to interviews for sometime before I found Ms. Kessler's book and began employing her tactics in my interviews.

Ms. Kessler's book casts a new light on the interviewing process. It provided insights that I had not seen in any of the materials I looked at previously. It provides the tools and the guidance to effectively approach and answer those difficult questions we all face in an interview. Ms. Kessler takes the reader through the entire process from the start of the interview to how you can best maximize your return when you get the offer for the perfect job. This book also provides the reader with those little known tips and nuances that help turn a good interview into a great one.

I would recommend this book to anyone that is preparing for an interview. Whether you are a recent graduate or an experienced professional, the insights to be gleamed are worth your time.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I can sum up all of the substance of this book in one sentence. Figure out what the primary competencies are for the job you are looking for, then come up with real work examples for those competencies that show: (1) what the problem was; (2) what you did; and (3) and what the result is. Once you get that point, the rest of the book is just repetition on the same them. Half of the book is summaries of each chapter at the end of each chapter (which are almost as long as the chapters themselves), as if they were just trying to fill up space or are targeting people who don't know how to read. But I kept reading anyway, until I got to this passage, at which point I almost tossed my iPad across the room:

"If you are a woman who wants to interview for a powerful job, consider getting your makeup done, a new suit, new shoes, and your hair done by someone who knows what he or she is doing. If you need to lose some weight, start your diet and exercise program soon enough to make a difference before the interview. Get recommendations for makeup artists, manicurists, hair stylists, personal shoppers, and good places to shop from other people you know who look polished and professional. It just may be worth the investment. If you are a man, please consider making some of the same extra effort, too."

Apparently, the primary competency for women, in this author's opinion, is still their appearance. While men just need to ... take a shower or something. I find this completely reprehensible in this day and age. While it is true that you want to look polished and professional, that is something that applies equally to men and women. This passage alone made me completely reassess the author's credibility.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I've been scanning these 5 star reviews and I find it exceedingly fishy that in all but one case that I clicked on, this is the only book or product that the reviewer has chosen to rate. And it seems to be the case with several other of the interview question books as well. I guess I will try to find some free resources for interview prep or a professional review that is more trustworthy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
All the other books I tried were nothing like the interviews I was actually having. Instead of having to memorize rote answers, this book helps you to understand what the interviewer is looking for and why. It is not only helping me prepare for interviews; it is helping me understand how I can improve my on-the-job skills so that I am even more appealing in the future for jobs or promotions.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ms. Kessler's book is so clear and readable that in just two days it prepared me for three critical interviews. Most people interview only every several years, and this book helps knock off the rust quickly and completely! Now I know I can be ready whenever opportunity knocks--a good feeling.

This book may be even more valuable for interviewers than interviewees. Using the techniques Ms. Kessler so clearly explains will yield you much more and much better information about the suitability for the job of every person you interview!

Ed Overtree

New York
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a must if you have a targeted selection or competency-based interview in the near future or if you are planning to change jobs in the near future. In fact, even if you don't plan on searching for a new job within a year, I still recommend this book due to the planning advice it gives.

This is by far the best all-in-one book for targeted selection or competency-based interviews. Ms. Kessler is an excellent author and she breaks down the process on how to prepare, how to perform during the interview, and how to follow up after the interview.
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