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on August 12, 2006
Vicky Oliver is a woman, lives in New York, and works in the advertising industry. Nothing wrong with any of that, except that she tends to forget that not everyone is exactly like her. The result of this is that if, like me, you are a man, live in South Carolina, and borrowed this book from your local library in order to prepare for an interview for an administrative position with the state Highway Patrol, much of the book might as well have been written in Chinese. Good for urban professional women seeking executive positions, but of limited use to anyone else.
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VINE VOICEon July 18, 2005
Now, we all know that after the interview we all come up with what we could have, and should have said. This book makes it easy to answer questions the right way. One theme this book really presses is "never unsell yourself". When given questions that you have the opportunity to show negative qualities, or situations that didn't turn out well, Vicky Oliver gives you ideas on how to work around these questions.

Sometimes interviewers do a poor job, and may ask leading questions that area against EEOC laws. Once again Oliver has you stay on target and guide your answers to what is job related. She will often have a question, the good answer, and then ways you can add to the good answer to make it more personal.

If you are going on a job interview, this book may be one that you want browse through simply to get a bit of a refresher. She lays these questions out in non-threatening ways, and gives you strategies in how to work around them. I like the central theme "do not unsell yourself". This insight alone may help you pause long enough to get the right answer out of your mouth before something that may knock you out of the potential hire pool.
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on August 18, 2008
This book is extremely helpful and, I think, unique among books about job interviewing. Most job interviewing guides tell you to straighten your tie, smile and comb your hair before going on an interview. Once you reach a certain point in your career, you really don't need to be told these things. What this book does is it helps you with real-world job interview problems, such as, in my case, how to explain the two years I took off in my late 20's; and why I stayed in the same job for seven years without getting a promotion. If you have a tricky issue in your job history that you want to cast in the best light on an interview, this is the only book for you.
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on January 13, 2006
i really enjoyed this book for the simple fact that it actually mentioned some new tricks instead of the same old ones, and it reiterated some old standbys that we all forget after time. there is a lot of good (un)common sense to it, for new comers and seasoned alike. as a recruiter myself, i would love it if everyone of my candidates would read this before coming to me, it would certainly impress me if they came up with just some of the answers in this book!
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on November 29, 2007
No one enjoys sitting in front of an interview board and be judged. And everyone has a pet fear, "What if they think I am too old to start over" or "How do I explain why I quit my first job?" You will be surprised to know how many people stay in a job they hate just because they don't want to go through the job search, especially the interview.

This book is a companion that makes you realize your problem is not unique or unsolvable. For every tough interview question, there is a smart answer presented here that will turn the table around and make a positive impact.

Vicky Oliver gives us sensible and witty answers that makes the reading and the interview preparation enjoyable and effective. The chapters are intuitively arranged, with a easy to read page layout, and plenty of tables and side notes. A great resource.
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on November 20, 2005
Over the past twelve months, I have both interviewed for jobs and interviewed over two dozen potential employees. Only after reading this book did I realize how much I had to learn, whether being interviewed or trying to discern the quality of those I am interviewing. 301 Smart Answers is an easy read, but filled with so many inciteful comments on how to effectively control the interview process, communicate your strengths and avoid the common pitfalls. I am strongly recommending this book for anyone who plans to sit on either side of the desk.
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on August 13, 2005
301 Smart Answers... is a book to keep in mind when getting or leaving a job. It is a practical guide through the toughest questions of any interview. The format is clear and concise. The question is asked, the best answer is presented, and then the rationale behind the answer is explained in the "why this technique works" section. The author covers all kinds of situations, but doesn't waste time on long-winded explanations. Instead, she provides useful insight and advice on what to keep in mind throughout the interview process. Sidebars scattered throughout the book are useful for general tips. The appendix provides a decent list of useful websites. This is a direct and useful reference for anyone in the job market.
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on October 8, 2012
...unless you are Vicky Oliver from the past, who would benefit immensely from this book. Everybody else - don't bother. With answers that retell what Vicky Oliver said in an interview to the dot, including names of people, products and companies she's worked at; with little to no comments or advice that would apply anywhere else, do yourself a favor, and invest the money elsewhere. I have never in my life regretted buying a book before... The joke's on me though.
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on May 11, 2011
As the title indicates, the content of the book is pretty solid - it's useful, and even though there don't seem to be enough examples to address each "issue", she'll often break down a technique to explain why it works. I would have given this book 4 stars, now I'd rather give it 2 1/2 rather than 3

BUT

Not only are there all kinds of misspelled words and grammatical errors, but about 30% into the book, at least the kindle version, the "why this technique works" sections appear to be addressing completely different material. I don't know if the text is jumbled or bits ere deleted or WHAT, and who knows whose fault it is, but I am definitely not getting my money's worth.

Like I said the material is good, but the execution of the product that was delivered to my Kindle was terrible. I have no way of knowing if the fault is the author's, but I can't trust someone who creates a faulty product.
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on December 4, 2012
This book contains all the questions that are asked during interviews. But the answers seem to focus only on the sales position. You have to adapt those answers to your personal situation. This is not easy. The author should revise his book and adapt the answers to all situations.
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