Top 10 (and more) Books to Learn Interview Skills

By | 2018-11-02T15:55:41+00:00 November 2nd, 2018|Candidate Aids|1 Comment

Improving your interview skills requires diligence and time – and a lot of help! Appliqant helps you practice your skills and measure improvement, and there are a large number of books that cover the different aspects of interviewing. Many of these books are sadly lacking in quality and content, but some of them are worth the read. Here is a list of our favorites – since 10 is pretty much an arbitrary number imposed by our adherence to the decimal system, our list has no upper limit. This list is not ordered – any and all of them are worth your time if you are trying to ace your interviews.

Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions

by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Our Review: We would recommend this to anyone who has software/programming interviews lined up, with two big provisos: (1) if you’re going for a domain specific or language specific position (like, say, Java), make sure to read up on those separately; and (2) focus on the Moderate level problems. The Hard problems are seldom asked in interviews and it is much more important to have the whiteboard coding method down.

From the Author/Publisher: I am not a recruiter. I am a software engineer. And as such, I know what it’s like to be asked to whip up brilliant algorithms on the spot and then write flawless code on a whiteboard. I’ve been through this as a candidate and as an interviewer.

Cracking the Coding Interview, 6th Edition is here to help you through this process, teaching you what you need to know and enabling you to perform at your very best. I’ve coached and interviewed hundreds of software engineers. The result is this book.

Learn how to uncover the hints and hidden details in a question, discover how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to unstick yourself when stuck, learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts, and practice on 189 interview questions and solutions.

These interview questions are real; they are not pulled out of computer science textbooks. They reflect what’s truly being asked at the top companies, so that you can be as prepared as possible.

Knock ’em Dead Job Interview: How to Turn Job Interviews Into Job Offers

by Martin Yate CPC

Our Review: Unfortunately I found myself back in the job market recently and it seems I am not doing too well in the interview process. I picked up this book last week and it is full of great tips and tricks. I think one of the biggest take aways I got from this book is that I need to turn the job interview into a job offer. I have always just been going in like I am in a test, and I think I have been way to nervous. I took many notes from this book on different areas of interviewing that I struggle with and feel that I am now much more prepared for the next interview that I have coming up tomorrow. Thank you for helping to ease my fears of interviewing again after being pushed back out in the job market.

From the Author/Publisher: The interview is one of the most crucial moments of the job search experience and your chance to show your potential employer that you have what it takes to succeed in the position. In order to do that in today’s highly competitive job search environment, though, you’ll have to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

Using his twenty-five years of experience, New York Times bestselling author Martin Yate has established a set of rules for job interviews that is sure to get you noticed. Instead of memorizing canned answers, Yate provides you with an explanation of the thought behind more than 300 questions and answers, so that you’ll always know what the interviewer is really asking and how you should respond. Packed with information on handling stress questions and weird interview venues, this book also teaches you how to keep your cool–and confidence–from the moment you step inside the building.

60 Seconds and You’re Hired!: Revised Edition

by Robin Ryan

Our Review: I have been looking for a job for approx. 6 months. I got several interviews, but could never ‘seal the deal’. I was doing something wrong. I heard the same thing over and over again. “We were really impressed with your experience, skills and the overall interview, but we decided to go with someone else.’ If I’m so wonderful, why are you going with someone else?

About 2 weeks ago, I found this book by accident. I downloaded it on Monday night, read it Tuesday and Wednesday, and went on a job interview (applying the advice from the book) on Thursday AM during the interview. I got a call on Friday afternoon that I had got the job!

This book is amazing! I truly believe that it will help you to find your dream job. Don’t give up — keep looking and in the meantime read this book! Thank you Robin for writing this book!

From the Author/Publisher: 60 Seconds & You’re Hired! has already helped thousands of job seekers get their dream jobs by excelling in crucial interviews. America’s top job search expert Robin Ryan draws on her 20 years as a career counselor, 30 years of direct hiring, and extensive contact with hundreds of recruiters, decisions makers, and HR professionals to teach you proven strategies to help you take charge of the interview process and get the job you want. Brief, compact, and packed with insightful direction to give you the cutting edge to slip past the competition, 60 Seconds & You’re Hired! is here to help you succeed! This newly revised edition features:   
    • Unique techniques like “The 60 Second Sell” and “The 5-Point Agenda”
    • Over 125 answers to tough, tricky interview questions employers often ask
    • How to handle structured or behavioral interview questions
    • Questions you should always ask, and questions you should never ask
    • How to deal effectively with any salary questions to preserve your negotiating power
    • 20 interview pitfalls to avoid
    • Proven negotiation techniques that secure higher salaries – and much more!

Robin Ryan has the inside track on how to get hired” —ABC News

Get That Job!: The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview

by Thea Kelley

Our Review: This is an very good to excellent book. I would probably give it 4 1/2 stars. I am 15 years into my career, so some of this information was a review. During my next interview, I will try to incorporate a few of her recommendations. One of the recommendations that is very good is to really focus time and effort on crafting an excellent response to “tell me about yourself”. My previous responses in other interviews have been long-winded compared to what she recommends. She also makes a great point about not memorizing your responses and by rehearsing them ideally using video. Her recommendation regarding creating numerous stories at each of your companies makes a lot of sense and can be used to respond to various behavioral questions. I think that reading her book in combination with one or more other books on this topic may be great.

From the Author/Publisher: Praised as “Excellent” on, this brief, encouraging interview guide offers a simple, smart approach to interview preparation. Get That Job! is packed with all you need to get ready for the best interview of your life.

In today’s competitive job market you need to stand out – for the right reasons. “Canned’ interview answers won’t work, nor will “winging it.” You need to be both authentic and strategic to convince the employer you’re “the one.”

Through proven interview tips and step-by-step instructions, this book will help you to:

✔ Communicate the unique strengths that make you the right person for the job.
✔ Realize why employers ask many of the most common interview questions – and how to answer with confidence.
✔ Succeed with video interviews, behavioral interviews and panels.
✔ Build an arsenal of success stories – more than you think you have!
✔ Ace every step – from the first screening to accepting the offer.

With 20+ years of experience in coaching, career services and communications, Thea Kelley helps individuals achieve career breakthroughs. She shares her expertise in books, blogs and radio interviews, as well as one-on-one coaching for everyone from senior executives to recent graduates.

15 Minutes to a Better Interview: What I Wish EVERY Job Candidate Knew

by Russell Tuckerton

Our Review: I have been unemployed for over a year and have been on numerous interviews that I thought went well…but no offers came in. Last month I had 2 interviews in the same week and really wanted – and needed – an offer. I read this book and really listened to what Russell said. WOW!! I got an offer from each employer and I got to pick which job I really wanted. I start in 2 weeks. Amen!

From the Author/Publisher: If you’re in HR, an executive involved in hiring decisions, or someone looking for a job or even a promotion – get this book.

I’ve read the 300+-pages-books Tuckerton refers to in the introduction. If you already know what makes a great contributor to any team or organization this is a lifesaver when it comes to getting a job, or hiring a new employee. Why? It’s easy to make these tiny mistakes in an interview giving the wrong impression of yourself. It’s not faking it, it’s simply giving an accurate view of yourself. As for when hiring, Tuckerton gives examples of insightful questions that focus on BALANCE in a person. Most high-performing individuals aren’t well-rounded, that’s why they are high-performing, however, everyone needs to learn to manage behavior that gets in our way to perform at the highest possible level in a social setting.

In 15 minutes or less you can transform how you interview using a highly condensed set of recommendations in this book. Whether you are seeking an entry level or an experienced management position these behind the scenes insights will give you the edge. I see “bad” behaviors across all levels of interviews, without candidates even being aware of what they are doing that prevents them from being hired. You don’t need to memorize 101 interview questions and answers. You need actual experiences from the other side of the table to guide you.

How to Answer Interview Questions: 101 Tough Interview Questions

by Peggy McKee

Our Review: More times that I want to remember I had tough questions that I didn’t knew how to answer them, and I lost the opportunity to get a great job. I was frustrated, upset because I didn’t knew how to prepare myself ahead of my interview so I could answer in a natural way these kind of questions. If you want to get your dream job, take the time to read this book, it will help you to know how to answer the hardest questions in an honest way so you can get the job that you want.

From the Author/Publisher: Can you explain why you’re the person they need to hire? Employers ask you a hundred different interview questions… but what they really want to know is, “Why should we hire you?” If you get interviews but you don’t get the job, you have not explained that to them. This is the book that will show you how to use your answers to get the job.

What This Book Will Do For You: 

  • Tell you why interviewers ask certain questions
  • Show you what they are looking for in your answer
  • Give you strategies for answering the toughest questions
  • Warn you about answers that will kill your chances
  • Give you “How To” tips, phrases, and words for answering 101 job interview questions

What Kinds of Questions Are In the Book?

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What’s your greatest weakness?
  • What salary are you looking for?
  • Why do you want to join this company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why do you have a gap in your employment history?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed.
  • Describe a time when your work was criticized and how you handled it.
  • What motivates you?
  • What questions do you have for us?

Who Needs This Book? If you have ever felt that you:

  • Don’t have the words you need to explain why you’re the person they need to hire…
  • Can’t quite “sell yourself” for the job…
  • Stumble over your answers because you don’t know what they really want to hear…
  • Just want to be more confident in the interview… Then this is the book for you!

Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting

by Victor Cheng

Our Review: Case Interview Secrets is practical, clear, and concise. It delivers just what you need to know to nail a case interview. It worked for me and I got the job. Here’s how the book helped me. I came across this book just 24 hours before my case interview. I worked through the book and zeroed in on sections I thought were most important for me. I focused most on the frameworks that Victor Cheng presents. I learned the frameworks and created practice scenarios using situations I had experienced. At the end of my preparation I felt very confident that I could lead a case interview conversation. And that is what mattered most. Confidence. Because, of course, in the interview, none of the frameworks exactly applied. But my mind was prepared to think in terms of frameworks. That was really helpful. When I arrived at the interview, I was ready to go to the white board and lead a discussion knowing I had frameworks to draw on. But the book is much more than a set of frameworks. The book also explains how to structure your case discussion. There is specific guidance for creating an opening, analysis, and closing for your case. This gives you a great view of how to create a discussion on-the-fly, which is what you have to do in a case interview. This book delivers the content, and sets your frame of mind, so that you can confidently enter a case interview.

From the Author/Publisher: In Case Interview Secrets, you’ll discover step-by-step instructions on how to dominate what many consider to be the most complex, most difficult, and most intimidating corporate job interview in the world—the infamous case interview. Victor Cheng, a former McKinsey management consultant, reveals his proven, insider’s method for acing the case interview. Having personally secured job offers from McKinsey, Bain & Company, Monitor, L.E.K, Oliver Wyman, and A.T. Kearney, he has also been a McKinsey case interviewer—providing you with a hands-on, real-world perspective on what it really takes to land job offers.

Cheng’s protégées work in all the major strategy management consulting firms, including McKinsey, The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, Monitor Company, A.T. Kearny, Oliver Wyman, L.E.K, Roland Berger, Accenture, and Deloitte, as well as in the strategic planning departments of numerous Fortune 500 companies. Whether you’re an undergraduate, MBA, PhD, or experienced-hire applicant candidate, you’ll discover:

* What case interviewers really say about you behind closed doors but wouldn’t dare tell you—until now
* The subtle yet specific performance differences that separate those who get management consulting offers from those who don’t
* The 10 biggest mistakes candidates make in case interviews (and how to avoid them)
* The 3 specific things interviewers expect in the first 5 minutes of a case that often decide the outcome on the spot
* An insider’s take on what interviewers really look for and why—and how to give them what they want

Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology

by Gayle Laakmann McDowell & Jackie Bavaro

Our Review: This short book is a wealth of information for product managers. I recommend reading it whether you plan to interview or not! You will learn some new skills and techniques that will help you improve your own practice, enjoy your work and enhance your career. This alone is the best reason to read this book! It is refreshing to read a book that speaks very specifically and very intently to its intended audience. Many of us in product management have been on both sides of the interview process sometime in our career and so recognize and can relate to many of the specific examples given with new appreciation. While there is a definite bias towards software driven products and companies (Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter), many of the principles discussed are more broadly applicable. Given that these companies continue to lead the way, this book also provides insight into the workings of these specific companies and the different emphases each brings to their development process. A must read if you desire to move to Silicon Valley, but still a great read if you are looking to play in the sandbox in your own backyard.

From the Author/Publisher: How many pizzas are delivered in Manhattan? How do you design an alarm clock for the blind? What is your favorite piece of software and why? How would you launch a video rental service in India? This book will teach you how to answer these questions and more.

Cracking the PM Interview is a comprehensive book about landing a product management role in a startup or bigger tech company. Learn how the ambiguously-named “PM” (product manager / program manager) role varies across companies, what experience you need, how to make your existing experience translate, what a great PM resume and cover letter look like, and finally, how to master the PM interview questions (estimation questions, behavioral questions, case questions, product questions, technical questions, and the super important “pitch”).

Aced: Superior Interview Skills to Gain an Unfair Advantage to Land Your DREAM JOB!

by Mr. Gerald T. Ratigan Jr.

Our Review: Aced is the kind of book I needed. Interviews and the interviewing process can be painful, especially for an introvert. It is hard to put yourself out there with the potential for rejection. Gerald Ratigan shares his experiences and missteps, along with ways to improve and why you will stand out to the interviewer. He offers insightful advice from interviewing potential candidates, along with his experience of being interviewed.

The level of detail included in the book, made me think of some new ideas to implement. The nine success tips were helpful, and the two closing questions will definitely be utilized. The chapter on technology and the shift to online interviews was timely and had some great tips.

This is an important book for anyone job hunting, as well as, anyone looking to move up the ranks within their current job.

From the Author/Publisher: Job search, interview and negotiation skills are notoriously PAINFUL. But, this book provides insider SECRETS that will immediately help you succeed! That is why you should purchase ACED today. And because you are AWESOME! The choice is entirely up to you. After reading ACED, you’ll be able to build immediate trust and credibility in your interview. You will possess more confidence. You’ll be prepared and in control like never before. Mastering Interview Skills to Land Your Dream Job Is within Your Reach! This is the single most important book for you to land your dream job. Because I have been where you are and understand what you are going through, I have the solution to help you change your career for the better. And even if you are an introvert. You can land your dream job. But how? Imagine how your career could be different if you knew exactly what you needed to do in your most important interviews every single time. That’s exactly what I’ll show you how to do, both for the live and online interview. In this book, I share my decades of experience as both a job candidate and as a hiring manager.

Job Interviews For Dummies

by Joyce Lain Kennedy

Our Review: If you are looking for a job – or first time going into a interview – this is the book to help you through that – easy to read very common sense no strange semi crazy ideas (I had another book that told me to scream into a mirror before going into a interview to let my rage out. Needless to say it got returned) it’s exactly what you need for a crash course in interviews.

From the Author/Publisher: Deliver a show-stopping interview performance
Does the thought of interviewing for a new job send shivers down your spine? It doesn’t have to! Whether you’re searching for your first job, changing careers, or looking for advancement in your current line of work, Job Interviews For Dummies shows you how to use your skills and experiences to your advantage and land that job.

Following a half-decade characterized by an explosion of economic crises, global expansion, and technological innovation in the job market, today’s job seekers vie for employment in a tough era of new realities where few have gone before. In addition to covering how to prepare for an interview, this updated edition explores the new realities of the job market with scenarios that you can expect to encounter, an updated sample question and answer section, coverage of how you can harness social media in your job search, information on preparing for a Web-based interview, and the best ways to keep your credibility when applying for several jobs at once.

101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions, 25th Anniversary Edition

by Ron Fry

Our Review: Does exactly what it says on the tin. Generally an informative work good for preparing your mindset for interviews. Can’t say that all proposed answers resonated with me (as one could perhaps expect). Does not apply for all industries and some of the content might be outdated in my (albeit rather limited) experience. Although this can also be cultural differences (I’m not an American like the author). The main value I found in this book was to gain awareness about different types of interview questions, and start to prepare my own thought process and answers.

From the Author/Publisher: No matter how good you look, how much research you’ve done, or how perfectly your qualifications match the job description, if you’re not prepared with great answers to the toughest interview questions, you won’t get the job.

101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions is a manual that will help you home in on exactly what the interviewer is trying to learn…with each and every question he or she asks. If you’ve never done well on interviews, never even been on a job interview, or just want to make sure a lousy interview doesn’t cost you a job you really want, Ron Fry will help you get that job–as he has helped literally millions of people nationwide and throughout the world.

This brand-new 25th Anniversary Edition of 101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions is thoroughly updated to reflect the realities of today’s job market. Whatever your age and experience, whether you are seeking your very first job or finally breaking into the executive office, this is the one book you need to get that job.

Moving Forward in Mid-Career: A Guide to Rebuilding Your Career after Being Fired or Laid Off

by  John Weiss

Our Review: This book presents a realistic view of job loss. It offers constructive advice to any employee affected by job termination. A must read for anyone facing this type of mid-career life changing event. Moving Forward is a practical, well written, and thought provoking guide to rebuilding a career after being fired or laid off.

From the Author/Publisher: Losing a job is one of the most devastating events one can experience. For trauma, it ranks up there with divorce, loss of a loved one, or permanent personal injury, and it happens more often that one would think. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 50,000 workers are fired or laid off each day. That is over 18,000,000 workers each year.

Moving Forward in Mid-Career is a guide for workers who have been fired or laid off and are in process of rebuilding not only their careers, but also their personal identities independent of a job title. The main objectives of Moving Forward are:

To address challenges that are unique to the mid-career job seekers, such as perceptions of overqualification and the need to keep with advances in technology
To provide support and encouragement for workers who are in process of rebuilding their careers as individual contributors, as employees of small businesses or large corporations, or as founders/owners of a new business.
To provide job hunting rules for workers reentering the workplace.
To provide guidelines for staying up to date on competitive skills demanded by today’s workplace.
To provide practical information for rebuilding wealth.

By addressing the many aspects of job loss and job search, Moving Forward provides solutions for dealing with the challenges encountered at each stage of the rebuilding process, from the initial shock and humiliation to the difficult but rewarding task of rebuilding persona and seeking new employment opportunities.

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