The "Interview" in this book's title "Winning Answers to 500 Interview Questions" by author Lavie Margolin refers, of course, to job interviews. And perhaps you might think that this is not a useful topic for a site dedicated to the art of project management. But then again, a little further thought discloses the fact that projects start and finish. For many that means that employment starts and finishes along with it, leading to the urgent need to find new employment on a new project in the project management field. And, as you have now no doubt guessed where I am heading, this means seeking interviews and the inevitable answering of serious interview questions.
Now there are many books on the market on how to go about finding employment and nailing an interview, but not so many about what actual questions you might encounter and then how best to answer them. Lavie has entered this territory audaciously with his book containing a sweeping array of 500 questions and answers covering a broad range of situations. Interestingly, the foreword to the book written by another party, describes his own first interview as a thorough embarrassment simply because: a) He did no homework; b) He hadn't a clue; and c) He even got caught out on a misrepresentation in his resumé.
Many of us have probably been there in our early careers (or even later, if you have had the luxury of a long period of employment, but now find yourself "on the street"). So, as Lavie explains in his Editor's Note:
"This book is intended to be used as a tool when preparing for an interview. As you read each question; strategy; and sample answer, take a moment to formulate the answer you would give if you were being asked that question. While no one is given a list of questions to prepare for an interview, there are only so many topics interviewers are likely to touch on.
Advanced practice will give you an opportunity to think through your work history to have the points you are most proud of and those that apply to your present job search at the forefront of your memory. It will also help you to research any information about the position you are interviewing for in advance so that you come across as a serious applicant."
It should be remembered that this book is also for employers (who may need help in deciding what questions to ask!) as well as job applicants of all stripes (not just project management types). Consequently, many of the questions may appear to those project-management types as a little awkward or even irrelevant. However, by slight changes in wording, or the insertion of "project" where appropriate, can make the question and answer very relevant. In short, it is the intent and style of the question and answer that is important!
About the author
Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach. As such he acts as advisor in the role of coach, educator and general helping hand in your job search. He works closely with his clients defining all advice given and citing practical examples for applying methods for increasing job search success. This includes: Resumé/Cover letter writing; Interview preparation; Career advice; Job sourcing strategies; and Employer follow up techniques.
1. Jacob Share, Job Search Expert, https://jobmob.co.il/ (Copy and paste this link into your web browser if it does not work.)
2. Margolin, Lavie, Winning Answers to 500 Interview Questions, self-published, www.lioncub-jobsearch.com, 2014, p7