Tough Interview Question - What is the title of the most recent book you have read?

What is the title of the most recent book you have read?

Similar interview questions:
What types of books do you read in your spare time?
Do you read any industry publications? Which ones?
How do you stay current on industry trends?
What is your primary way to stay current in your field?

Why the interviewer is asking this question:
The interviewer wants to find out if you are committed to your career by continuing your personal education in the off hours on your own. This is a level-of-engagement question. If you are engaged and committed to your career, you will be doing extracurricular reading to stay current.

The best approach to answering this question:
First of all, it assumes you read in your spare time (sadly, many do not). Second, do not answer about general books that do not apply to your career. Third, focus specifically on reading you have done related to your career and/or your industry. If you have not recently read a book or article about your career and/or your industry, now is the time to do so.

An example of how to best answer this question for experienced candidates:
"Great question. I’m currently reading a book online about a new technical product that was just introduced this past year. It is not one that we are currently using at work, but it is one that I can see being used in the near future. In fact, one of my projects is currently going through a product selection process and this is one of the products we are considering…"

An example of how to best answer this question for entry level candidates:
"Most recently I’ve spent a large amount of time reading a study guide in preparation for taking the certification exam for my career. I hope to complete my studies and take the exam before graduation. This is being done in addition to my current classes at college…"

An example of how you should not answer this question:
"Well, I’m not much of a reader. I actually got all the way through high school without actually reading any of the assigned books. And in college, I just get a CliffsNotes study guide and that pretty much gives me everything I need to know…"


Remember to answer each interview question behaviorally, whether it is a behavioral question or not. The easiest way to do this is to use an example from your background and experience. Then use the S-T-A-R approach to make the answer a STAR: talk about a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A) and the Results achieved (R). This is what makes your interview answer uniquely yours and will make your answer a star!


Further review: know the answers to these Fifty Standard Interview Questions to be fully prepared for your interview!

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