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The Five-Minute Interview

by Richard H. Beatty
Wiley, 266 pages, $21.50

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Using a counter intuitive approach to interviewing breathes new life into a subject that has been written about extensively. The Five-Minute Interview challenges interviewees to go on the offensive and seize the interview as an opportunity to learn more about the company while they are presenting themselves as the best candidate for the position. Interview basics are covered, but more importantly, Beatty's book shows job seekers how to strategize and adapt to specific situations. Whether you are new to this or seasoned, this quick read will give you a fresh perspective on interviewing techniques and empower you to use them.

Beatty begins by breaking down interviews by type and examining different tactics to employ in varying situations. The six types of interviews are:

  • One-on-One
  • Group
  • Unstructured
  • Structured
  • Targeted
  • Situational

According to Beatty, "There is a major cultural revolution...requiring job candidates to take a much different direction in their interview strategies if they are to compete successfully in the new, emerging environment." Specifically, he is referring to behavioral interviews that are based on past situations and eliciting examples provided by the interviewee. This is where the Five-Minute concept kicks in. The first five minutes of the interview are when you can question the interviewer to determine what they are looking for. Only then can you match your skills, knowledge and experience with the interviewer's particular needs.

Anyone who has ever felt that they were losing their sense of control during an interview will benefit from practicing the Five-Minute concept. According to Beatty, being competent at interviews is not enough in today's competitive job market. If you're willing to put in the time to sharpen your skills and determine precisely what an interviewer is looking for instead of guessing, this is the book for you.

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