Question forms part of
Other interview questions that are similar
- What are some of your favorite books, and why do you enjoy them?
- Can you recommend any books that you think I should read?
- What kind of books do you enjoy reading, and why?
- What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed, and what made it stand out?
- How often do you read, and what kind of books do you like to read the most?
- Have you read any books recently that have influenced your thinking or worldview in a significant way?
- Are there any authors whose work you particularly admire or find inspiring?
- What are you currently reading, and how are you enjoying it so far?
- Have you ever read a book that completely changed your perspective on something?
- How do you decide what books to read, and what factors do you consider when choosing your next read?
What the interviewer is looking for by asking this question
There are probably an infinite number of questions that the interviewer could ask you on the day. Some questions are incredibly common appearing in almost every interview you will have, while other questions you might hear once and never again regardless of how many jobs you apply for.
Fundamentally though all interview questions are really trying to find out one of 3 things:
1 – Can you do the job? (Do you have the skills/experience needed?)
2 – Will you do the job? (Do you have the drive/motivation to get the job done?)
3 – Will you fit in? (Does your personality match the workplace culture? Are you likeable?)
That’s it. Those are the 3 things that the interviewer is trying to ascertain. Every question that is asked of you will fundamentally be trying to resolve one (or more) of these 3 things.
Interviewers may ask about the books you’ve read recently for several reasons, all of which relate back to one of the 3 points above:
- Assess your interests: This question can provide insight into your personal interests, passions, and how you spend your free time. Your reading choices can reveal whether you are engaged in continuous learning, staying current with industry trends, or exploring new ideas.
- Gauge your intellectual curiosity: Your recent reading material can indicate your level of intellectual curiosity and your willingness to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.
- Understand your communication and critical thinking skills: Discussing a book you’ve read allows interviewers to evaluate your ability to articulate thoughts, analyze content, and think critically about complex ideas.
- Find common ground: Sometimes, interviewers ask this question to build rapport and find common ground. If you both have read the same book or share similar reading interests, it can create a connection and make the conversation more engaging.
- Evaluate cultural fit: Your reading preferences can give the interviewer a sense of whether your values, interests, and approach align with the company’s culture.
When answering this question, be honest about the books you’ve read and share a brief summary or key takeaway from one or more of them. If possible, choose books that are relevant to the job, industry, or the company’s values to demonstrate your commitment to professional growth.
How Best To Answer ‘What books have you read lately?’
The B-STAR (Belief – Situation, Task, Action, Result) format is a useful framework for answering behavioral interview questions that require specific examples of past experiences. However, for the question “What books have you read lately?”, the STAR format may not be the most suitable approach.
This is because the question is not asking for a specific example of a past experience, but rather for your current reading habits and interests. Therefore, a more appropriate approach to answering this question would be to focus on providing a clear and concise response that showcases your reading habits and interests.
To answer the question “What books have you read lately?”, candidates should focus on providing a clear and concise response that showcases their reading habits and interests. Here are some tips for structuring an effective answer:
- Start with the genre: Begin by mentioning the genre or category of books you have been reading lately. This helps to provide context for your answer and can help the interviewer better understand your interests.
- Be specific: Try to mention the titles of specific books you have read recently and provide a brief summary of what you liked about them. This demonstrates that you have engaged with the material and can articulate your thoughts and opinions on it.
- Connect to the job: If possible, try to connect your reading habits and interests to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job in marketing, you could mention books you have read about branding or advertising.
- Keep it concise: While it’s important to provide a detailed answer, you don’t want to go on for too long. Keep your answer concise and to the point.
By following these tips, you can provide a structured and thoughtful response that demonstrates your reading habits and interests, as well as your ability to communicate effectively.
What You Should NOT Do When Answering Questions
Do not avoid the question.
Do not say you have do not read.
Do not reject the premise of the question.
Do not give a one-sentence answer.
What books have you read lately? – Example answer
Recently, I’ve read a few books that have been influential in shaping my perspective on leadership and staying up-to-date with the software industry. One book that stands out is ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ by Patrick Lencioni. This book provides valuable insights into building effective teams by overcoming common obstacles like lack of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. I’ve applied some of the strategies outlined in the book to improve team dynamics in my previous roles, and I’ve seen a positive impact on productivity and collaboration.
Another book that I found fascinating is ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries. It offers a fresh perspective on product development and management, focusing on rapid prototyping and validation of ideas through customer feedback. I believe this approach can be very beneficial for a software company like yours, as it can help deliver valuable products faster and with less risk.
In addition to these books, I enjoy reading technology blogs and industry news to stay current with the latest trends and developments in software. This continuous learning habit helps me stay ahead of the curve and make more informed decisions as a manager
Project Manager Example
In the past few months, I’ve been focused on reading books that can help me become a better project manager, particularly in the finance industry. One book that I found particularly helpful was ‘Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager’ by Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, and James Wood. This book provided practical tips and strategies for managing projects effectively, even when you don’t have formal authority or a dedicated team.
Another book that I recently read and enjoyed was ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries. Although it’s not specifically about project management, the book provides valuable insights into how to launch and grow a successful business by using a lean and iterative approach. I believe that many of the principles and strategies discussed in this book can be applied to project management in the finance industry.
Overall, I’m always looking for ways to improve my project management skills and knowledge, and I believe that reading books on the topic is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices. I’m excited about the opportunity to apply these skills and knowledge in a Project Manager position at ExampleBank, and I’m confident that my reading habits and interests will be an asset to the team.
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