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Applicant question: What are you reading right now?

The Ask about reading habits in the job interview is unusual, it may also be for some applicants too personal appear. But it really isn't. Because behind this there is by no means indiscreet interest in the private life or the leisure activities of a candidate. Rather, it serves Applicant question"What are you reading right now?" to get to know the applicant's personality better. Accordingly, there are clever answers - but also a few dangerous ones ...

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Reading Habits: There is no one right answer

Of course, not all people are veritable bookworms - some read for relaxation; others to get information; and third to educate yourself. There are also people for whom reading is not part of everyday life. When asked about reading behavior, there is simply not a perfect universal answerAs with other interview questions, by the way. As an applicant, however, you can apply for a Response strategy plan how you want to present yourself and what you will reveal.

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What HR professionals read from reading habits

    What was the latest book you've read?

  • With this question, the recruiter usually wants more about the candidate's overall development and pursuit professional development Experienced. Does the candidate even find time to read? Does he only read subject-specific literature or, on the contrary - everything possible for entertainment and relaxation without promoting his professional development?
  • The enumeration of one Reading list is not a good solution here. It is better to name one or two books that you actually read last - a specialist book and a novel (attention: you may have questions about the content!). With this mixture you make it clear that you are not only professional, but also personal development important is.
  • Which book are you currently reading?

  • Reading educates. Accordingly, with this question, the HR manager is primarily interested in whether reading is just a kind of Leisure activities at the pool and is on vacation - or a permanent process that takes lifelong learning into account. At the same time, when asked which one priorities the applicant currently sets: What is he or she is currently interested in? And why is he or she reading this particular book? It goes without saying that titles like “finally getting out” or “getting along better with colleague Kotzbrocken” do not arouse the best associations.
  • You should answer the question quickly and confidently. If you are watching Re-orientate yourself professionallylook around for a new job and acquire the necessary specialist knowledge - great! Mention that. Je more passionate and fascinated If you talk about the knowledge you have already gained, the sooner the HR manager will see you as a committed, interested and well-versed employee.
  • Which book would you recommend to me?

  • The question is tricky. Because what is meant here is not necessarily the current book. The question is also less about your current interests than the questions above. Rather, it is yours right here empathy Put to the test: How well can you empathize with your interlocutor and their interests after just a short small talk. However, it is also possible that your recommendation is based on a current and important development draws attention - and at the same time comes out as someone who always has such trends on the radar.
  • Warning: The question contains a lot Fat bowl potential. Not only that, with the recommendation, you could be aiming past the interests of the recruiter. This becomes problematic when the Book tip "poisoned" is - for example, a title like: "The Recruiter Bible: How You Can Finally Get Better Talent". There is subtle criticism in such a tip - in this case, not subtle at all. The ideal answer is either a really significant trend or a novel that particularly appealed to you or whose one message you absolutely find worth telling.

Reading Habits: There are dangerous answers too

The unexpected question about Reading habits offends some applicants who don't like reading. In this situation, however, some respond to give an answer that is honest, but rash is. It is precisely these answers that can help you Doom and lead the conversation to a quick end. Better not to answer like this:

    I don't like reading, it's a waste of time.

  • Perhaps that is how you actually feel - but you should never say it. Reading is one of the most basic ways of getting yourself further training and acquire new knowledge. Anyone who answers this way is guaranteed not to leave a good impression, but looks like an ignoramus who hardly wants to look beyond his (narrow) horizon.
  • I prefer films and series.

  • No question about it: you can learn a lot from films. But they are always the interpretation of the respective director. For your own imagination and there is little scope for personal head cinema. While it is legitimate for you to watch movies to prefer - but they are no substitute for reading a good book. There is therefore a high probability that you will then be asked about the last book you read.
  • I am mainly interested in erotic literature and religious books.

  • Certainly, no one answers that. But the example should make it clear that books from these genres should tend not to be mentioned. This is just too personal and too much information. In the worst case scenario, you will have a pale aftertaste at the end of the interview. Better to remember one classicthat you reread - for reasons - or some kind of crime thriller. This will keep you on neutral ground.
  • I don't have time to read.

  • Unlikely! Everyone has at least 15 minutes to read a book in stages in the evening and shortly before falling asleep. So you always expand your own horizon. If you are actually not reading a book at the moment, describe at least one work that is on your wish-list or that you are about to start reading.

Please don't lie!

One more recommendation at the end: Please never touch it the trap and lie about your reading habits. It's always possible that the recruiter happened to be reading the same book and asking you for details. This is a lie most serious mistake at an interview. If it's revealed, the chances of getting the job are close to zero.

Instead, think strategically: Retrieve a book or two from the website Professional world and some favorite books in memory - or buy yourself a bestseller just before you apply. Think about what you liked best while reading and why. Experience has shown that this is always well received by HR professionals - especially candidates who are enthusiastic about books.

[Photo Credit: Syda Productions by Shutterstock.com]

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December 11, 2020Author: Anja Rassek

Anja Rassek studied, among other things, German language and literature at the WWU in Münster. She worked for community radio and a publisher. Here she devotes herself to topics relating to the office, everyday work and studies.

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