Book Review: Ditch the Flip Flops: Ace Your Job Interview Fresh Out of College
The following is our review of the book Ditch the Flip-Flops, a recommended read for all recent College grads about to enter the workforce.
Congratulations! You’ve survived 4+ years of rigorous classes, grueling quizzes and exams, merciless professors, mountains of homework, and endless reading. It’s now time to join the rat race to find the dream job you’ve been looking forward to, and working so hard for. You deserve it, but are you ready for your toughest test yet? Yes, the job interview could be just that. You are competing with countless other degree holders, as well as older and more experienced contenders who are veterans to the interviewing process. Are you prepared to face the ‘brutal scrutiny’ of HR managers who have probably seen it all, literally? If you want help finding a way to stand out, pick up Ditch the Flip-Flops: Ace Your Job Interview Fresh Out of College.
The author Sylvia I Landy graduated from Northwestern University with an MBA. Early on, she launched a healthcare products start-up from her basement, later selling it to a Fortune 500 company. She hired recent graduates in a cost-cutting effort which she never regretted, discovering they were the cream of the crop. In her effort to pay them back, she has written Ditch the Flip-Flops specifically for recent college graduates full of advice to help them on their journey in finding themselves and their careers.
Cleverly written and full of humor, while also containing scores of useful information, Ditch the Flip-Flops is a step-by-step guide to the interviewing process. With chapters entitled ‘Draw Some Blood’, ‘Assume the Versatile Chat Position’, and ‘Strike Pay Dirt’, it’s not only an entertaining read, but a necessity for the new job-seeker looking to stand out in the crowd. The book starts out with a ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’ pep talk and a self-questionnaire to pinpoint your strengths, weaknesses, and gain an understanding of yourself. This serves as your new reality check so you go into your interview with your eyes wide open.
Packed full of useful tips, the book continues with how to write your pitch, known as the GEAKE (grab ‘em and keep ‘em) and how to ‘seal it with a KISS’ (Key Information Sell Sheet). Then, it goes onto advice on the what-to and how-to of learning about the company or companies in which you are applying to, your competition, and the interviewers, who you will be at the mercy of. Never leaving out any details, Ditch the Flip-Flops also advises you on how to perfect your image by cleaning up your myspace and facebook profiles, learning the art of humility, working on body language, and practicing all the tough questions you may be faced with. The book also reminds you of the importance of practice, preparation, and rehearsal.
As we all know, communication is a very important and basic part of life. The author covers business communication etiquette in the forms of e-mail, letter, and phone. There are samples of introductory letters conveying heartfelt desire, and of sharing college experiences, personal tidbits, and work related particulars. Even if you don’t have the most impressive stories, Landy offers advice on how to make yourself appear more experienced and fit for the job you are applying for. Correspondence pre-interview, following up, and how to accept or possibly decline offers are also addressed.
Of course, no job interview book is complete without the chapter on how to make the actual interview a cinch, or more accurately, less intimidating. Landy offers her expertise, giving night-before and day-of guidelines of what should occur. This includes a checklist for both so there are no last minute surprises. You are probably nervous and more than likely to forget some necessity, so these checklists may prove to be useful so you don’t forget the directions to your interview, your cell phone in case of emergency, or any necessary paperwork that will be needed. Preparation is, of course, at the top of the priority list, but other topics are outlined in great detail. Details on appearance, how to banish pre-interview jitters and last minute fixes alas, any surprises do arise. Actual horror stories from real interviews are included to serve as a warning and relieve tension, as they are quite humorous.
For the actual interview, you are introduced to your new best friends, balance and focus. A candidate is more likely to stand out if they appear mature and attentive, no matter how inexperienced they are. There is a chapter dedicated to interview etiquette, advice on good manners, and how to improve your conversational skills. A handy list of ‘essential words’ is also included enabling you to sound polished and advises you on using them to suit your own conversational style. And, while you are being hammered with questions by your interviewers, another important aspect of the interview is the questions you ask them. Ditch the Flip-Flops provides you with sample questions, how to pose them, and when to ask them, possibly enabling you to turn the tables. Remember, your objective is to stand out from the crowd.
When preparing for your first job interview fresh out of College, consider picking up a copy of Ditch the Flip-Flops. While it’s clever, humorous, and witty, it’s also a wealth of information that a College grad should not be without. Ditch the Flip-Flops: Ace Your Job Interview Fresh Out of College will enable you to recognize your potential, prepare you for the struggle ahead, and help you better understand the interview process and what it takes to stand out and land your dream job. You have worked hard for it and you deserve it. Good luck!