Hiring the Best by Martin Yate

Hiring the Best: A Manager’s Guide to Effective Interviewing and Recruiting, Fifth Edition
By Martin Yate

This is yet another assigned book. One day I will again read for pleasure, but that day will likely not be until the summer. Sigh.

In the mean time, though, I was surprised and pleased to discover that I actually enjoyed this book. Job interviews are not a topic that I consider particularly interesting, beyond the sheer necessity, but the book wound up being enthralling. It goes through all sorts of questions, discussing what those questions are actually asking, how to pick which questions to ask, and how to interpret the answers that you get back. It was also a really slow read, because I was constantly scripting out how I would answer certain interview questions.

As the subtitle states, the book is about recruiting and interviewing. Yate does an amazing job of introducing and concluding with a thorough discussion of how to think about recruiting. Then about half the book in the middle lists and discusses potential questions to ask in a job interview, going over hundreds of possible questions.

It covers what traits an employer should be looking for in potential employees for different positions and then how to tailor a job interview to get at those traits. As someone who is more likely (I hope) to be in a job interview next as an interviewee rather than an interviewer, I found it helpful to consider what these questions are actually asking and how the answers will be judged. However, given my one and only experience running job interviews from the other side of the table, I am extremely grateful that I will never again be quite as incompetent at it as I was then.

Yate writes with a blunt conversational style that I enjoy, and while I don’t agree with his perspective on a couple of things (he’s very corporate sector while I’m more nonprofit sector,) it’s not a pervasive issue. It’s more of a sense that I like him but I wouldn’t talk politics with him for fear of changing that.

Despite the fact that I’m not all that interested in management, I do acknowledge that it’s useful to know about and Yate seems to know what he’s talking about and describes it well. I strongly suggest this book to anyone who’s on the job market or in management.

3 comments on “Hiring the Best by Martin Yate

  1. Anna says:

    Ooh, I should definitely read this, then! I have to get back into practice on being an interviewee, as well, and this sounds like a really good different perspective.

    • Rebecca says:

      It really does provide a great perspective on the whole process. Would you like me to mail it to you? There’s a short section on temp agencies too.

      • Anna says:

        Yeah, would you mind mailing it? I’d really appreciate it! This last time, it had been so long since I’d interviewed that I’d forgotten to prepare answers, and they trotted out the standards like, “what is a project that you worked on in which a problem came up and how did you solve that problem?”

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