TIME Living

5 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Job Interview

Michael Travis has helped top companies find talent for twenty years at Travis & Company, and is the author of Mastering the Art of Recruiting: How to Hire the Right Candidate for the Job.

A top headhunter gives his best tips for acing interviews

Congratulations! You’ve landed a face-to-face interview. You successfully navigated your way past capricious candidate screening software and overwhelmed HR employees to earn a meeting with the hiring manager.

So don’t squander the opportunity. Careful preparation will dramatically increase the odds you’ll perform well and leave the hiring manager with a positive impression, even if you don’t win the job or if you decide it’s not right for you.

Where do candidates stumble? Here are the most common mistakes I’ve seen across thousands of interviews:

 

1. Show Up Unprepared
There’s no excuse for a lack of preparation. It’s always obvious to the interviewer, and makes the candidate come off as disinterested or just lazy. You can bet that “disinterested” and “lazy” are not on the list of attributes they seek in an employee.

Do your homework. Before arriving at the interview learn everything you can about the company and the hiring manager. If you have friends or colleagues who worked at the company or know the person with whom you’ll be interviewing, talk to them. Your preparation will make a positive impression, and it will also help you feel more confident.

 

2. Fail to Ask Questions

I’m astounded when candidates don’t ask any questions at all. Failure to ask questions during the interview suggests the candidate is unprepared, uninterested or unintelligent—or simply willing to take any old job.

Prepare a list of questions before the meeting. There’s no better way to demonstrate intelligence, skills and preparation. Smart hiring managers view smart candidate questions very favorably. If the hiring manager doesn’t like being asked questions, then that’s someone you’d be better off not working for.

 

3. Act Like a Downer
Most people hate the process of looking for a job. It involves lots of rejection, and is often accompanied by financial stress. It’s natural to feel the strain, but don’t let it show. Nothing is less appealing than a candidate who comes across as a downer. No one wants to hire Eeyore.

Project confidence. If you’re genuinely feeling it, you’re all set. If you’re not, learn to put on a good show. Don’t let them see you fret. Fake it til you make it.

 

4. Oversell Yourself
This mistake is most commonly made by salespeople, but I’ve seen candidates from every function fall into this trap. The candidate and interviewer trade introductory pleasantries, and then the candidate begins an aggressive monologue about why he is the perfect person for the job.

The hard sell always backfires. For starters, it’s empty — after all, how can the candidate know she’s perfect for the job before learning anything about it from the hiring manager? Moreover, monologues are inherently abrasive and annoying. In the end, the candidate comes off as thoughtless, a poor listener and more than a little desperate.

Resist the urge to oversell. Ask lots of questions so you understand the job and what the hiring manager is seeking. Then you’ll be better positioned to explain how you can help.

 

5. Fail to Follow Up

These days, many of the old rules of etiquette — like sending thank-you notes — are commonly ignored. When you’re engaged in a job search, you ignore these rules at your peril. Some hiring managers will interpret the lack of a follow-up as lack of interest, or simply rude behavior.

Always send a brief email or note. Keep it simple, something like, “Thank you for your time today. I’m excited about the opportunity at your company, and look forward to our continuing discussions.”

Looking for a job is hard work. Don’t make it harder on yourself. If you avoid these five common pitfalls, you’ll put yourself on a faster and less painful path to that perfect new position.

 

Michael Travis the principal of Travis & Company, helping top companies recruit talent for the past twenty years, and the author of Mastering the Art of Recruiting: How to Hire the Right Candidate for the Job.

 

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Books

Hirsi Ali: Beware of Michiganistan

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the founder of the AHA Foundation and the author of Infidel, Nomad, and the new book Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation.

“It couldn’t happen here” is the attitude, but Islamic fundamentalism may become more prevalent in the U.S. in coming years

Since the massacre at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January, the U.S. media has understandably devoted attention to the problem of radical Islam in Europe. The fact has been widely reported that thousands of European Union citizens have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the self-styled Islamic State. Almost as much coverage has been given to stories of French Jews emigrating to Israel. And there have been numerous articles about Michel Houellebecq’s diabolically timed novel Soumission, which imagines France in 2022 with a Muslim president introducing sharia law and being fawned over by the Parisian establishment.

The implication of many of these articles is: “How utterly terrifying. Thank heavens it couldn’t happen here.”

True, there are no American equivalents of the alarmist books about Europe with titles like Eurabia or Londonistan. Apparently it is not quite time to warn about the “United States of Sharia” or “Michiganistan.” But are we underestimating the speed with which this country could develop substantial and influential populations of Islamic extremists? A growing, if still small number of cases like that of Abdi Nur — the 20-year-old student who left south Minneapolis to join IS last year — suggests we may be.

Mainly as a result of postwar migrations, there are now more than 20 million Muslims living in the European Union. In France – where accurate census data on religious affiliation are not collected – the Muslim share of the population is now estimated at between 7 and 8 percent. That is an order of magnitude larger than the current Muslim share of the U.S. population.

Yet, as the European experience shows, demographic change can happen rapidly, as a consequence of migration patterns, differentials in birth rates and – in the case of religious affiliation – rates of conversion and apostasy. In 1990 Europe (the whole continent minus Russia) had a Muslim population of 16 million. It had nearly doubled by 2010. It will be 40 million by 2030.

According to estimates by the Pew Research Center, the Muslim population of the United States is set to increase from around 2.6 million today to 6.2 million in 2030, mainly as a result of immigration, as well as above-average birth rates. Although in relative terms this will still represent less than 2 percent of the total U.S. population (1.7 percent, to be precise, compared with around 0.8 percent today), in absolute terms that will be a larger population than in any West European country except France. Between now and 2030, the Muslim population of the United States will be growing faster than that of any EU member state (with two exceptions where the absolute numbers are tiny: Ireland and Finland). The annual growth rate will be more than double that of France.

As an immigrant of Somali origin, I have no objection to other people coming to America to seek a better life for themselves and their families. My concern is with the attitudes many of these new Muslim Americans will bring with them – and with our capacity for changing those attitudes.

Approximately two fifths of Muslim immigrants between now and 2030 will be from just three countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iraq. Another Pew study – of opinion in the Muslim world – shows just how many people in these countries hold views that most Americans would regard as extreme. (Data on opinion are unavailable for the other two big “sender” countries, Somalia and Iran.)

Three quarters of Pakistanis and more than two fifths of Bangladeshis and Iraqis think that those, like me, who leave Islam should suffer the death penalty. More than 80 percent of Pakistanis and two thirds of Bangladeshis and Iraqis regard sharia law as the revealed word of God. Only tiny fractions would be comfortable if their daughters married Christians. Only a minority regards honor killings of women as never justified. A quarter of Bangladeshis and one in eight Pakistanis think that suicide bombings in defense of Islam are often or sometimes justified.

People with views such as these pose a threat to us all, not because those who hold them will all turn to terrorism. Most will not. But such attitudes imply a readiness to turn a blind eye to the use of violence and intimidation tactics against, say, apostates and dissidents – and a clear aversion to the hard-won achievements of Western feminists and campaigners for minority rights.

Of course, “it” might still not happen here if the United States is as successful at turning these immigrants into an assimilated, “hyphenated” community as it was a century or so ago when the immigrants were Irish, Italian and Jewish. But will the melting pot work its magic this time? Ten years ago, the late Samuel Huntington feared that it already had ceased to function, citing what he saw as problems of assimilation with Mexican immigrants. If he were still with us, I suspect he would be a lot more worried about what is happening in Muslim America.

According to a detailed survey of Muslim Americans, about 8% of those surveyed said that suicide bombing and other violence is often or sometimes justified to defend Islam from its enemies. Indeed, more than a fifth of Muslim Americans say there is a great deal or a fair amount of support for extremism in the Muslim American community. About 20% say that Muslim Americans want to remain “distinct from the larger American society.” Indeed, half say they think of themselves first as a Muslim, second as American, despite the fact that 81% of those polled were U.S. citizens.

Finally, there is a singular feature of American life that, for historical reasons, is not a factor in Europe: the high rate of conversions to Islam among African-Americans. Nearly a quarter (23%) of all Muslim Americans are in fact converts, many of them — just under two thirds according to Ihsan Bagby, a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky — African-Americans.

It has been more than fifty years since the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Cassius Clay, astounded his audience by changing his name to Muhammad Ali and joining the Nation of Islam. Today, more and more African-Americans are following his example, though their route to Islam is a different one.

According to J. Michael Waller of the Institute of World Politics, Muslim inmates comprised between 17 and 20% of the U.S. prison population in 2003, but most of them arrived in jail as non-Muslims. According to his research, 80% of prisoners who “find faith” while behind bars convert to Islam.

Last month, I was dismayed to learn that Fouad al-Bayly, the Egyptian-born imam of the Islamic Center of Johnstown, PA — who in 2007 said that I deserved to die for “defaming” Islam — has been paid thousands of dollars by the Department of Justice to offer religious instruction to inmates in prisons. The European experience shows that radicalization is a serious problem, one that we ignore at our peril.

Who, then, can help build a better future for assimilation of Muslims in America? In 2011, when Pew conducted its detailed study of American Muslims, nearly half of American Muslims (48%) surveyed said that Muslim leaders in the United States had not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremists; only about a third (34%) said that Muslim leaders had done enough in challenging extremists. It is these Muslims — dissident Muslims, disenchanted with the current “official” leadership of the American Islamic community, concerned about illiberal views held in their community — in whom I place my hopes for a better future. Such dissident Muslims include Asra Nomani, Zuhdi Jasser and Irshad Manji, all reformist Muslims who have clashed with “official” Islamic groups to reform Islam and grant greater equality to women. The reformers can help build a future of successful assimilation. But they cannot achieve it alone.

U.S. officials urgently need to choose better partners in the Muslim-American community — not the likes of Fouad al-Bayly. The assumption that Europe’s problem of failed assimilation “couldn’t happen here” just because American assimilation worked well in the past is much too complacent.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, comes out this week. She is a Fellow of the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Visiting Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, and the founder of the AHA Foundation.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Books

6 Books Bill Gates Recommended for TED 2015

Bill Gates
Bloomberg—Getty Images Bill Gates

Shane Parrish writes Farnam Street

The business magnate shares the best business book he's ever read

Bill Gates, long an avid reader, attended the TED conference again this year and continued his tradition of recommending books to fellow attendees.

1. Business Adventures, by John Brooks

Warren Buffett recommended this book to me back in 1991, and it’s still the best business book I’ve ever read. Even though Brooks wrote more than four decades ago, he offers sharp insights into timeless fundamentals of business, like the challenge of building a large organization, hiring people with the right skills, and listening to customers’ feedback. (Here’s a free download of one of my favorite chapters, “Xerox Xerox Xerox Xerox.”)

2. The Bully Pulpit, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin studies the lives of America’s 26th and 27th presidents to examine a question that fascinates me: How does social change happen? Can it be driven solely by an inspirational leader, or do other factors have to lay the groundwork first? In Roosevelt’s case, it was the latter. Roosevelt’s famous soft speaking and big stick were not effective in driving progressive reforms until journalists at McClure’s and other publications rallied public support.

3. On Immunity, by Eula Biss

The eloquent essayist Eula Biss uses the tools of literary analysis, philosophy, and science to examine the speedy, inaccurate rumors about childhood vaccines that have proliferated among well-meaning American parents. Biss took up this topic not for academic reasons but because of her new role as a mom. This beautifully written book would be a great gift for any new parent.

4. Making the Modern World, by Vaclav Smil

The historian Vaclav Smil is probably my favorite living author, and I read everything he writes. In this book, Smil examines the materials we use to meet the demands of modern life, like cement, iron, aluminum, plastic, and paper. The book is full of staggering statistics. For example, China used more cement in just three years than the U.S. used in the entire 20th century! Above all, I love to read Smil because he resists hype. He’s an original thinker who never gives simple answers to complex questions.

5. How Asia Works, by Joe Studwell

Business journalist Joe Studwell produces compelling answers to two of the greatest questions in development economics: How did countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and China achieve sustained, high growth? And why have so few other countries managed to do so? His conclusion: All the countries that become development success stories (1) create conditions for small farmers to thrive, (2) use the proceeds from agricultural surpluses to build a manufacturing base that is tooled from the start to produce exports, and (3) nurture both these sectors with financial institutions closely controlled by the government.

6. How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff

I picked this one up after seeing it on a Wall Street Journal list of good books for investors. It was first published in 1954, but it doesn’t feel dated (aside from a few anachronistic examples—it has been a long time since bread cost 5 cents a loaf in the United States). In fact, I’d say it’s more relevant than ever. One chapter shows you how visuals can be used to exaggerate trends and give distorted comparisons. It’s a timely reminder, given how often infographics show up in your Facebook and Twitter feeds these days. A great introduction to the use of statistics, and a great refresher for anyone who’s already well versed in it.

This article originally appeared on Farnam Street.

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Books

Here’s the Cover for the New Book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series

Knopf

It may have a different author, but The Girl in the Spider's Web looks a lot like the other Lisbeth Salander novels

Stieg Larsson died before he could complete a fourth book in his Millennium Series—but its protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, lives on.

After the wild success of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its two sequels, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Larsson’s publishers and estate recruited Swedish writer David Lagercrantz to continue the series. The fourth book will hit shelves Sept. 1, and its American publisher, Knopf, revealed the cover for The Girl in the Spider’s Web on Tuesday.

If we’re judging a book by its cover, readers can probably expect book four to hew closely to Stieg Larsson’s style—the design is very much in keeping with the rest of the series, and though Lagercrantz gets the byline, the jacket specifies in not-insignificant type that the story is “continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series.” The book will once again follow the adventures of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, though this time, says Lagercrantz, it will introduce “Silicon Valley as a locale and a character from the National Security Agency in a central role.”

The Larsson novels have spelled huge profits for publishers, selling 80 million copies worldwide and 25 million in the U.S. alone since 2005. Whether a new writer can replicate the same spark remains to be seen—Spider’s Web will have an initial print run of 500,000 copies in the U.S.

TIME Television

George R.R. Martin Won’t Write for Game of Thrones Season 6

HBO's "Game Of Thrones" Season 5 - San Francisco Premiere
Steve Jennings—WireImage George R.R. Martin Writer/Co-Executive Producer attends HBO's "Game Of Thrones" Season 5 San Francisco Premiere

He is using the time to finish the sixth book in the series

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin announced on his blog Friday that he will not be contributing to the sixth season of the HBO show.

Martin wrote that “after wrestling with it for a month or so,” he decided that he will instead spend his time working on Winds of Winter, the sixth novel in the series.

“Writing a script takes me three weeks, minimum, and longer when it is not a straight adaptation from the novels,” Martin explained.

“And really, it would cost me more time than that, since I have never been good at changing gears from one medium to another and back again. Writing a season six script would cost me a month’s work on WINDS, and maybe as much as six weeks, and I cannot afford that.”

He’s also not contributing to season five.

The final book in the series is currently set to come out after the television series culminates.

[h/t: NYMag]

Read next: This New Iron Throne of Westeros Is Bigger Than Ever Before

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Books

How the Harry Potter Books Might Have Had Different Titles

Harry Potter
Warner Bros.

Harry Potter and the School of Magic, anyone?

Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive excerpt of Philip W. Errington’s new book, J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997–2013, and even the most ardent Potter fans will be surprised to learn a few things about the beloved series. In particular, what the books were almost called.

The first book, called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the U.K. almost went out in the U.S. as Harry Potter and the School of Magic. And thankfully Rowling dismissed that as a possibility. But other books in the series almost had other titles, too, like Harry Potter and the Death Eaters or Harry Potter and the Three Champions for Goblet of Fire.

Head to EW.com to read the entire excerpt, where you’ll learn more about how publishers transported top-secret manuscripts and how editors kept track of every spell in the Wizarding World.

TIME Books

29 Books That Will Enrich Your Inner Literati

woman-holding-book
Getty Images

Answer by Cristina Hartmann on Quora.

Correction appended, March 31

For anyone who wants to attain the vaunted title of “being well-read,” it’s more about breadth than depth. (As for feeling well-read, read the postscript.)

To “feel” well-read in literature, it’s all about the categories, not the books themselves. Read a few books in a few different genres, time periods, points of views. I’ve thrown in a few controversial books, just so you know what all of the fuss is about.

Here’s how you can feel like a regular literati!:

Western Classics (Ancient & Modern): to give you a good foundation for the who’s who of Western literature.

  • The Odyssey (Homer): epic of a dude who just can’t get home without a little help from the gods. (Extra credit if you read the Iliad, too!)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens): the quintessential story of the French Revolution, love, and longing.
  • Pride & Prejudice (Jane Austen): the story that started the “hate at first sight turning into love” trope.
  • Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy): Very long. Very melodramatic. Very Russian. Very classic!

Dystopia: the stuff of our worst fears and nightmares.

  • Nineteen-Eighty-Four (George Orwell): the book that introduced “doublethink” into our lexicon.
  • Brave New World (Aldous Huxley): another classic dystopia. Gammas, Deltas, oh my!
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood): a feminist spin on the genre.

Science Fiction & Fantasy: we can’t overlook the geeky cousin of the classics, can we?

  • The Lord of the Rings series (J.R.R. Tolkien): this guy made the epic (also called high) fantasy genre. Be warned, it’s a bit of a dry read.
  • The Foundation series (Issac Asimov): some of the pioneering stories in science fiction, natch!
  • Neuromancer (William Gibson): here’s something a bit more modern. Plus, you just can’t beat “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel” as a snappy first line.

Great American Novels: these zeitgeist works practically defined a time period of U.S. history.

  • The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald): you can’t think of the Jazz Age without thinking of “old sport.”
  • Bonfire of Vanities (Tom Wolfe): the terrible movie nonwithstanding, this book captured the self-indulgence of the 80s NYC crowd.
  • The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck): I dare you to get into a conversation about the Great Depression without thinking of this book. I dare you.

Literary Heavy Hitters: books that make people go “Whoa, dude!” when you say that you’ve read them.

  • Ulysses (James Joyce): stream-of-consciousness writing plus an unhealthy sexual obsession with an orphan with a limp equal literary greatness. True story.
  • Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace): fractals, man! Fractals!
  • Gravity’s Rainbow (Thomas Pynchon): lots of stuff happens that a lot of people pretend to understand.

Popular Fiction: those guilty indulgences that everyone has read (but won’t necessarily admit to it). Warning: this is U.S.-centric, feel free to indulge in your country’s guilty pleasures.

  • A Song of Ice and Fire series (George R. R. Martin): hey, there’s a popular HBO miniseries about it!
  • The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins): better than Twilight.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (E.L. James): be torn between hilarity and despair in this BDSM spin-off of a Twilight fan fiction. Who knows, maybe this’ll spice up the bedroom.

Immigrant Experience (U.S./U.K.): ah, the magical experience of being thrust into a new culture.

  • Interpreter of Maladies (Jhumpa Lahiri): say hello to our recent Indian arrivals! (For our tea-drinking cousins across the pond, try Monica Ali’sBrick Lane.)
  • Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan): the book that inspired a movie and furor in the Asian American community about stereotypes and Tan’s possible self-loathing. (For a less controversial read, try Ha Jin’s Waiting–and yes, there’s a lot of longing and waiting there.)
  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents (Julia Alvarez): how four sisters start to forget their Spanish and their native homeland of the Dominican Republic.

Non-Western Classics (Ancient): if Westerners get theirs, so should the rest of the world.

  • Ramayana (India): this is THE Hindu epic. Full stop.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms (China): a bit of Chinese history, highly romanticized and dramatized. Kind of like “A World Turns.”

Non-Western Classics (Modern): the stuff that you should read to feel worldly and well-read. (More applicable if you’re from the U.S. or Western Europe.)

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez): this novel single-handedly legitimatized Latin American literature in modern times. Too bad you don’t know who he’s talking about half of the time.
  • To Live (Yu Hua): getting banned in China just adds to its street cred.
  • Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe): the sad tale of colonialism in Africa. Definitely merits a frowny-face.

Satire: throw in a little giggle into your reading list.

  • Cat’s Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut): some say Slaughterhouse-Five is his best, I say this one. Also: Bokononism!
  • Catch-22 (Joseph Heller): come and see what the catch-22 is. I promise you, it’s gorgeously ironic.
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams): you kill two birds with two stones here: sci-fi and satire. Whee!

This is where I reach the end of my endurance. I haven’t even gotten into the non-fiction stuff, but alas … I must eat.

With this list, you’ll feel like you can dominate the Trivial Pursuit literature section! Life is good.

Postscript: since this question is more about sentiment than reality … I hate to break it to you, but if you’re truly a well-read person, you will never feel well-read. They’re always on the lookout for their next book—that category that they’re missing—to add to their impressive list. It’s a Sisyphean goal, really.

If you feel well-read, you’re probably not.

This question originally appeared on Quora: What books should one read to feel well-read?

More from Quora:

Read next: 15 Life-Changing Books You Can Read in a Day

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the title of the book Things Fall Apart.

 

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Books

Ethan Hawke’s Rules for a Knight to Hit Bookstores This Fall

The actor returns with his third book, with details revealed exclusively on TIME

Ethan Hawke, the author of two novels, is returning to bookshelves for the first time since 2002.

Rules for a Knight, due out this fall, will cap off a year that has included Hawke’s debut documentary (Seymour: An Introduction) and his fourth Oscar nomination (for Boyhood). Per Hawke’s publisher, Knopf—who shared details of the book exclusively with TIME—Hawke originally wrote Knight, a parable, as a gift to his four children. The publisher’s synopsis further reads:

“A knight, fearing he may not return from battle, writes a letter to his children in which he tries to leave a record of all he knows. He lays out the truth of the world as he sees it in a series of ruminations on solitude, humility, forgiveness, honesty, courage, grace, pride, patience, generosity, authenticity, and love. He presents an honest and joyful accounting of what the measure of our lives should be.”

In a recent interview with TIME, Hawke spoke about his evolution as an artist. “When I was young, I just had a tremendous amount of—joy is one word, hubris is another. I was just so excited to be a part of of anything creative,” he said. “‘I wrote 10 pages. Look! You should read it.’ And now as you get older, you’re like, ‘Okay, wait. There’s a lot of things you should read before I’ll waste your time with [my work].'”

That concern has evidently been overcome with a story that’s intended to speak to young people, and that’s explicitly intended as advice: Hawke’s publisher compares the book to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea. Like his character in Boyhood, Hawke, writing for his kids, is growing up.

After all, as the book instructs its reader: “A great knight uses his power to empower others.”

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Creators Say the Show Will Spoil The Books

"We’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place"

The power dynamics between Game of Thrones readers and watchers will soon shift.

The HBO show’s creators have revealed that the series will end before the books do—something fans have been aware of for some time given George R. R. Martin’s writing pace — and will follow the same plot. In other words, the show will be full of book spoilers.

Show runner Davide Benioff told Oxford Union:

We’ve been talking about this with George for a long time, ever since we saw this could happen, and we know where things are heading. And so we’ll eventually, basically, meet up at pretty much the same place where George is going; there might be a few deviations along the route, but we’re heading towards the same destination. I kind of wish that there were some things we didn’t have to spoil, but we’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. The show must go on… and that’s what we’re going to do.

(h/t: Vanity Fair)

TIME Books

Becoming Steve Jobs Shares Jobs’ Human Side

Steve Jobs during a keynote address to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 6, 2011.
Paul Sakuma—AP Steve Jobs during a keynote address to the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on June 6, 2011.

A new book out this week gives a fresh look at the controversial leader

Every new book about Steve Jobs will forever be measured against Walter Isaacson’s biography, which defined, for millions of readers, the man who built (and rebuilt) Apple.

But the people closest to Jobs — the people who knew him best — say Isaacson missed the mark. “I thought the Isaacson book did him a tremendous disservice,” says Tim Cook, speaking out three years later. “It was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality.”

Isaacson’s not really to blame. He’s a skilled journalist, and he mastered an enormous amount of material in a very short time. But he didn’t get to spend much quality time with his subject until the last year and a half of Jobs’ life. Besides, he was hired to tell the story of what Steve Jobs did, not who Steve Jobs was.

There are only a handful of journalists who knew Jobs well enough to tell that story. There’s Steve Levy, formerly of Newsweek. There’s John Markoff of the New York Times. And there’s Brent Schlender of the Wall Street Journal and Fortune, who may have known Jobs best of all.

Becoming Steve Jobs was co-written with Rick Tetzeli, a long-time Fortune colleague, but it is told in the first person — Schlender’s first person — because it is, at heart, Schlender’s story, the story of a journalist’s 25-year relationship with a source.

The book comes richly pre-publicized. Fast Company, where Tetzeli is executive editor, has been dishing out the newsiest chunks like ice cream, one scoop at a time.

But it’s through Schlender’s stories, freshly told, often from taped interviews, that we get to know Steve Jobs as Schlender knew him. And it’s through these stories that each reader will assemble his or her own answer to the book’s central question:

How did a young man so reckless and arrogant become the most effective visionary business leader of our time?”

Jobs cultivated Schlender, gave him long interviews, called him to gossip and complain. Schlender visited Jobs at home; Jobs visited Schlender in the hospital, where they ended up together more often than either would have wished.

Their first meeting — in 1986, when Jobs was drumming up publicity for NeXT — didn’t yield the Wall Street Journal feature story Jobs was hoping for, but it did convince him that Schlender was okay, not a bozo.

“Not writing a feature was the first salvo in the twenty-five-year-long negotiation that marked our relationship,” writes Schlender in the prologue that kickstarts the book. “There was never a minute where the basic terms of our relationship weren’t clear: I was the reporter, he was the source and subject.”

And yet Schlender leaves Jobs’ invitation-only memorial service in October 2011 overcome with emotion for having lit into his source in their last phone call. Jobs had invited Schlender to pay a visit. But Schlender was in a dark mood. Not realizing how close Jobs was to death, he used the opportunity to air his grievances about their relationship. “After a few minutes, once I’d had my say, there was a silence on the line. And then he said he was really sorry.”

Schlender made a halfhearted attempt to schedule a visit but quickly gave up, to his everlasting regret.

Highly recommended.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

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