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Thursday, August 18, 2011 9:04 AM

The Essential Phone Interview Handbook by Paul Bailo is a resource that may come in handy for some people, especially during this economy. According to the book, phone interviews are on the rise, and continue to be, as many employers are using them as the preliminary or main source to hire new employees.

The book compares the phone interview to a dance, stating that, “Both people involved in the phone interview must be on the same page, moving at the same speed.” It goes on to advise that one pay attention to the speed, or “dance,” of the interviewer, whether he or she is hurried or laid back and slow.

The tips continue with a warning to the reader that, if a phone interview will be happening, all potential sources of noise should be eliminated ahead of time. This includes the TV, children, radio, etc. Of course, there are also those unexpected distractions that may happen, such as the doorbell ringing or loud sirens going by the house. If this is the case, the book advises that the interviewee quickly acknowledge the noise by apologizing, and move on without dwelling on it.

Another tip the book provides is to research the company behind the interview. This is something that should be done for an in-person interview also, but something that may also seem unnecessary to someone who’s about to do a phone interview. The Handbook dispels that myth, emphasizing the importance of having knowledge of the business first.

One recommendation by the book is that on the morning of the phone interview, one should sing. This will “exercise your voice muscles and pump you up for the interview.” I thought this was an interesting approach — and maybe one that wouldn’t work for everyone, but I suppose it might calm the nerves of some — and if the interview didn’t go well, there’s always Broadway.

Besides setting the tone and pace of the interview, listening carefully, and using vivid language, the book also warns against saying certain things during the interview, such as bad-mouthing a previous employer – again, something that shouldn’t be done in an in-person interview, either. I think the book includes some of these aspects because it might seem more casual over the phone and it could be tempting to let one’s guard down and reveal information that normally wouldn’t be shared if eye contact were involved.

So overall this book might come in handy to someone who is an interview novice; a lot of it in my opinion is common sense and applies to pretty much any phone conversation I’d be having (such as eliminating noise, being polite, etc.) I have only had one phone interview and as I was reading this book I was trying to remember if I’d done everything during the exchange that the book recommended. I think I did, although I didn’t get the job – so don’t expect the book to be your golden ticket to employment. In this economy, however, reading it couldn’t hurt.

Sara Berelsman lives in Delphos with her husband and their two daughters and has an MA in literature. She leads the book club discussions at the Delphos Public Library.


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:13 PM

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