Book By: Arthur H. Bell and Dayle M. Smith
Review By: Denise Heidebrink
Student Services Advisor
Sioux Falls, SD 57107

This book is a handy resource that prepares the reader for a variety of interviewing scenarios. It is an interactive tool because every chapter has questions that the reader can use to reflect on his/her own interviewing experiences. When used as a handbook, it is an effective tool to increases self-awareness of one’s interviewing habits.

Much of the book’s content focuses on the various types of interviews and the information an interviewer needs to gather about the interviewee. It also provides the reader with useful suggestions on how to improve performance in each situation.

A particular strength of the book is its’ emphasis on the importance of the relationship between interviewer and interviewee. The book states, “Interviewers build relationships with candidates as a way of gaining trust, opening channels of communication, and inviting candid opinions and disclosure” (p.3). The book then asks the reader to reflect upon “a time when an interviewer failed to establish what you considered to be a good relationship in your interview” (p.3). It then asks the reader to reflect on how that affected both his/her performance and the outcome of the interview.

The book reminds us of the relational basics we use in advising sessions. It revisits the value of vocal tone and body language and emphasizes that the interviewer can gather valuable information about the interviewee from simple observation. Bell and Smith state: “What we show by our nonverbal communication turns out to be at least as important as what we tell in determining our interview success” (p. 53). Not only does this underscore the importance of paying attention to our students’ nonverbal messages, but it causes us to think about messages we may be sending to our students!

Although this book is geared towards someone preparing to become a career placement professional or the student service generalist, the “traditional” academic advisor will still find it an excellent resource. Chapters don’t necessarily build on each other; therefore the reader can pick and choose chapters of interest.

Interviewing For Success. (2004) Book by Arthur H. Bell and Dayle M. Smith. Review by Denise Heidebrink. Prentice Hall. 144 pp., $17.33, (paperback), ISBN 0-13-033530-4.

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