Authors: Chares J. Stewart and William B. Cash Jr.
: McGraw-Hill – 421 pages
Book Review by
: Sonu Chandiram

This book has been designed for use in college courses relating to majors in business, communication, criminology, education, journalism, nursing, political science, social work, speech, and others, where interviewing is required.

The current or 14th edition was published in 2014 and the first one appeared 40 years ago in 1974. It has undergone numerous changes in format and presentation. The authors write that they have made each edition more reader-friendly. The current edition has the improvements named below, and we attest to that as we write this review:

  • Tightened up the writing style
  • Eliminated redundancies and unnecessary materials
  • Made definitions and explanations more precise
  • Reduced the frequency of lists
  • Begun using variety of print types to call attention important concepts, terms, and words
  • Restructured portions of several chapters to take readers through each in a clearer and more natural progression
  • Started a list of objectives in each chapter to orient readers to the major purposes and topics of that chapter
  • Added notes in the margins to provide cautions, guidelines, and observations
  • Provided a list of key terms at the end of each chapter
  • Developed a glossary of important terms that appear at the end of the book

The various parts of each of the 12 chapters in this book are quite similarly named but not exactly with the same words or phrasing. For example, here are the similarities and difference s between chapter 7, The Recruiting Interview, and chapter 8, The Employment Interview.

The purpose of the employer in the recruiting interview is to find and hire suitable employees, whereas the purpose of the person seeking employment is to present himself or herself in the best light, to get hired.

Here are the topics covered in the recruiting interview:

  • Where to find good applicants
  • Preparing for the recruiting effort
  • Obtaining and reviewing information on applicants
  • Conducting the interview
  • Evaluating the interview

Meanwhile in the employment interview, wherein the applicant’s objective is to get a suitable job, has the following parts:

  • Analyze yourself: questions to guide your self-analysis
  • Do your homework – research your field, position, organization, recruiter, current events, and the interview process
  • Conducting the search: networking; social media; websites, classified ads, newsletters; career centers and employment agencies; career and job fairs; knocking on doors
  • Presenting yourself to the employer: branding, resumes, the portfolio, the cover letter
  • Creating a favorable impression: relationship of the interview parties; dress and appearance; nonverbal communication; interview etiquette
  • Answering questions: preparing to respond; structuring answers; responding successfully; responding unsuccessfully; responding to unlawful questions; exercise #1: which questions are unlawful and why
  • Asking questions: guidelines for asking questions; question pitfalls; exercise #2: applicant pitfalls; simple applicant questions.
  • The closing
  • Evaluation and follow-Up
  • Handling rejection

The chapters on recruiting and employment interviews are two of the longest in the book. You will note the differences in the topics of each chapter, which are basically related to the different objectives of each type of interview.

All of the chapters however have these same topics at the end: Summary, Key Terms and Concepts, Interview Review and Analysis, Role-Playing Cases, Student Activities, Notes, and Resources.    

This is a compact, to-the-point book on interviewing and the fact that it has been around for about 40 years and now in its 14th edition is a solid testimonial to its value and usefulness.

Charles J. Stewart – “Charlie” Stewart is the former Margaret Church Distinguished Professor of Communication at Purdue University where he taught from 1961 to 2009. He taught undergraduate courses in interviewing and persuasion and graduate courses in such areas as persuasion and social protest, apologetic rhetoric, and extremist rhetoric on the Internet. He received the Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in Higher Education from the National Education Association.

He was a Founding Fellow of the Purdue University Teaching Academy. He has written articles, chapters, and books on interviewing, persuasion, and social movements. Charlie Stewart has been a consultant with organizations such as the Internal Revenue Service, the American Electric Power Company, Libby Foods, the Indiana University School of Dentistry, and the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters. He is currently a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children.

William B. Cash Jr. – The late William “Bill” Cash began his work life in his father’s shoe and clothing store in northern Ohio. While still in high school, he began to work in broadcasting and this led to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in broadcasting and speech communication at Kent State University. After completing his academic work at Kent State, he joined the speech communication faculty at Eastern Illinois University and began to consult with dozens of companies such as Blaw-Knox, IBM, and Hewitt Associates.

Bill took a leave from Eastern Illinois and created and taught a course in interviewing. Bill left college teaching and held positions with Ralston Purina, Detroit Edison, Baxter, and Curtis Mathis, often at the vice president level. After several years in industry, he returned to teaching and took a faculty position at National-Louis University in Chicago. He became the first chairperson of its College of Management and Business and developed courses in human resources, management, and marketing.