March 07, 2011
Creating a business from the ground up is an entrepreneur's
dream come true. And for Paul Bailo, CEO of Phone Interview Pro and
author of The Official Phone Interview Handbook, that's literally
"Honestly, I went to bed one night and had a dream about writing
a book," he said. "I wish I could say I had some great design or
plan to become the king of the phone-interview industry, but that's
just not the case. It kind of happened by accident, all because the
idea first came to me in that dream." This business-savvy alumnus
graduated in 1986 with a B.S. in Finance. He worked for a number of
high-profile companies, including Citigroup, GE Money and American
Express, but found himself unemployed after one of his corporate
employers downsized in the late 2000s. Bailo used his free time to
brainstorm how he could start up his own unique business venture.
Shortly after, Phone Interview Pro was born.
based The Official Phone Interview Handbook on research I was doing
for my Ph.D. and even though it was self-published, it shot up to
one of the bestsellers on Amazon.com," he said. "Within a month I
was able to get a book agent and a book contract with Career Press,
and now the company is really taking off."
Bailo has lectured close to 10,000 people about how to have
successful phone interviews, and his company's phone-interview
evaluations have become increasingly popular nationwide.
"People sign up to participate in a mock phone interview, and my
evaluators score them based on an application that I designed," he
said. "Our trained evaluators then speak with the participants
about their strengths, weaknesses and other characteristics. We run
the results through an algorithm and see how effective the
interview would have been at getting the client to the next
Bailo's interviewing tips are based on meticulous research that
he and his staff compiled. His strategies include dressing in
business attire during phone interviews, never using a cell phone
and waiting until the second or third ring before taking a call.
But the most vital piece of advice Bailo gives is to act naturally
so you can make an immediate and genuine connection with the
research indicates that if you do not connect with your interviewer
in the first 15 seconds, it's highly unlikely that you're actually
going to get a face-to-face interview," he noted. "And the only way
to really make a connection on a human level with the person you're
speaking with is if you're a good person. If you can do something
really nice for someone within three days of your phone interview,
then that will actually be detected in your voice. It's amazing
what our research has proven."
Bailo came to speak at St. John's in February at the Alumni
Insider's View… Phone Interview Pro event, sharing his pointers and
expertise with students. "A lot of college kids are anxious because
the economy got so bad around 2008," he said. "But things are
starting to get better, and I hope to show students how important
their phone communication skills are in terms of landing a job.
You'll never get hired if you can't make a good first impression.
So if I can help these students get jobs, then I'm happy to do
Bailo would like to see Phone Interview Pro grow further in the
coming years. He is working on deals with various colleges and
universities throughout the country and also hopes to continue his
partnership with several states in using his system as part of the
Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. "So far, this
company has been a great endeavor," Bailo said. "I guess it's
pretty amazing where your dreams can take you."