July 21, 2018

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Interviewed or Interrogated: You're in Control

Questions are the key tool of conversational influence. The person who asked the last question has the most influence on the conversation's direction. Interviewers are tasked with asking the majority of questions during the interview and hence have the greatest influence on the direction and content of the interview.

Shared Control

You share control of the interview with the interviewer. However, most candidates sacrifice their influence because they assume the interviewer is suppose to ask all the questions while the they (the interviewee) is suppose to provide only answers.

Interrogation or Conversation

When only one person asks the questions the meeting is best described as an interrogation, not an interview. When you (the interviewee) ask questions throughout the meeting you promote a dialogue and a positive interview. The most productive interviews are two way conversations where both the interviewer and interviewee ask questions throughout the meeting. Both individuals ask questions and both respond with answers.

It's Up to You

You determine whether you are interrogated or interviewed. If you don't ask questions throughout the interview you force the interviewer to ask you a series of questions. You essentially force the interviewer to interrogate you. When you do ask questions, you establish a dynamic where you and the interviewer have an informational conversation to determine how you can solve problems a nd deliver results.

An interview is a meeting where both people are asking questions and providing answers.

After you respond to an interviewer's question, ask a follow up question to ensure you were understood accurately and that you have provided enough detail. After responding ask questions like, "Did I give you enough detail?", "Was I clear on that?", and "Would you like me to elaborate?"

Do You Have Any Questions?

Also prepare a list of 5 to 7 questions you will ask. Prepare your questions list before the interview. When you are asked if you have any questions just refer to your list. It is imperative that you have a prepared list of questions. Saying you have no questions is the worst possible answer to the question "Do You Have Any Questions?" Interviewers are more impressed with your questions than with your answers.

Best of luck on your next interview. It is the most important moment in your search for a better position.

- Michael R. Neece

CEO, Interview Mastery

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