Having done your homework, and properly prepared for the interview, you are in a position to manage the interview. Managing the interview does not mean directing, dominating or controlling the flow of the interview, but managing the content and context of your responses in order to develop the proper perspective of who you are, and how you can uniquely fill the position.
You must decide, though, if you want to be an active candidate or passive candidate. A passive candidate waits for the interviewer to ask the questions, and responds as best as possible to each one. An active candidate takes a proactive stance:
- anticipating questions and topics of discussion.
- observing and assessing the interviewer’s responses.
- looking for opportunities to create bridges.
Bridges act as transition points, enabling you smoothly cross from one topic to another. In using bridges, you ask a question can segue into key points you want to make. For instance, let’s say you consider yourself a person who encourages teamwork and has had success in leading teams; however, you had a major problem with a particular person you worked with. You sense the conversation steering in a way that would cause you to talk about this issue.
Find an appropriate time to make a bridge statement, and ask a related question. For example: “In order for your organization to succeed as well as it does, there must be a strong level of teamwork. Do you encourage your employees to participate in team-building activities?” Listen carefully for the response. Then, begin to talk about some specific instances where you had particular success in building strong team spirit, and achieved certain goals that were recognized by your company’s management.
You avoid talking about an issue that can steer the interview in a wrong direction, and make a strong point about yourself the interviewer will make note of.