Do you know the trick that every politician and TV personality uses in their interview? It is simple task of blocking and bridging. The next time you are watching a politician being interviewed about their campaign or a movie star about their next big blockbuster, watch the way they block and bridge to make a point.
Blocking and bridging simply means addressing the question that was asked such as “Why is the sky blue?,” then blocking that question and then bridging over to an answer that relates to a point you want to get across. Example: A politician is asked “Why is the sky blue?,” but actually wants to discuss healthcare reform. He would then answer something like this “I was just admiring the blue sky today on my drive to this speech. As I was admiring the blue sky, I began considering the implications of the current state of health care in this country and realized that I had to do something about it…” This is a very simple example, but you can see where I am going with this.
Politicians and celebrities do this because they have an agenda or a point they want to convey and often times are not asked direct questions that allow them to relay this point.
You, as a job seeker, can use this same tactic during an interview. When asked ANY question in an interview, your goal should always be to look at where you can emphasize a point about why they should want to hire you. You should always have a list of 10 or more talking points that you want to cover during your interview. These talking points should highlight examples of what makes you stand out from others in your position and where you have increased the PEP (Productivity-Efficient-Performance) of your company, your clients, your peers etc… You may touch on one or two points during the interview, or you may hit all 10 depending on how effectively you block & bridge.
During the interview, by using the blocking and bridging technique, you can address these talking points at appropriate times in the interview.
Example: You were at your last job 10 years and you were recently laid off. Point you want to get across is how stable and loyal you are. Question the Employer asks you “Why did you leave your last position?” The average person would answer by saying “I was laid off.” One way you could answer if you were blocking and bridging is “I am glad you brought up why I left my last job. That was really an amazing experience. I loved the company, which is why I stayed there 10+ years, and would have stayed there long term since I loved the people and the work. Unfortunately, like many firms, they had to restructure, but I am grateful for the 10 great years I had there and the experience I gained.”
In this case, you are addressing the question still, but you are also bridging to a point about how stable and loyal you are.
I want to be clear. I am not saying to NOT answer the questions you are being asked. I am suggesting that you answer the questions you are asked intentionally to get a point across that you are the right candidate for the job.