Many executives get themselves into trouble during an interview because they can’t resist the temptation to show off all of their knowledge. When a reporter asks a question, the expert wants to give a 10 minute tutorial on the subject, going deeper and deeper all the while. The corporate executive or spokesperson has now become the reference librarian for the reporter. That’s not the role you want to be in. When you give too much information, you lose control over the subject.
Sometimes it is best to think of your brain as being a virtually clean slate when you walk into an interview. The only thing on it should be your three message points. It’s not that you should try to sound like a robot, mindlessly repeating your three message points over and over again. It’s just that you should focus on your message points, not on displaying all of your knowledge accumulated over the last 20 years.
Of course, you will access your database of knowledge when presented with a question. But you aren’t going to go into every detail, nook and cranny of the issue, even though you maybe well versed in these matters. Instead, you will use your knowledge base to provide a short answer that will allow you to seamlessly segue into your message points.
By “deleting” your database of knowledge before you start an interview, you also make the interview process less taxing and stressful. You no longer put pressure on yourself to remember everything you have ever learned about a subject. Instead, you can relax as you provide your answers, confident in knowing that you are headed in the right, preplanned direction.
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