How to direct the flow of your Interview ?

A lot of students have challenges answering basic questions like “Tell me something about yourself” “Why MBA” let alone direct the flow of the Interview.

If you have challenges answering even the basic questions like this, first refer to “How to read Interviewer’s Mind ?” and once you become familiar with the process of answering basic behavioral questions, if you want to answer difficult questions like Poor Graduation Score, Career Gap etc etc, refer how to use A.R.M.S. Strategy to handle those type of questions very effectively.

But now comes the tricky part, how to engage your interviewer right from the start and keep him engaged throughout the interview.

One of the methods to engage your Interviewer is to understand the psychology of the interviewer using Empathy Mapping and how his brain functions and respond accordingly.

This is where Irresistible Intrigue Formula comes into play.

Irresistible Intrigue Formula starts with Irresistible Hook and then opens an Intrigue Story Loop. The basic purpose of it is “Get Interviewer’s undivided Attention with an absolutely Irresistible Hook” and then “Open Intrigue Story Loop” to further engage them.

What’s the Hook anyways?

Hook is something uniquely amazing strength angle
How to find Hooks ? It all boils down to introspection about yourself, your skills, your experience, your talents, your strengths etc etc.

What creates this open loop?Unfinished stories open loops.
How to employ hooks in your answers ? Make sure your answers are filled with

  1. Novelty vs Boring & Dull
  2. Specificity instead of Vague
  3. Visual Pictures vs just plain wordplay
  4. Simple and easy to understand language vs Complicated & Technical language
  5. Unique Selling Proposition/Positioning vs No uniqueness

If you use all these elements in your answers, your answers will be more engaging, powerful and interviewer will have no choice but to ask you questions on the same.

However, this method may not work in all the situations but it works pretty good in most of the situations.

But let’s understand why it works so well in the first place ?

We have 3 parts in the brain. Croc brain, Mid brain and Neocortex. Any information first goes through the Croc brain, it’s filtered and finally the filtered information goes to the Neocortex.

Image Courtesy : Pitch Anything

How Crocodile brain works ?

  1. If the info isn’t a threat (boring), it can be ignored.
  2. If it’s not an immediate threat to survival, it can be ignored.
  3. If it is dangerous: fight/flight
  4. If it’s too complex, it will be summarized quickly and moved on.

But if the information has 5 components I talked about Novelty, Specificity, Visual Pictures, Simplicity, Uniqueness , then it’s received and well processed by our croc brain and then there will be less filtering of information so that finally information is sent to Neocortex (which deals with Higher Reasoning)

That’s how frames come into play. What’s a frame ?
A frame is the instrument you use to package your power, authority, strength, information, and status. Oren Klaff

  1. Frames collide and seek dominance. The stronger absorbs the weaker.
  2. Everyone uses a frame. They may/may not know it.
  3. Every social interaction brings them together.
  4. Frames don’t coexist together for long. They crash and one gains control.
  5. The winning frame gains control of the social interaction.

If you have to explain your authority, power, position, leverage, advantage, etc. You do not hold the stronger frame.

There are 3 different types of frames which can be deployed against you

  1. Power Frame
  2. Analyst Frame
  3. Moral Frame

Your job is to overcome these frames.

Let’s take an example of Analyst frame.

How to identify Analyst frame ?

It relies on facts, figures, and logic. Interviewer is trying to dig down deep into minute details. Problem solving, calculations, statistics, etc

Seeks to filter your accomplishment like this:

1.     Focuses only on hard facts

2.     Says that aesthetic or creative work has no value

3.     Requires everything be supported by a number or statistic

4.     Hold that ideas and relationships have no real value

How to overcome the frame ?

There are certain approaches that you can employ

  1. Story Telling
  2. Push-Pull Method

Let’s talk about Story-telling first.

Why Story-telling works ?
Great stories help you break through their Logical Programming. It will nudge them out of analytical thinking and gives them more details which help them to “solve the puzzle”. When the puzzle is solved, then the croc brain disengages.

There are certain elements of the story you should definitely include in the answer
1. You need to have strong Backstory
2. You need to be the Center of the Story
3. It must be brief and subject matter related to the question being asked
4. There should be risk, danger, uncertainty, conflict
5. There should be consequences if the timely action is not taken
6. You should win at the end

If you use these elements in your answer right from the start, there are chances that you will not get these questions in the first place.

In case, if you get them. There is one more method you can employ which is called “Push-Pull” Now this involves some risk on your part but if you deploy it successfully, the results will be far better.

Here is how to use it ?

If the Interviewer panel presses you more for numbers/statistics than your story itself & interrupts you in between

Push: There is more to my story than just the numbers/statistics. I can talk about numbers/statistics all the time you want but that won’t give you glimpse into what I have accomplished so far. So if you want just numbers/statistics, I can definitely share that  (pause)  

Pull: But obviously I thought you are more concerned about my accomplishments first and numbers/statistics later        

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You just say this and see what happens. If they are really interested in your story, they will allow you to continue and then if required you can share the numbers and details at the end. If you don’t want to and if they don’t remind you, then feel free not to discuss those details if you think those details are not that relevant to your interview.

If you want to learn how to disrupt Power Frame, how to use Intrigue frame, how to use different Push-Pull techniques, check out GD WAT PI Revolution

Concept of Frames taken from the book “Pitch Anything

Featured Image Courtesy : Tools Hero



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