How to answer multi-tiered questions and crush the interview





During an interview or public speaking event, people may do this on purpose...


They may ask you multiple questions together.

Building this skill and enhancing your personal brand--what people say about you when you leave the room--can be the difference between getting the job, addressing the audience with a thorough response, or not.

How can you show them you're a rockstar and crush the interview?


Here’s a strategy I shared with one of my private coaching clients, which I believe will serve you.

Master the Skill of Listening


When you are on an interview, on a panel, or any venue where you’re answering questions, what typically happens is that instead of listening, your brain immediately kicks into hyper mode trying to figure out what to say next and, in the process, you forget to listen carefully.


What will support you the most is to focus on becoming a master listener instead and connect the questions to something in your head that will help you remember them. Here’s an example:

If I were to ask you, “Why did you look for a coach? What was it like to go through the process? And what will you take with you?” Notice I asked a three-part question.


As you’re listening to me, remember each of the questions using this trick...

Find a “trigger sentence”—a phrase in your head that reminds you of my questions. This could be your little mental trick. When I say, “Why did you look for a coach? Your trigger sentence or prompt can be “Why a coach?”


If you can, use your fingers to connect your trigger sentences to the questions-your index finger to remember question #1 (under the desk or below the virtual meeting camera). Sometimes the physicality of holding out a finger that only you can see/feel reminds you of the question.


For question #2, hold out your middle finger, and your trigger sentence can be, "What was the process like?" And finally, with question #3, "What are my takeaways?" hold out your ring finger to remind you of the third one.


In your mind, you now have three anchors for each of the three questions. After the person finishes asking the questions, start answering them, one by one. Here are sample answers in this example:

  • The reason why I hired a leadership coach is, etc.

  • The process was supportive for me. I met with my coach regularly and had somebody that I knew would hold me accountable, etc. What am I going to take away is the things that I learned during coaching? I’ll apply them with my team and my family, etc.

Why is this skill of answering multiple questions important?


Suppose I'm interviewing you and I ask you a multi-tiered question, and you remember the questions in the heat of the moment of an interview, under those circumstances of high stress. In that case, that tells me volumes about how you operate under pressure.


An interview can be a stressful situation. If you can remember the multi-tiered questions that I ask you and answer them, I feel more confident that you would handle stressful situations and stay calm, cool, and collected.


It also shows me an organized thought process and helps you communicate using the language that your interviewer uses, which allows you to connect more as they hear their own words.


How will you remember this skill?


Here’s an image or metaphor to support you.


The key is to forget about answering first and instead focus on listening.


Imagine your body being the shape of an entire ear, listening on all levels.

Your focus is on listening. Come up with your trigger sentences to remember what they asked you, and then off you go, answer the questions.


If you find this strategy valuable, share it with your friends. And if you need support navigating a transition to a new leadership role, gaining more confidence, and articulating your value to land that role, increase your income, and get out of survival mode, reach out to me at www.callwithginny.com.


In the meantime, be fearless! (act despite the fear)


Coach Ginny 💕



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About Dr. Ginny A. Baro

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is a sought-after international motivational speaker & leadership coach, a career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work.

Ginny specializes in partnering with organization to develop leadership teams at all levels of management. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or moving into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees and delivered keynotes impacting international audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.


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