How Barack Obama Answers Multi-Part Interview Questions

June 22nd, 2009 by lewis

Jerry Weissman wrote an excellent article on how Barack Obama answers multi-part interview questions.

During a recent press conference, Jeff Zeleny, a NY Times reporter, asked President Obama: “During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office, enchanted you the most about serving in this office, humbled you the most and troubled you the most?”
Long, multi-part questions are tough. It’s hard to remember everything. But answer one part and neglect the other, you may be perceived as evasive or not taking the interviewer’s qusetion seriously.
Obama handles the situation gracefully. Weissman writes:
He immediately reached into his coat pocket, pulled out a pen and said, “Let me write this down,” producing a wave of laughter from the crowd gathered in the East Room of the White House.
As Obama began writing, Zeleny began to restate his question, “Surprised … troubled…”
Obama said, “I’ve got–what was the first one?”
Zeleny repeated, “Surprised …”
Obama repeated, “Surprised …”
Zeleny repeated, “Troubled …”
Obama repeated, “Troubled …”
Zeleny repeated, “Enchanted …”
Obama said, “Enchanted,” then smiled and added, “Nice,” evoking more laughter.
Next time you get a multi-part question, use Obama’s technique. You’ll get points for handling the situation with respect, precision, grace, and attentive listening skills, like a top American president.

If you liked this article, let us know by clicking Like.

One Response to “How Barack Obama Answers Multi-Part Interview Questions”

  1. October 09, 2009 at 4:48 am, Anonymous said:

    I do this during phone interviews. It can be a little more difficult in person but the best technique ever.