Bridging techniques for smoother interviews

When promoting a new book, authors often find themselves in the spotlight, eager to discuss their work, ideas and passions. Yet, amid the excitement of sharing their message, there can be a lurking concern: What if an interviewer’s questions veer into uncomfortable territory? How can you gracefully navigate discussions on sensitive topics without compromising your message or integrity?

It’s important to tread carefully, especially when faced with interviewers who may not share your perspectives or even challenge your beliefs. It’s in these moments that the art of “bridging” becomes invaluable — a strategic technique that allows you to steer the conversation so that your key points are highlighted.

Here are a few tips:

Show empathy toward the interviewer’s concerns or questions 

Acknowledge their perspective, then smoothly transition to a related topic that you want to discuss. For example, “That’s an interesting point, but what’s really important here is…”

Take the essence of the question and reframe it in a way that allows you to address your key messages

For instance, “I understand your concern about X, but what I think is crucial to focus on is…”

Be an active listener by paying close attention to the interviewer’s question to ensure you understand their concerns or interests.

This allows you to tailor your responses more effectively and find relevant bridges to your key messages

Offer a concise response to the question and then smoothly pivot to a different topic that aligns with your messaging.

Transition by using relevant examples or anecdotes

Use conditional language with phrases 

For example “If we’re looking at it from another angle…” or “While that’s important, let’s also consider…” to introduce your desired topic.

Stand strong while staying calm and confident throughout the interview

Staying positive and professional will help you build a better rapport with the interviewer and leave a positive impression.

Other phrases that might be helpful to shift the conversation:

“That’s one way to look at it, however…”
“I can appreciate your perspective, but let’s also consider…”
“I am really glad you asked that, because…”
“Let’s look at it from a broader perspective…”
“Have you considered the equally important question…”
“Well, another issue playing into this is…”
“That reminds me…”
“Speaking of which…”
“That’s very interesting, but what I really want to say is…”

While bridging and deflecting techniques are useful, it’s also important to address the interviewer’s questions to some extent so you don’t appear evasive or insincere. Balancing these techniques with genuine engagement and responsiveness can help you successfully navigate interviews, especially if there are sensitive topics being introduced. 

Check out our other interview tips here: