Activity 7.6 - Acknowledge, Bridge, Communicate if it gets tricky

1 - Introduction

You don’t want to ignore any questions you are asked, even if they are hard to answer. Instead, if a question is highly challenging you can engage with it and then steer the interview back to your own communication goals. A common way of doing this is to use a three-step technique called acknowledging, bridging and communicating (ABC)

This process is described below:

Acknowledging

Let the interviewer know you’ve understood the question by either answering it briefly or telling them you don’t know the answer.

For example: “That’s an interesting question. All we know at this stage is …” or “I can’t tell you that at this stage. However …”

Bridging

This stage allows you to move on to what you want to talk about.

For example: “I think it’s important to consider what we are doing about the problem” or “Let’s look at what we do know.”

Communicating

Go back to your key messages and supporting points. Even if you have to repeat yourself a little, it’s better than stumbling on your words.

For example: “The real objective of our work is to solve this huge crisis, which millions of people suffer from each year. The latest research shows …”