In an extraordinary performance of aeronautical skill Sullenberger exhibited the following life saving presence of mind-
Preparation: Like any pilot, Sullenberger was trained in flying and landing under duress. But he went further: he researched and studied crash situations and even consulted others on the matter.
Poise Under Pressure: When stressed by a challenging situation based on his training and preparation he knew the most effective routine. Once the plane hit the water, and he followed the routine to a T.
Execution: Not only did Sullenberger have to act fast when his plane encountered engine trouble upon takeoff, but he had to warn his passengers (the now-famous “Brace for impact” warning he said through the intercom) and then help them evacuate.
In interviewing preparation is 85% of the equation for success. Preparation provides the insights and information you need to answer questions and gives you the confidence to be relaxed, think clearly, and use the information to your best advantage.
The interviewer may throw you curves and ask unexpected questions however, being prepared and having a plan for your interview will give you the poise to perform under the pressure of the interview. Be prepared to introduce the information you want the interviewer to know about you so they know you are an excellent candidate for the position. The best plan is to have an interview presentation prepared to use during your interview.
Taking this analogy a step further, the interviewer is the pilot you are the co-pilot in the interview; you are not a passenger. If the interviewer is doing a good job of steering the interview then sit in the second seat and do your job as a co-pilot by following the interviewer’s lead. Should the interviewer go off course, not obtaining the information they need to make a decision about you, take the controls.
Be prepared, have a plan for communicating the information you want the interviewer to know, and then execute calmly. And just like Sullenberger, don’t leave the interview until you have executed your plan.