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Just a followup on a strategy that has worked very well for me...

Obviously there has to be a point in the interview process where YOU ask the questions since it's a two-way street. I've run into these "systematic" things before. I utilize "my half" of the interview to inject some dialog.

For instance, based on the questions asked, I respond with questions like opening up for clarification..."What do you feel I didn't explain well." Or based on the questions that aren't generic ("What is your education?") where I can tell there is a direction to them, I go ahead and follow up with probing questions about WHAT the real point behind the question is and phrase questions with a quick phrase about my background. It is very rare that the interviewer will stop you in my experience and you are somewhat indirectly forcing dialog on your end.

At the company where I'm currently employed, we *do* use the "standard list", but not for the interview proper. It's simply a fairly open list of questions that we have a clerk ask during phone interviews along with collecting resumes/applications. We use it to simply screen out the outright "no's" from the "maybe's" and it's only used at the hourly level (mining company...heavy on the manual labor side of things).
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