5 KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL DEPOSITION
Answering each question honestly is imperative. That not only means providing truthful responses to the question presented, but also being honest with yourself if you do not know for sure. "I do not know" and "I do not remember" are absolutely acceptable answers. Never guess.
Listen carefully to each question that you are asked so you can understand what you are being asked. Lawyers often ask terrible questions, but sometimes that is intentional and paying close attention helps you determine what you are up against. Were any assumptions made in the question? Is the question really two questions combined into one? Does the question make complete sense to you?
Pausing after you hear the question not only helps you be an active listener and digest the question being asked, but it also gives me a chance to raise an objection to the question. After any objection, you will still be able to answer question.
If you have any reservations about what was being asked (regardless of whether you did not hear it, you did not understand it, it did not make sense to you, you think it was a trick question, etc.) or if an objection was raised, ask them to ask the question again or to re-phrase it differently.
Once you have a clear understanding of the question (after you have heard it, paused to digest it, and gotten any clarifications you need), it is finally time to answer the question. Answer the question with short and concise answers. DO NOT: 1) answer questions you are not asked; 2) elaborate; or 3) volunteer further information.
The following video, while dated, does a good job at exploring some of these concepts: