I recently did a few rounds of interviews for a company. After a few questions, I was getting the impression that the interviewer was not satisfied with my answers. They asked me to provide topics to discuss or questions that focused on my expertise. It was unusual for me so I hesitated. I didn't want to seem like I was steering them into easy areas or was unsure if they were interested to talk about anything from my resume. After all if they wanted to ask, all they needed to do was review my resume and pick any point they were interested in or have not covered yet. What should I have done in that situation? Is requesting interviewees for questions like this a normal practice?
What should I have done in that situation? Is requesting interviewees for questions like this a normal practice?
You should have taken command of the interview, and brought up "questions" that would show off your fitness for the job.
Something like "Well, you haven't asked me about my background using Framis. So let me tell you how that process would make your shop more efficient and effective..."
While it may not be typical, you need to be prepared for the case when an interview isn't yet hitting the topics that you know can help you succeed.
I'd say this is common practice, specifically for more junior roles/ positions. I have been part of many interview panels where this pattern was followed.
If you have multiple proficiencies, and more than one of them interests them, they can certainly ask you to provide your comfortable zone, so that the discussion can go ahead in that route. It's also a quick way to determine whether you are actually comfortable with the "top" capabilities / experiences you have put in your resume.
Treasure such opportunities. You are given a chance to shine on a subject of your choosing. Tell about a great project you did in a previous position. Maybe you participate in some open source project, tell about that. Tell about your ph.D or master thesis. Some volunteer work you're doing. A book you are writing. Whatever.
As long as the expertise you are showing has at least some relevance to the work you are doing.
And in general, don't expect interviewers to know your resume in detail. They may have seen your resume last three weeks ago, after which you were invited for a face-to-face interview, and have seen dozens of resumes since. Ideally, they would have taken the time to go through your resume before the interview, but we're all human, with busy schedules. Not to mention the times where a recruiter calls me "X was going to do an interview, but she can't make it, can you fill in? The interview starts in 10 minutes, in room A at the other side of the building. Let me send you his resume".
"I didn't want to seem like I was steering them into easy areas"
Agh! No, no, no - this is precisely the wrong thing to be thinking here.
There are supposed to be things that are 'easy areas'. If you're applying for a job of "Performance Tuning SQL Stored Procedures", then at least one of 'Testing stored procs', 'Analyzing stored procs', and 'Writing Stored procs' better already be easy for you. Because if you're not solidly proficient in one of them and it's "easy" for you, you're not the right candidate and they'll find someone that one of those aspects is "easy" for.
You were effectively asked, "What are your strengths that would be useful at this position?" and you basically avoided talking about why you should have the job.