Today information is at our fingertips whenever we need it. But if we hardly ever need to remember anything for ourselves, are we at risk of losing our ability to retain information when we need to?
Everything today is instant. Click to order on your phone, chat to friends, search for jobs, book a table at a restaurant – or even food so that’s it delivered in time for when you arrive home. Generation Y in particular has grown up used to an instant world. But is this always a good thing? Does it ever have an impact on an interview performance in this increasingly competitive world?
When was the last time you looked for information on/in something that wasn’t an electronic device? Do you remember opening a book, reading a newspaper, actually having to physically move to read an information sheet and dare we say it, making notes?! Well if you do, you’ll probably agree that you were more likely to remember what you’ve read at a later date. The mind and memory are amazing, but sometimes they need to do more than scroll on a screen to ensure the information stays in your brain so that you can recall it in the future.
When you go for those all important interviews, you will be asked questions and also have the opportunity to ask questions about the role and company to show that you’re the right candidate for the job. You’ll need to be able to recall information and think about your answers – remembering where you got the information from in the first place will help you picture it and hopefully, give you a fuller more informed answer.
Top tips for remembering stuff in an instant information age:
1. Read around your chosen industry in different formats – find the industry publications and get a hard copy – even read it out loud so that it helps you remember it – you might need to choose where to do this!
2. Print out articles or information, read them in hard copy and highlight important points. This will embed the most information in your mind and enable you to prioritise what you need to remember.
3. Read books and practise being able to recall and quote them. Saying ‘oh I read it online’ doesn’t have the same credibility.
4. Slow down! All the research shows that when we read online, we have a tendency to skim. Not only are we therefore less able to retain the information, but we may miss things. If it comes to interview prep, or in your studies, you can’t afford to take this risk.
5. Write notes. Just the act itself of scribing information, helps it sink into our memory better. This will certainly be a key tip if you are preparing a presentation for your interview.
Remember that your information about you is available instantly online – think very carefully about the photographs that are posted online or that you’re tagged in. Set your social media accounts to private and check them periodically to make sure they’re still private. Don’t let others tag you without your knowledge – potential employers are able to easily look for you online and will do so with increasing regularity as your private life can very easily become a public one.
So we know you’re reading this online. The question is, will you remember it?