We all know the feeling of our minds going blank when someone asks us a question.
When your career is on the line during a job interview, these memory issues can prevent you from sharing the full extent of your story. Stimulating your recollection could genuinely be the best possible investment in your job hunt.
The ability to retrieve those job memories is critical. They are all in there, waiting to be accessed, but how do you go about it?
In the game of prepping your memory for a job interview, everyone’s strategy will be different. There are certain things that you should tailor to your needs before you start exploring the past - it is a matter of trial and error to find out what works for you:
Understand your learning style.
Before you jump into any memory-boosting activity, it is worthwhile reflecting on how you prefer to learn. Some people retain information better when they hear it, others when they read it. Some learn better in a group, while others thrive on their own. When you look to boost your memory ahead of a job interview, this will inform how you go about reliving your highlights. Do you make a list of your “wins” or chat about them with a former colleague?
Replay, relive and retrieve your story.
The objective of any job search memory activity is to ensure that your career stories float to the front of your mind during a stressful interview. No one memory should dominate, and they should all be equally accessible. Read past pieces of work, talk to your old co-workers, and relive your achievements from a different perspective. Memory retrieval is when you actively force yourself to remember what has long been forgotten. Your memory is a muscle – give it the right fuel and it will reward you with recollection.
Dip into brain training apps.
In 2018, according to the market research firm SharpBrains, people spent $1.9 billion on digital brain health apps. Researchhas shown the positive impact of mentally stimulating activities and memory games on mild cognitive impairment (MCI), so brain training apps such as Lumositymay well make a difference to your memory, attention, flexibility of thought and problem-solving. These mental gym sessions will improve the synaptic plasticity of your neural pathways and give your brain a boost.
Fall back on memory devices from your education.
We likely all remember the learning experiences of our school and college days, and it is probable that how you studied then will still be effective in remembering facts for your interview. Learning by association, compartmentalizing groups of information and creating mnemonic devices may all play a part. Whether you are trying to remember the trials and tribulations of a complicated project or seeking to memorize a set of sales figures, the memory devices that you used in education will still work well.
Play games that improve your concentration.
While you might feel that you should be all-in on your interview preparation, there is considerable value in playing games and letting your brain take a break. Whether you are a fan of Sudoku, enjoy solving crosswords or like to relax with a jigsaw puzzle, the neural connections in both your left (logical) and right (creative) brains will be strengthened. Have fun, don’t focus on just one game, and let the mental benefits flow.
For the above to be effective, your brain must be receptive, and your body is primed. Consider practicing mindfulness to free your mind from everyday worries and understand the direct link between physical and mental health.
Training your memory will reduce the risk of a mental fog descending amidst the stress of an interview. Wouldn’t it be great to have all those stories at the front of your mind?