Two weeks ago, it was brought back to me afresh why relying on your recorder is never a good idea. Twice in the same week, actually.
Now I can’t claim to always take good notes. Often I get too caught up in what someone says and forget to keep writing except for jotting down numbers for good quotes off the recorder. Its a fault that I continue to work on, since I realize it can land me in hot water later on.
During my second interview for my personality profile, my recorder (which I had deleted everything off of earlier that day) decided it wasn’t going to recognize that there should be open disk space. At around the half hour mark of a 1:30:00 interview, my recorder told me the memory was full, and shut off. (Later I realized its not meant to work with a Mac and had to reformat it, etc. and it was fine.) I luckily realized this after missing only about 2 minutes of the interview, but was too flustered to get good notes, and missed some great quotes I now have to paraphrase. If I had been in the zone for my notes, it wouldn’t have mattered.
Two days after that, I get into my internship and my phone immediately starts ringing as soon as I dropped my bag. I answer the unknown number to find it’s a guy from the VA Benefits office returning my call from two weeks ago. He immediately tells me that this is about the only shot I’m going to get to talk to him. I’m not prepared for this in any way, haven’t worked on the individual aspect of 401 for at least a week. I don’t even remember who he is. But I got my notebook out and started jotting down what he said, and got a wonderful interview.
Lesson: Notes are important. Recorders are not.