So they told us, way back in J202…

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.


One thought on “So they told us, way back in J202…

  1. Stephanie Hartwig

    I have the same problem relying on my recorder. I have always prided myself on being a great note-taker, but I’ve found out that’s really only during lectures, where I can focus completely on copying down slides, outlines, and the professor’s comments. But during an interivew, when I have to be the one to ask questions, think critically about what the person said, ask follow-up questions, maintain decent eye contact, show interest, and take detailed notes it gets much more complicated. It just becomes way too much to focus on, and I have come to depend on my recorder to keep track of everything that I miss.
    That’s really unfortunate that you had to go through a recorder disaster twice. I had it happen to me once and I was panicking. I’m surprised that you seem so calm about the whole thing.
    Let me know if you come up with any good tips for taking detailed notes!


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