Unhelpful memory images

The most common fear job applicants have about interviews is about going blank, being let down by their memory, the rabbit in the headlights look, nothing happening in the mental pantry – out of stock.

What can you do about this? Here are two suggestions:

Trust your memory

Rather than saying ‘I have a hopeless memory’, ‘I’m always forgetting things’, ‘I’ll never remember’, start trusting your memory.

You have put in the preparation, rehearsed your answers, researched the job, tell yourself ‘I trust my memory to retain what I have learnt’, ‘I trust my memory to give me the information I need’.

Choose helpful similes

A common comparison people use about their memory is ‘it leaks like a sieve’. By using this image we are telling ourselves that whatever we put into our memory will leak out somewhere, and there is plenty of scope for leakage in a sieve. This is not helpful when we need to trust our memory. Choose more helpful, realistic similes.

  • My memory is like a bank vault – nothing escapes.
  • My memory is like an elegant china tea pot – good stuff comes out when poured with care.
  • My memory works well. (submited by Kate from Sandgate QLD)
  • I recall information at will (also submitted by Kate. With thanks.)
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.