One of the questions that I am often asked in training, and with increasing frequency in the past few years is: Can I take notes in an interview on my laptop? This is usually quickly followed by the proclamation: “I type a lot faster than I write”.
My answer has always been a reluctant “Do what works for you, but let me explain why I don’t do that” as I draw upon my stored experience to provide real world examples.
Today, while travelling to Calgary for another interview, one in which I will write my notes by hand and then transfer those to the computer using voice recognition software, I stumbled across an article that brought me some new thoughts that I wanted to share immediately.
The Title? “This is Why You Should Take Notes By Hand Instead of With a Laptop” The data for the article comes from a new study published by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer (from Princeton University and University of California respectively). It was found that students who took notes on paper learn significantly more compared to their laptop-addicted peers.
Turns out that laptop users type almost everything they hear without processing the meaning or devoting much thought to what it is they’re taking notes on. When you take notes by hand, you obviously can’t write down every single word uttered. So you listen, summarize, and list only the key points. Your brain is more engaged in the process of comprehension and so the information processed this way is remembered better.
Seems like a recipe for better Harassment Investigation interviews and on the path to better statements and more efficient use of time to me. You’ll find me in the note pad section of your local Staples!
Questions or Comments, I’d love to hear from you: