I am currently in the middle of a very interesting book titled “Head Strong-how to get physically and mentally fit” by the inventor of the mind map, Tony Buzan. A large proportion of the book deals with how to develop the untapped potential of the brain through mind mapping.
A mind map in its simplest form entails taking an A3 piece of paper, placing it on the horizontal and using a series of lines connecting headings and subheadings in order to transcribe in a visual format your ideas and concepts onto a sheet of paper. In essence a mind map is a “map of your thinking territory” (Buzan), which allows you to retrieve information in a much faster fashion, if like me, you are a visual learner.
Where do I start?
In the centre of an A3 piece of paper write in a large font the title of the job you are targeting. Then, using different colours, write out the core sequence of words relating to different questions you may be asked (there is no point wasting space by writing out the full question). Distribute these questions(sub-headings) throughout the page with lines connecting then to the central theme (the job title and company), which is in the centre of the page.
Use concise points to answer each of these questions and use different coloured font for each question and answer block. Eventually your page will look like a tree with several branches and sub branches. Each branch will have a different colour.
For example, your first branch could be the question “what I know about you”. The second branch could be “Tell me about yourself?”, the third “hard skills related to the job” and the fourth “Soft skills related to the job” and so on. There are no limits to the number of branches you can have. Use sketches and illustrations (even stick them onto the sheet) if you feel this will improve your idea generating and memory skills.
You should find by using mind maps that your creativity increases in that ideas and connections you hadn’t thought of before suddenly begin to appear in front of you on your A3 sheet of paper. This is because you are accessing both the left (the logical side) and the right (the creative side) of the brain. This is powerful as you are not only untapping words, logic and numbers (left hand side) but you are also untapping a raft of imagination and creativity (right hand side of brain), which is fantastic in terms of idea generation.
By using mind maps to help ensure job interview success, you are untapping the great potential of your mind in order to achieve your goal of landing your dream job, making memory recall and structured answers much easier to recall in stressful interview situations.