What is the Chunking Method? (With Interview Tips)
Professionals use many different ways to keep important information in mind. People often choose to use the chunking method. It breaks up a lot of hard-to-remember information into smaller chunks that are easier to remember. The chunking technique could help you prepare for an interview. This article tells you what the chunking technique is, how to practice it, and how to use it successfully in your next interview.
How does the method of chunking work?
The chunking method helps you remember things. It starts with breaking up big chunks of information into smaller pieces. You could do this by finding similarities between important ideas to make categories, linking information to your own experiences, making visual clues, or coming up with acronyms. Using chunking, you can make a system that is easy to remember and scan when you need to remember a specific detail or piece of information.
The chunking method does have some good points.
The chunking method works because it lets you use the part of your working memory that stores information about where things are and what they look like. You can also move new information from your working memory to your unconscious memory by repeating this process. So, these details are easier to remember. You can also do the following things better if you use chunking:
- Reduce the tension
- Increase confidence
- Remember things faster.
- Remember things for longer
- Get better at seeing how things are related to each other.
How to use chunking as a method
The chunking method can be used in many different ways. Some of these ways may help you remember things better than others, but you should try them all to see which one works best for you. You can use the chunking method by doing the following:
1. Put the most important things first.
Figure out what is most important first. Set the order of these details in your story using the “inverted pyramid” method. You can do this by drawing an upside-down pyramid on a piece of paper. Write down each important detail in order of how important it is, with the most important information at the top of the pyramid and the less important information at the bottom. This can help you decide what information you need to remember the most. For example, if you are going for a job as a computer programmer, you could prepare to answer questions about a certain program.
The software’s main goal and its features might be the most important things to know. This information would be at the top of the upside-down pyramid. Next, you could think of some common facts about the app to show that you know how it works. You could put information about how to set it up, how it works, and what other programs it works with in the middle of the pyramid. Lastly, you could include some helpful tips about the software that might impress the hiring manager but aren’t necessary to keep. This information should be at the bottom of the page.
2. Identify similarities
Try to find events or things that have something in common as you look through your information. Putting things in the same group makes sense if you can see that they have something in common. For instance, if you want to be a clinical herbalist, you might want to learn about different plants and how they work. If you have a long list of plants, you might find it easier to remember them if you put them into groups based on what they might be able to treat.
Even though herbs like ashwagandha, skullcap, lemon balm, and passionflower are different in many ways, you might find it easier to remember this list if you think of them as natural ways to treat anxiety. In the same way, you could say that echinacea, reishi mushroom, elderberry, and astragalus are all plants and fungi that boost the immune system. Putting things like plants on long lists into smaller groups can help you remember them better.
3. Find and make connections
Find links between the things you already know and the things you’re trying to remember. The chunking method can also be used in this way. Take some time to think about the most important things you need to remember and see if you can link them to things you’ve done before.
For example, if you want to remember that the company you’re applying for a job at has locations in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico, you could try to link each location with someone you know. Maybe your grandparents live in South Carolina, one of your old friends went to college in Pennsylvania, and you and your spouse took a trip to New Mexico last year. During interviews or conversations, it can help you remember things quickly if you make connections between important details and things you already remember.
4. Think of abbreviations
Acronyms are a good way to remember things that have nothing in common with each other. When you have a long list of things to remember, this method is especially helpful. Write down the first letter of each thing on your list. Then, change the order of these letters to make a word, name, or sentence. For example, if you want to work for a political party and are applying for a job, you might want to make sure you remember the names of some of the best-known candidates.
Mr. Torres, Ms. Evans, Mr. Singh, Mrs. Anderson, and Mr. Morris might be the most important names to remember. You could write down the first letter of each candidate’s last name and rearrange them to spell “TEAMS.” This can help you remember the first letter of each person’s name, which will help you remember their full names at your interview.
5. Include visuals
Most of the time, it’s easier to remember an image than it is to remember a block of text or a list of things. Think about what kinds of visual cues could help you remember important facts. Then, make up a story using these pictures. For example, if you want to work as a bartender, you might need to be ready to talk about how to make different kinds of drinks. To remember what goes into popular cocktails, you could picture what the finished drink looks like and what kind of customer would order it.
For example, to remember that a mai tai has orange liqueur and lime juice, you could think of it as an orange drink with a lime wedge on top. You could also remember that it has rum in it by picturing a pirate on the beach drinking a mai tai. Making your visuals fun can help you remember things quickly that are hard to remember.
6. Start from scratch
Use these methods to keep reviewing the things you need to remember. Start by trying to remember three important details using one of the above methods. After you’ve done something a few times, add one more detail to your list. Keep adding information until you are sure you will remember the most important things. Using the chunking technique in this way can help you remember things better by putting the information you need in your unconscious memory so you can easily get to it during your interview.
How to use the chunking method in interviews
Here are some more tips on how to successfully use the chunking method in your next interview:
- The “three-step rule” can help. When the interviewer asks you a question, try to think of three things you can say to answer it fully. This can make what you say easier to remember.
- Look for patterns. Listen to what the interviewer says and try to find patterns or things that are the same. This can help you link ideas to make your answers more interesting and help you remember important facts that you may be asked about at the end of the interview.
- Explore additional memory techniques. You can find out about other ways to remember things like chunking. For instance, acrostics are like acronyms, but instead of making a word out of the first letter of each thing you want to remember, you make a phrase.
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