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Do You Remember?

This activity is perfect for reminding interviewers how important observation, remembering, note-taking, and group sharing is to the interviewing process. This activity, adapted from a childhood party game, is a quick, yet effective way to make these points.

Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • Tray
  • Cloth to cover the tray of 25 items
  • 50 miscellaneous items such as a ball, fingernail file, hat, lipstick, mirror, key, toy, picture, candle, pen, orange, etc.
  • Paper and pencil/pen
  • Timekeeper showing seconds
  • Fabulous prizes – optional

1. Prepare a tray of 25 items. Cover the tray with a cloth.
2. Tell participants that you are going to show them a tray of items and they should remember as many items as they can without writing on a sheet of paper.
3. Show the tray with 25 items for 60 seconds. Then talk to the group about anything for about 1 minute.
4. Have participants write down as many items as they can remember.
5. Reveal the items on the tray and determine how many correct items participants listed.
6. Do the activity again, allowing participants to take notes.
7. Show the tray with 25 different items for 30 seconds.
8. Allow participants to make a list from their notes. Have them count the number of items listed.
9. Then have participants divide into groups of 4 and combine their lists. Note the number of items listed by the group.
10. Reveal the new items on the tray and determine how many correct items participants and their groups listed in the 30-second viewing.
11. Consider giving “fabulous” prizes to the “winners,” such as blow bubbles or whistles – anything from a “Dime Store” – or should I say “Dollar Store”?!?   12. Note that:

  •  Most participants will be able to write more items in half the time (30 seconds) than when they had 60 seconds and were only able to list their ideas after distracting talk.
  • Participants will be able to list more as a group.

13. Ask participants why they think you had them do this activity. Point out that:

  •  Taking notes improves our recall and ability to evaluate; therefore, they should take notes during the interview process. Note taking helps us remember key points we might easily have forgotten when we finally have time to consider the interviewee’s qualifications.
  • Working in groups improves our recall and ability to evaluate; therefore, consider interviewing potential candidates in a small group or team. Having other interested parties (other interviewers) participate in the interview process can increase the quality and quantity of information remembered by getting input from multiple interviewers.



Author: Susan Gamel Otto

Source: Susan Gamel Otto 859-292-0095 creates Facilitator and Participant Guides for internal trainers to facilitate in their organization, emphasizing adult learning through the use of stimulating activities and games. Check out the sample Business Ethics module on the website.

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