Interviews are about standing out from the crowd, obtaining information, and impressing your potential employer.
They are also a two-way process, with the candidate equally interviewing the employer to ensure their company is the appropriate fit for them!
With so much discussed in an interview and plenty of information to absorb, taking notes can be a helpful tool for the candidate.
Generally, it’s best practise to check with your interviewer if they are happy for you to take notes (most will be!) then it’s time to get out your notepad and pen!
Advantages of Note Taking:
- Start with a good impression – Taking notes will ensure you come across as engaged and attentive during an interview. This is also a good reflection of how you would be in a meeting if you were successful and got the role!
- Less to remember – Interviews can be stressful and note taking will help relieve some of the stress as you won’t have to remember every single detail discussed!
- Have the facts – Note taking gives you a record of key information about the role and company, which may be useful for a 2nd round interview, or if deciding between roles.
- Ask a question – During the interview, as you take in information, you may have questions based on what you’ve learnt. Take note of it so you don’t forget and bring it up when appropriate or at the end when the interviewer opens to you for questions.
- Follow Ups – If you decide to send a thank you email after your interview, refer to your notes and reference a specific detail about the role or company. This will help you stand out from other candidates.
Top tips for note taking:
- Use bullet points – Note taking during an interview must not be a distraction from the interview itself; you should only jot down key information or specific details.
- Be careful about what you write – Be conscious the employer may see your notes! Don’t just write down information about holiday leave or salary, take notes throughout on everything from culture to what role & business success looks like, key partners, and current or future projects.
- Be prepared – Check before you arrive your pen works and have a backup just in case!
- Look the part – Consider what your writing on as it may give an impression about you. You don’t want to have a ripped or scrunched piece of paper, instead opt for a clean professional notebook.
- Write neatly and quickly – Just remember interviews need to flow and be natural, jot your notes quickly!
Note taking, when done right, can be an extremely useful tool for candidates during an interview.