Skip to main content
Report this ad

See also:

Interview Tip # 2 : Take Notes

Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

In Interview Tip #1 I mentioned that the job seeker preparing for an interview should write out answers to practice interview questions. This will really help you prepare for the interview practice and the interview itself.

Beyond writing out your answers to anticipated questions, you should also take notes that you can refer to unobtrusively during an interview. You may want to have a folder or a planner of some sort with you when you meet your potential new employer. You should make sure you have extra copies of your resume, business cards, and a pad of paper and pen.

Make sure your resumes are secured in a flap or with paper clips to avoid inadvertently littering the floor with them. On the first page of the pad write down brief words or phrases to remind you of things you want to share during the meeting:

Highlights of your career

Achievements or Accomplishments

Answers to interview questions you have struggled with in practice

Names of the interviewers in case you get nervous and forget

Helpful contacts if you plan to namedrop

Keep your written prompts brief – don’t write in full sentences! The last thing you want to do during an interview is to read what’s there to a potential employer. Worse, you don’t want to trip yourself up by having one thing written and flub that up trying too hard to stick to a script. Write just enough to remind yourself of themes or concepts. Leave plenty of space to jot notes in a different color ink during the interview so that these new notes are easy to pullout.

On the second page of your notepad, you can write questions for the employer. You should always have at least three ready to go, in addition to any you write down during the interview. You will have already researched the employer and will likely have some questions from that. In addition to those, you may ask:

What brought you to work here?

What do you like best about this company?

What would a day in the life of _________be like here?

Can I have a tour?

What advice would you give a candidate like myself who is very interested in this position?

How did I do?

Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of being hired?

When can I start?

What would be the best way to follow up?

What is the hiring process/anticipated start date?

Again don’t write full sentences. It is likely you will become flustered trying not to come off sounding as if you are reading and/or if you trip up and say something not exactly like what you have written down. Also, if you are a doodler – don’t! It may help you focus, but the interviewer may interpret this as boredom or anxiety.

So, you have practiced (see Interview Tip #1), prepared your notes (Tip #2), and have appropriate, comfortable clothes to wear (see Interview Tip #3), Interview Tip #4 shared the importance of visiting the location the day before, and Tip #5, was relax. They all addressed preparation and tips for before the interview. Tip # 6 (Breathe), Tip #7 Strike a pose, Tip #8 Smile, and Tip #9 - Ask Questions and Interview Tip #10 (Watch your body language) deal with that nerve racking During-The-Interview period.

Good Luck!

Here is a list of resources for possible interview questions and other resources:

Articles in my blog


Articles on the Web

Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Mary is a CAREER AND OCCUPATIONAL CONSULTANT who is masters-prepared and certified. She is a business owner with nearly 20 years of experience in Corporate Management, Career Assessment & Counseling and in writing Career Articles and Educational Materials.

She has worked as a CORPORATE MANAGER experienced in hiring, firing and managing a staff of professionals with a multimillion dollar budget. She enjoys WRITING AND EDITING and has spent many years developing Marketing Materials and Presentations, Writing Proposals and Plans, and Conducting Staff Development Sessions in addition to working as a vocational consultant. Learn more about Mary and her services:

Report this ad