Skip to main content

See also:

How and why to take notes during an interview

How to Take Notes
How to Take Notes
Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

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.

How to Take Notes
How to Take Notes Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

How to Take Notes

During an interview you will be nervous - the employer will share information you will want to remember later to include in a Thank You Letter or second interview.  Being prepared can insure you don't miss something important. 

Be Careful!
Be Careful! Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Be Careful!

Include references you may not want to forget, like your interviewers names, important career highlights, names of references, or answers to tough interview questions.  Bring two pens - you never know when might peter out and you will win points by looking prepared. 

Think Ahead
Think Ahead Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Think Ahead

Keep your notes brief so you aren't tempted to read them or trip over your own words when you veer from what is written.   The last thing you want is to come across as stilted or a poor communicator - this will do nothing to help your confidence level either! 

Questions?
Questions? Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Questions?

You should have some questions prepared ahead of time from your research, but you may come up with more during your interview.  Taking notes and asking questions ensures the employer knows you are interested in what he or she is saying and find it important enough to note. 

Make it a Conversation
Make it a Conversation Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

Make it a Conversation

Asking questions makes the interview feel more like a conversation, putting you at your ease and leaving the interviewer with a good impression. Here are questions to pull from if you can come up with some on your own.

More Questions
More Questions Mary Sherwood Sevinsky

More Questions

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.