If you’ve read our blog about what to bring to an interview, you will have noticed we listed a pen and paper to take notes. But should you really be taking notes during an interview? And if so, how should you take notes and when is it appropriate to do so? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’re tackling interview note-taking head-on so you can conquer your interview with confidence.
So… should you take notes during an interview?
The answer is of course… it depends! Here are some reasons why you might want to jot down notes:
- You know you have a poor memory
- You’re interviewing with multiple people
- You want to send a really great customized thank you note
But there is a right way and a wrong way to take notes during an interview. If you decide that it might help you in the long run, here are some things to keep in mind.
Ask for permission.
9/10 your interviewer won’t mind at all, but asking for permission lets them know what you’re doing. If you just pull out a notepad and pen, it may give the wrong impression. A simple, “Do you mind if I jot down a few notes during the interview?” will not only let the interviewer in on what you’re up to, it will signal that you’re invested in this interview.
Keep it brief.
While taking notes during the interview can be helpful, it will definitely be counterproductive if you start writing a novel. Focus only on the things that are most important like the interviewer’s names, notable things about each person, and details essential to the job you’re interviewing for.
If you take notes, make sure to put them to good use! Our favorite way is to reference a specific talking point from your interview in each thank you note you write. It shows thoughtfulness (and that you were paying attention!)