Taking Notes During the Interview Isn’t Rude, It’s a Good Habit

January 6th, 2014 | Articles, Interviewing | No Comments »

taking notes during interview

You did it all throughout High School; you did it all throughout College, but are taking notes during a job interview considered rude? The answer is a definite no, but this also depends on how you go about it. If you aren’t sure about the etiquette of taking notes during the interview, then consider following these dos and don’ts.

Do: Give the interviewer your full attention

Taking notes during the interview may be a great way to stay organized as well as jot down important information, but you don’t want to let this practice take your attention away from the interviewer. No hiring manager expects you to have a photographic memory, but they do expect to have your full attention while they speak. If you want to take notes during the interview then keep them short and return your gaze back to the hiring manager as soon as possible.

Don’t: Ask them to wait while you write something down

If you missed, then you missed it. Do not clog up the flow of the interview so that you can write something down. You are a candidate taking notes at a job interview, not an investigative journalist.

Do: Write down names and position

The hardest thing for you to remember will be names and positions, so give these tidbits of information priority when taking notes. This will help you after the interview to get a handle on the structure of the department.

Don’t: Refer to pre-written notes

You should arrive with a blank notebook and add information to it. You should not arrive with pre-written notes on the company, the people, and the position. You should have all of this memorized before the interview. Stopping to look down at your notebook will subtly tell the hiring manager that you don’t know what you are doing and you can’t remember what to say.

Do: Use your notes to formulate questions

One of the best perks of taking notes during the interview is that it allows you the ability to formulate questions based on the information you receive. Take notice of this information and refer back to it later on when the spotlight is turned over to your line of questioning.

Don’t: Use a computer

A nice leather padfolio will add a professional look to your note-taking, a laptop or a tablet will add a huge distraction to the entire interview. Yes, this is the 21stcentury, but leave the technology at home.

Our recruiters are great at speaking with employers and taking notes on the company and positions available. Contact them so that they can help you learn about jobs that are open today.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of @boetter via Flickr