Interviewers take notes during an interview so they can remember the discussion once you leave the interview room. What about the interviewee? Absolutely, in fact, taking notes is recommended for a variety of reasons. If you are going to take notes during the interview, there is protocol you should follow.
What should you use to take notes? Keep it professional. Do not pull scraps or folded pieces of paper from your pocket. Nor should you ask the interviewer for a pen or pencil. Be prepared and professional. Invest in a professional looking portfolio and pen.
Ask the interviewer if they would mind if you take notes. The answer may differ depending on the security level of the job. Donít assume that itís acceptable. If the interviewer prefers you not, do not argue. There may be reasons the interviewer prefers you not take notes. If youíre not comfortable with the request that you do not take notes, remember, you can turn the job down if offered.
Do not spend all of your time writing the interview questions. Maintain eye contact with the interviewers. Focus, instead, on your responses to the interviewer questions. If remembering the questions is important, wait until you are safely away from the building to scribble down as many as you remember.
What should you write during the interview? Write down any important details of the job. For example, hours, salary discussed, possibly benefits. If you are going to write the information down, listen to the responses. Do not ask the interviewer to keep repeating information so that you can etch it in stone. Chances are some of the details may change between the interview and the hire based on business needs. Asking the interviewer to repeat the information, then repeating it back incorrectly shows a lack of attention.
Once the interview wraps up, neatly place the paper back into the portfolio. Any documentation that was on the table when you sat down should stay when you leave. Interviewers will sometimes place a copy of the job ad or other forms in front of the candidate to refer to during the interview. Unfortunately, they may not notice it is missing until it comes time to interview the next candidate. They will remember the last candidate at the table and the memories will not be fond.
If there is additional information you want to record, wait until you are safely out of the office and in your car. Write down any additional pertinent information.
Why take notes? Notes allow you to recall interviews should you be called for additional interviewing or, better yet, a job interview.