Forgotten Interview Skill #1: Note Taking

Employers love candidates who take notes.

Why? It gives the impression that the person is more interested in the position than someone who didn’t.

Last year, I had many applicants with my staffing firm get hired by my clients for the simple fact that they were one of the few applicants to take notes. Employers are mesmerized by the diligent interviewee sitting in front of them looking very interested and taking notes on major points. They see this person as interested, resourceful, intelligent, and proactive. They visualize this candidate working for them with training notes and not having to ask multiple questions again and again.

But about 50% of people interviewing have forgotten this (and yes I know that means 50% of you all do)…I’m not here to judge, just inspire. I also know that everyone is a natural note taker. Many true type “A” personalities love to rely on their “keen” sense of memory. It doesn’t always work for them, but since they have forgotten the information anyway, they simply don’t remember it doesn’t work for them.

So, on your next interview, bring a notebook, a pen, and your resume. Make sure your notebook isn’t decorated with Hello Kitty or Megadeath. It should be boring professional (leather-bound is best but I know not everyone can afford a leather-bound notebook when unemployed), clean (no crumbs on it!), and somewhat new (or looks like new). You can even get a legal pad for about a dollar or two. Those are sufficient.

And start writing… Take notes of major points while nodding with the employer. Don’t write everything – you will lose sight of the interview and not be able to quickly answer any questions. If  you can’t think of anything during the interview worth writing down, just start writing a few phrases the hiring manger says. Personally, I just wrote some jibberish one time since they HR rep wouldn’t stop taking about his fishing trip during the entire interview. I got the job and thank goodness he never saw the nonsense I wrote!

Oh, and don’t forget your notebook when you leave. That is always a “fun” mistake. You either have to go back for it and admit you forgot it or suffer the consequences that the entire contents will be read by possibly your future boss.

Happy Hunting!

Bridget “The Job Shark”


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