Interview Advice

Taking Notes to Interviews: Your Ultimate Guide for Success

By Will Etheridge - 27 May 2023

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The job hunt often feels like a marathon, with the interview stage resembling the final sprint. As the finish line comes into sight, can you take notes into an interview to boost your performance?

In this article, we delve into the benefits of doing so, how to prepare effective notes, and the right etiquette for using them during an interview.


The Benefits of Taking Notes to an Interview 

The thought of taking notes to an interview may feel unconventional or even daunting to some, but it can provide significant benefits that boost your chances of landing your dream job.

Firstly, notes act as an organisational tool. Jotting down key points about the company and the role demonstrates your diligence and seriousness about the position. It can aid in recalling facts during the conversation, ensuring you have accurate and relevant information at your fingertips.

Secondly, notes can be a crucial confidence booster. They offer a safety net, easing anxieties about forgetting key points, thus enabling you to project confidence. When utilised effectively, notes can significantly enhance your overall interview performance.


How to Prepare Effective Interview Notes

Preparing notes for an interview is not just about compiling all the information about the company and role; it's about strategising what will be beneficial to you during the interview. Here's how you can prepare your notes most effectively:

Research and Relevance: Your notes should capture comprehensive yet concise details about the company, industry trends, job role, and how your skills and experience align. Don't forget to include key information like the company's recent achievements, mission, and values.

Structure and Simplicity: Structure your notes in a way that is easy to navigate. Use bullet points, headings, or diagrams. The simpler and clearer your notes are, the quicker you can refer to them during the interview without breaking the flow of conversation.

Practice and Familiarity: Become familiar with your notes. Practice using them in mock interview scenarios. This can help reduce over-reliance on notes during the actual interview, allowing for a more natural and engaging conversation.

Remember, the purpose of notes is to supplement your performance in an interview, not to act as a crutch. The more effectively you prepare and use your notes, the more seamlessly they'll integrate into your interview strategy.


Note-taking Etiquette During an Interview

Knowing how and when to refer to your notes in an interview is as important as preparing them. This delicate balancing act can impress your interviewer if done correctly, but may distract or annoy them if not.

Be Discreet: Your notes are there to support, not dominate, the conversation. It's perfectly acceptable to glance at your notes, but maintain eye contact and engagement with your interviewer.

Ask for Permission: At the beginning of the interview, ask if the interviewer minds if you refer to your notes. This shows respect for their time and the process, and it will likely make them more understanding.

Avoid Reading Verbatim: Notes should be used for reference, not read word-for-word. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the key points in your notes so you can present them naturally during the conversation.


Top Tips to Keep in Mind 

Keep it Concise: Your notes should be brief and focused. Avoid cluttering them with unnecessary information.

Practice Makes Perfect: Simulate the interview situation beforehand. Practicing with your notes will help you be more at ease when referring to them during the actual interview.

Stay Flexible: While notes can guide you, remember that interviews are dynamic. Stay open and attentive to the direction the conversation takes.


Conclusion and Call to Action: Introducing CV Wallet

In conclusion, taking notes into an interview can give you a competitive edge when done right. To aid your preparation, consider CV Wallet.

This career management app offers AI-powered support for interview preparation and more, ensuring you're well-equipped for your job hunt. Download CV Wallet today!

Ready to take your career to the next level?

CV Wallet is the world's first career management app. Our suite of tools is built to make finding your dream job faster and easier.

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