How Note-Taking Can Be the Key to Interview Success


Job interviews move quickly, so quickly that they can sometimes feel disorienting. Doing the prep work and mock interviews can help you properly prepare for the interview, but once you are face to face with the Hiring Manager, note-taking can make a major difference in making sure you hit the right points when selling yourself as the ideal candidate.

It Helps You with Skill Matching

Skill matching is the process of identifying how your background and skills match the requirements of a specific position. This is the best way to show a Hiring Manager that you can excel in the specifics that a job entails. Prep work can help you identify much of what the company is looking for in the ideal candidate, but you may also find that, during the interview, the Hiring Manager will bring up specific factors that will weigh heavily in his or her decision making. By keeping track of the points that the interviewer covers, you can weave them into your answers to position yourself as the ideal candidate for what the Hiring Manager feels is important.

Keep Track of Your Talking Points

Studies show that people can hold a grand total of seven pieces of information in short-term memory, and only for about 20 seconds each. Considering how much information is coming at you during a job interview, the less you have to try to remember the better. A subtle cheat sheet on your note pad can help you remember one or two key facts, and if something occurs to you during the interview, jot it down so you can remember to mention it later.

Your Notes Will Help Your Thank You Letter

A little personalization really makes a thank you card memorable, and taking notes can help you add little touches before you drop it off at the front desk on the way out. In addition, taking notes can also help you remember names and job titles during the interview, especially when you may be meeting more than one person (and it’s really helpful during panel interviews).

Balance Is Key

You are there for a conversation. While notes can help and should be used where appropriate, be sure you are fully engaged with the Hiring Manager and not so focused on note taking that you forgo making a personal connection.

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