notebook and pen on table

Is It Okay to Take Notes During an Interview?

If you’re interviewing for a new job, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible. This includes doing your research on the company and the role, practicing your answers to common interview questions, and more. But is it okay to take notes during an interview?

Taking Notes During the Interview

When You Should Take Notes

Taking notes during an interview is perfectly fine, and in fact, it’s encouraged! Taking notes allows you to make sure you get all the details correct and allows you to formulate answers to questions. It shows that you’re engaged in the conversation and that you’re taking the time to think about what the interviewer is saying. So go ahead and take out your notebook and jot down a few key points!

Taking notes on anything significant about the role, such as elements that the interviewer is seeking for and tasks that the position will be responsible for, are an excellent idea. This will help ensure that during the interview you have a full understanding of what is expected from the role and can speak to your experience in those areas. Not only does this demonstrate that you’re taking the interview seriously, but it also helps build a foundation for a potential future conversation.

When You Shouldn’t Take Notes

Be sure not to take too many notes, as that can make you look scattered. Taking too many notes can give the impression that you cannot remember everything, or that you’re not confident in your memory. So taking notes is encouraged, but be sure to do so a reasonable amount. No need to announce that you’re taking notes, just quietly jot down a few key points here and there. While taking notes is beneficial, making a big deal about the fact that you are taking notes can be detrimental. It can give off the impression that you are trying to boast intelligence.

It might be a hindrance to you if your notes are really messy and unorganized. If you’re a slow note-taker, or need others to repeat things frequently, it isn’t recommended that you take notes at an interview. As soon as you walk in the room, have your pen and paper ready to go. If you’re searching for a pen and a notepad, this might suggest that you’re unorganized. Also, make sure your notepad is clean and professional-looking, and that you aren’t attempting to find a clean page in your notepad or rummaging through a dirty bag for a pen. Looking professional is essential in an interview, and taking notes is just one small way you can show that you’re taking the interview seriously.

Bringing Notes to the Interview

As taking notes is perfectly acceptable, you may be wondering if it’s okay to bring notes into the interview with you. The answer is that it really depends on the situation. If the interview is taking place over Zoom or another virtual platform, then there is no harm in having your notes in front of you As long as you don’t keep looking away from the camera at your notes, the interviewer won’t even know that you have them.

However, if the interview is taking place in person, you want to ensure your notes serve an important purpose.  If you jotted down a few questions you want to ask in the interview, then by all means, feel free to bring them along.  As mentioned previously, it’s important that your notes and notepad be orderly and professional, and that you have things open and ready at the start of the interview.

Bottom Line

So go ahead and take some notes during your next interview – it’ll help you do your best!. If you have any questions or want to learn how one of our recruiters can help prepare you for your interview, reach out to us today. We’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to browse for open positions in your area, check out our job listings database. We’re constantly updating with new positions so that you can find the perfect job for you.