Using Notes in an Interview

Sonja writes:
Is it all right to take notes to an interview? I have an interview coming up. I have prepared by taking notes to express my highlights/attributes. They’re simply key words/phrases to help me focus/ remember situations. Is this appropriate? Plus I need to find examples of a follow-up or thank-you-for-the-interview letter.

The Career Doctor responds:
Most experts discourage taking notes to an interview. While they do show you are prepared for the interview they also show that you are not prepared enough — otherwise you would have the information in your head.

I recommend that you try not to take any notes to the interview; instead use a copy of your resume to help trigger your key points. If you feel as though you really must have notes I suggest you do so in a manner as unobtrusive as possible – perhaps using a small notepad.

And don’t fret about not saying all your key phrases and comments. You can always include some follow-up in your thank-you letter. By the way you can find several sample interview thank-you letters in this section of Quintessential Careers: Sample Job Interview Thank-You Letters.

Good luck.