/ interview

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buzby - on 18 Mar 2018

I will be going for my first interview for almost 30 years next week so looking for some advice.I've read up as much as I can which is based on the S.T.A.R interview process.

I think im comfortable with most of it but just wondered is it ok to take notes into an interview with you or is it normally frowned upon. I'm not talking a dozen sheets of A4 paper just some bullet points to jog my memory as much of it is based on situations I have handled in the past in my current role.

I've done my homework but I am a bit  worried that under pressure my memory may trip me up. would it be viewed as coming prepared or poor form?

More than a bit out of touch at selling myself to an employer and as i said its been a while. 

Glad of any general advice as well that might help me along. I'm confident of being able to do the job in question but there is a fair bit of competition for the role.  

spenser - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to buzby:

Possibly stick some reminders down on a notepad?

I personally find that the process of writing ideas down helps me remember them, if I then have the notepad at hand I usually find that I feel confident enough with what I know to be able to do without the notepad, if not I find that I feel less confident.

Depending on what the job is, if it is potentially beneficial to jot down a quick diagram or something I would definitely recommend taking in a notepad and pen, but then again I am sometimes poor at verbalising a concept.

Ian W - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to buzby:

The interviewer(s) will have lists of questions, prompts, etc, so why should you not?

When I interview, I have absolutely no issue at all with notes etc. Its a conversation / meeting to ascertain your suitabililty for the post, not a memory test.

Pan Ron - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to buzby:

Yes, entirely fine.  If for no other reason than you'll be asked to ask questions at the end and, while easy to talk about your experience, questions are harder to keep in memory and sensible to have written down.

As a reasonably frequent interviewer, the only other advice I'd give are:

1. Relax.  Interviewing someone who appears relaxed and comfortable is a much more positive experience.  A warm, engaging and friendly interviewee is more likely to be appointed - the interview stage is, among other things, to see if that personality exists.

2. Rehearse.  Memorise, or at least practice, giving 2 examples of answers to typical questions (Times you have dealt with difficult circumstances?  Times you have had to perform as a team/without guidance? Describe your work history? Where do you anticipate being in x years?, etc etc).  This stuff, while probably being hard to remember, if rehearsed a few times, will almost certainly spring to mind in the adrenaline rush of the interview.  The interview will likely start easy anyway, so having a few rote answers you can give early on can build confidence.

Best of luck!

blurty - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to buzby:

Remember - they want you to do well in the interview.

Take notes by all means, but don't appear too intense


Philip on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to buzby:

If it's a competitive job the other candidates will be equally qualified. You need to stand out as a good person to work with, interested in the company and reliable. Worst thing is having to re-recruit. I often pick the person I think more likely to handle the hadest parts of the job than the person with the best on-paper skills.

lithos on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to buzby:


take a notepad with points ,pictures etc on it and turn it into a positive, talk about the need for acuracy and detail and getting things right not relying on memory for all the important stuff etc etc

also discuss it with them, ask I assume/hope  you are ok with me refering to my notes i made when researching the company etc



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