Advanced search

mumsnet work

Find the perfect family friendly job

Do you think it's ok in an interview to take in notes?

(36 Posts)
bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 19:47:40

So if interviewer says what do you think about such-and-such can I say 'do you mind if I concult my notes' and just have a glance at a piece of paper in case I go blank grin
does it look daft or look like I've been researching and am interested in the job?

Any other interview tips very welcome

Not had an interview liek this in 10 years and would really appreciate lots of advice smile

WingCommanderDragonButter Fri 28-Aug-09 19:49:56

no it's not ok.

bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 19:51:55


bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 19:52:17

doesnt it show I am well prepared?

George73 Fri 28-Aug-09 19:52:34

Absolutely. Have a few questions written down so it looks like you've taken a real interest in the post.

Amapoleon Fri 28-Aug-09 19:52:43

No, I would think that you had made up your cv and couldn't remember what you had said.

My tip would be research the job as much as possible and that will give you confidence.

Good luck! smile

madwomanintheattic Fri 28-Aug-09 19:52:46

lol, no. if you don't know what you think about x without rereading it, you aren't employable.

LadyStealthPolarBear Fri 28-Aug-09 19:53:52

you can hvae questions written down and examples of your work, say, but preparing answers to that degree is a bit much. You should have thought of examples in your mind in advance but it should be a conversation iyswim.

WingCommanderDragonButter Fri 28-Aug-09 19:54:10

IME interviews are a chance for them to meet you and see how you communicate and how you handle yourself.
Practise with an honest friend and just make sure you know what you are talking about.

You won't go blank. You'll be full of adrenaline and totally switched on.

Sagacious Fri 28-Aug-09 19:54:32

Erm no as someone quite used to interviewing people:
It would make you look overly anxious and slightly weird.

pinkteddy Fri 28-Aug-09 19:54:51

My best interview tip is to give lots of examples when asked a question. Is there a person specification? If so go through it and think through any questions that they could ask you to find out if you meet each criteria.

bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 19:56:27


I was more thinking of if they ask what are the current issues in this field?
they know from my cv that I don't have any experince in their field so it is obvious I will have had to research

but yes I do need to practise grin

i really hope the adrenaline kicks in and I become teh person I was 10 years ago, used to be much more confident, hate what motherhood can do to you

madwomanintheattic Fri 28-Aug-09 19:57:21

if i asked you 'what do you think about x?' and you shuffled your notes round to remember, i think i'd wrap it up pretty quickly. grin

i can honestly say i've never had anyone bring notes into an interview. ever. (not even the anxious and slightly weird lol)

bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 19:57:27

Sagacious - I am overly anxious and slightly wierd grin

Sagacious Fri 28-Aug-09 19:58:43

YY but they can find that out after they've offered you the job!

bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 19:58:47

my friend always gets top jobs and she takes in a folder of examples of her past work so people obviously don't think it's that odd

but I will take the majority vote and ditch the notes grin

<nervous strumming of fingers>

WingCommanderDragonButter Fri 28-Aug-09 19:59:16

I think i'd be more likely to go blank trying to search for a specific bit of paper where i'd written my note on that specific subject.

I'd get all fumbly.

bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 20:00:22

so what do I need to portray?

smile (but not manically)
calm, collected answers to their questions
smart appareance

any other tips?


madwomanintheattic Fri 28-Aug-09 20:00:45

but in your example, it would mean you didn't know, but had googled and printed it out (ie couldn't be bothered to read and understand)

they won't expect perfection if it's a new field, but if they are employing you to have an understanding of the issues, they will at least expect an embryonic understanding of the issues from your discussion.

anyone can print a list of current issues to do with x - the interviewer will be looking for someone who cares enough about the job not to need to look up their responses to see what the right one is!

it will be fine! (i know how scary it is after a while out lol)

good luck! (and no reading!) wink

bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 20:03:36

I think I'm treating it more like an exam

maybe I should think of it as an informal chat?

they are only interviewing on one day for 2 posts so I think i stand a good chance

just keen not to mess it up

madwomanintheattic Fri 28-Aug-09 20:05:59

bigchris - example of your work is absolutely fine - and de rigeur in some circs.

answers to interview questions? no.

my tip - honesty and be yourself - and don't be afraid! if you are passionate about getting the job, then let that do the talking - as others have said, have lots of examples to refer to (in your head)

ie - for personality traits, for how you deal with problems, for highlighting examples of skills (projects you have managed/ been involved in/ whatever), and the good old chestnut of something in reserve in case they ask you what your weak areas are and how it would affect x. (this would be a good time to utilise the 'new area' line and reiterate that you have been looking at current issues (with examples) and how tyou see your skills adapting to these roles etc.

when is your interview? smile

steaknife Fri 28-Aug-09 20:07:48

I agree with others don't take in notes, but do take in examples of your work.

Pinkteddy makes a very good point about going through the person specification. When I have interviewed or been interviewed the questions are always based around the person specification to get you to show how you meet the criteria for doing the job.

Use examples, even if they are from a different field if they are about showing your skills it won't matter.

Oh and read up on current issues facing the sector and new developments as that quite often crops up.

So Bigchris what do you think are the key challenges facing the sector today??

Sagacious Fri 28-Aug-09 20:09:56


Ability to think on your feet.
Signs of a sense of humour (and I don't mean cracking jokes but a vague sense of irony always works for me)
Punctuality (I'm always amazed at applicants wafting in 5 minutes late I don't think I've EVER recuited someone after that .. apart from some poor bloke who was stuck on tube and YES I did check his story out)


I don't tend to have much truck with outside interests on CV's. I don't care if you've trekked in Nepal and hand raised goats.

Ditto what university they've been to (and I work in legal where tradionally if its not a first and at Oxford you don't get through the door)

Appearance, well if your're clean thats fine, sharp obviously designer suits tend to make me wonder what they're trying to distract me from.

HTH and good luck.

bigchris Fri 28-Aug-09 20:10:04

thats great advice
it's early next week

Sagacious Fri 28-Aug-09 20:12:11

I should also add punctuation is vital (any mistakes on a CV and its binned) but my previous post is shocking so I'll stay quiet on that one.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: