A reader writes:
I have an interview next Friday. Is it weird or considered rude to take notes?
When I’m interviewing, I am desperately trying to stay alert, listen, take mental notes, and think of my response to the dreaded behavioral questions (I HATE those!) at the same time. I am pretty darn organized — I love my notes, calendars, and lists. I always come prepared to any interview with a physical list of questions, I’ve just never actually written down notes because I didn’t want to seem like I was too stuffy or wasn’t flexible, which I definitely am. Most people seem to like that I come with a little notebook, but still being unemployed for so long, you start to wonder if even little things like that might hinder you getting a job you’re well qualified for!
I think taking notes is great, as long as you’re not doing it at the expense of the natural flow of the conversation or causing long pauses while you write. (Presumably you don’t want to write down every single thing, though, but rather just those things that you want to use in some way later.)
I suppose it’s possible that some interviewer out there might not like this, but that would get into the realm of interviewers who are going to penalize you for other perfectly reasonable behavior, and you don’t want to work for them anyway.