Most job coaches and recruiters favor note taking. They believe the very real upsides outweigh the potential downsides. The fact is, most interviewers take notes themselves “I’m hugely okay with note takers as long as it doesn’t delay our process, after all, I’m going to be taking notes.” A job interview is not a social occasion. It is a business meeting. And in Australian business culture, taking notes in support of a business meeting is considered not only appropriate, but often a sign of professionalism
Recruiters believe that taking notes actually keeps the attention on the speaker by minimizing interruptions as the applicant makes a list of insights and responses that can be referred to when it’s the listener’s turn to speak. Note taking does not have to be distracting. The point of notes is not to take down a conversation verbatim, which would be intrusive. The purpose is to remind yourself of important points that are being made and questions or comments you don’t want to forget when it’s your turn to talk
The most important thing is to ask permission. Whipping out a notebook without asking permission may strike some interviewers as presumptuous. Asking permission is a simple thing, but it makes a big difference.
First, it’s respectful. Second, it draws attention to the behavior, so that the interviewer is not surprised. Surprises are rarely in the candidate’s favor. Here are some suggested wordings for getting permission; Do you mind if I take notes? I want to keep the details of this discussion very clear in my mind because the more I learn about this opportunity, the more confident I am that I can make an important contribution
If you’re going to take notes, don’t use a pencil or loose scraps of paper or the back of your parking ticket. Use a fine pen and a clean, professional notebook, preferably bound in leather.” The pen you select makes a statement about you. Make sure it reflects the professional you. A little silver one might be fine, but not gold. And for pity’s sake, make sure it works. Nothing will defeat your purpose more than you fumbling with a pen that runs out of ink. Asking the job interviewer for a pen is something you definitely want to avoid