Should I Take Notes During the Interview on Paper or on my Phone?
Hiring managers have indicated to us that it is best for job seekers to take notes on paper. Why? It can be unsettling to the interviewer to have the job seeker focused on their phone during the interview. The interviewer doesn't know if the job seeker is taking notes, surfing the web, or texting a friend. Using a pen and paper may feel outdated, but it is clear that the interviewee is not distracted and is just taking notes. Often, job seekers bring a folder or notebook instead of carrying loose paper around. This is also a great place to keep the questions that you have come up with in advance to ask the interviewer.
I Hear so Much Advice on How to Succeed in a Virtual Interview. It is Overwhelming! Can You Provide Just a few Main Tips?
Check your surroundings before you start the interview to make sure your background is professional and uncluttered, as that will be part of the impression they have of you.
Try to avoid distractions from people or pets by planning in advance (put pets in a separate place, let family members know not to interrupt you).
Read through the job description and your resume / cover letter before you start the interview. It will help you when it comes time to answer the questions, so you can align your experiences with what they are asking.
If you aren't sure of an answer to a question, take a moment to give yourself a chance to think. You may think you don't know the answer right away, but after some consideration you may realize you do have an answer to the question. Job seekers sometimes panic, so just slow down to avoid that. In addition, people sometimes lie in the moment of panic, which always backfires.
If the interviewing team offers the opportunity, be sure to ask questions of your own. It not only shows your interest and engagement, but also allows you to learn if the job will be a good fit for you. You can research the company ahead of time to come up with questions, or ask questions specifically about what you will be doing if anything was unclear in the job description.
How do I Know if my Interview was Successful?
As soon as you walk out of the interview, you will want to know if you got the job. Although sometimes job seekers are offered the position right on the spot, that is not often the case. Instead, you will likely have to wait a few days -- or even weeks -- to hear back. Companies often interview multiple people for one opening. If you were the first interview, you will have to wait until they conduct the rest of the interviews and make a decision.
Ask the hiring manager or team at the end of your interview when you can expect to hear back from them one way or the other. This will give you insight into the time frame of the hiring process. If that time period passes, you can politely follow up to inquire.
Keep in mind, you might have done very well in the interview and still may not be the person selected for the opening. So, not receiving an offer does not mean you "blew" the interview.
Try to reflect on the interview after it is complete for your own self-evaluation. Which questions do you think you answered well? Which ones could you have done a better job addressing? Were you professional and polite throughout? Doing some self-reflection will help you learn and grow for the future.
Revision Resume is here to help through all aspects of the job search process. If you aren't getting called for interviews, we would be happy to critique your resume to verify that the document you are submitting will get the attention of the hiring manager. Need help with post-interview follow-up? We can help you create a value proposition letter to send after the interview so you can go beyond saying thank you and stand out compared to the competition. Learn more about our services and request a quote here.
Interested in additional interview tips? Click on the following links:
What to Say When You Don't Know the Answer to an Interview Question
Interview Preparation: Beyond Practicing Common Interview Questions