Your paper crutch may crumble in job interview

Q: I am going for interview next week in a new company. I have researched the living daylights out of them and I have also gone back over my own studies and work experience to find everything of relevance that I can muster. I have so much information assembled, I am wondering if I can bring some notes into the interview with me. What do you think? (DE, email ).

A: It would not be my way, nor would I encourage it, but it is not without some precedent.

Some public service application forms carry this note or a variation on it: “Should you be invited for interview, you may take a ‘hard’ copy (or ‘paper’ copy ) of your application form with you. Mobile devices are not permitted for use during your interview.”

Nevertheless, I still would not encourage it.

I think it will distract you. It will likely be an unreliable crutch. It will kill the natural flow of communication you should really be aiming for in an interview. In addition, it may flag you as lacking in self-belief.

How would it actually work?

Upon the panel posing a question, would you take a minute to check your notes? I think is contrary to the spirit of the interview - a cheat of sorts - and one that is unlikely to impress the interview panel. The interview is designed to check out what you know, and you should know it so well that you do not need notes.

Sportspeople write mantras on their hands. Believe. Next ball. Whatever word or phrase distills their thinking going into the game.

That is a different thing: that is not something they are depending on, rather something they are using to remind themselves of something in a fleeting moment.

I write on my hand all the time too. Milk. Petrol. And sundry other hieroglyphics that I fail to decipher just a few hours later. I should not really depend on that method: and neither should you depend on the one you are proposing for your forthcoming interview.

Research them well, figure out in general terms what you would like to say, and trust yourself thereafter.

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