The Eternal Debate

The Eternal Debate

Though the title may mislead you, this is not a post about the beginning of the universe or if it’s really okay to wear white shoes after Labor Day. This is about whether or not it is okay to take notes in an interview. Though not as controversial as other ongoing debates, this is a major area of concern for many first time interviewers. They think that if they do not take notes, they aren’t taking the conversation seriously. However, if they do take notes, they may not be as attentive to the conversation, meaning they appear as if they’re not taking the conversation seriously. What is there to do? What is the answer?

Like with most difficult questions, there is no correct universal answer. Some people are expert multitaskers and can focus on note taking and another person at the same time. Bless those people. However, for those that do better when their attention is only centered on one thing, note taking during an interview is probably not for you.

The moral of the story is to know yourself and the conditions in which you perform at your best. An interviewer is going to be more concerned on how you answer the questions and interact with them, not if you can read back an entire transcription of the conversation. But if you feel more comfortable writing down the major points, bring a notepad with you, just remember not to doodle!

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Think Positive

Think Positive

I read an article this morning (link above) about how your own “stinkin’ thinkin'” could be the main deterrent in someone not getting a job. After I chuckled for a few minutes about the beauty of the phrase “stinkin’ thinkin'” I realized that this is so right, it’s common sense and therefore not mentioned often. Experts suggest having a positive attitude during the job search process, but that can be difficult when the positions available in your industry are looking for a different skill set or, well, something else you don’t have. 

The article talks about John, an older man who worked his way up to the executive level, despite not having a degree. He decided to switch careers and was continuing to interview for executive level jobs in an industry in which he had no experience. Now, many of us would not have the guts to do that, but this man had enough self-confidence that he applied for these positions, got the interviews, and then aced the interviews. He aced them. This guy has no experience in that industry, no degree, and he still rocked it out. How is this possible? Because he thought he could do it, so he did. 

This is (well kind of) like the little engine that could. No one thought he could make it up that hill, but he did. Outsiders to John’s situation (definitely me, maybe others) would never have thought he would be able to get an interview for an executive position with no industry experience, but he did. 

So if a job looks interesting, go for it. It may not seem like the perfect fit on paper, but who knows what will happen in practice? It’s impossible to predict, so just keep on thinking that you can and just apply. 

TL;DR: apply for jobs that look interesting, even if you don’t think you’re good enough. You are. Just be confident