Taking Notes at Interview?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gramcracker, Sep 6, 2002.

  1. gramcracker

    gramcracker Emergency Medicine Attending

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    What do people think about whipping out a notepad when you ask questions to an interviewer? If I want to know more about a school's X, can I take notes on what the interviewer says, so I remember it all?

    Or what about if I have a list of questions I want to ask, pulling it out so I remember them?
     
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  3. dpark74

    dpark74 Senior Member

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    Personally, I would be opposed to 'whipping out a notepad.' It would seem as though you were giving the interview even though it is your chance to ask questions.

    Just try to remember the most important ones, or come up with a mnemonic device to remember all of your ?s.
     
  4. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    i disagree with dpark. i don't see anything wrong with coming in to an interview with a list of prepared questions-- it certainly comes off better than stumbling around for that great question you came up with, but in the excitement of the interview you can't remember it. i can see myself saying "ummm...errr... i had a question and it's escaping me...um...give me a second...um, do we get to wear white coats?" or something silly like that. and i don't think there'd be anything wrong with writing down the answers to your questions. what's more professional... showing you've done some research on the school, or sitting there scratching your head as the interviewer stares at you?
     
  5. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    I also think there is nothing wrong with taking prepared questions to an interview. Infact, I would go so far as to say, you *should* take prepared questions. It just looks more like you are a serious candidate, trying to systemantically assess which school fits you best, rather than someone unprepared who is winging it. Whether the interview is open or closed file 90% of the interviewers will have brought a list of 'prepared' questions for you...
     
  6. I think you should videotape it and say, "wait hold still, I'm zooming out....hold on, I'm fading out- hold still dammit". Act like filmography is your profession and take the whole video camera thing very seriously. When the interviewer asks what the camera's all about, swiftly retort, "what's it to you?"

    You're a shOO-in.
     
  7. Ninjaboy

    Ninjaboy Taneuma

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    Good idea by shamthis. You might want to consider taking your own makeup just so the interviewer looks good for the camera. Also, you need to film yourself asking your questions to the interviewer. I would consider giving the interviewers cue cards to hold up for you so you don't botch your questions when your live on camera.
     
  8. Fenrezz

    Fenrezz AT Stills Worst Nightmare

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    In my opinion, under NO circumstances should you ever take out a notepad and write down anything. It's completely inapropriate and distracting to the interviewer. What is he/she going to be doing while you're writing down information? Wait?

    Never do anything out of the ordinary at an interview where you're not sure what the preception would be. I agree, have a list of prepared questions when you come in to the interview, but have them in your head. Make a mental note of interesting topics during the interview and ask about them afterwords, but don't write them down.

    Pulling a list of questions out is probably going to make the interviewer wonder about how your memory works under pressure, and unless you have superstats (which means you were unofficially accepted before you walked in), it's most likely the kiss of death.

    Again, this is all my opinion.
     
  9. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    hmm, sometimes when reading responses on this board I wonder where people get their perceptions from. How many interviews (I'm not talking med school interviews, but interviews period) have people done!?

    I do not think I have been on ONE interview, or conducted ONE interview in the business world, where the person being interviewed (either me or the person I was interviewing) did NOT have pre-prepared questions on a notepad. In my view, if it's not only acceptable, but *standard* practice in business interviews, I see no reason it shouldn't apply to med school interviews.

    You people worry way too much....
     
  10. Ninjaboy

    Ninjaboy Taneuma

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    On a more serious note...I agree with fenrezz's approach. Don't you already know what questions you are going to ask. You couldn't get so possibly flustered that you forget your own prepared questions for the interviewer, if so you have more issues to deal with than which questions to ask. Usually the questions asking time comes at the end so the answers aren't so difficult to remember. Plus, if you really care about going to that school you are going to remember things that you have concerns about anyway.

    I would go against a notebook and pen.
     
  11. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member

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    I agree mostly with Ninjaboy, but I do think that everyone should have a notebook and pen with them, just in case. What happens if they give you an important phone number or important date?

    Uh, do you have a pen I can borrow. And a piece of paper too.

    Don't take "notes' though throughout the interview process. As a former recruiter, I found it distracting. I would not have a premade list of questions either. You can make a list and even keep in your notebook, but do not reference it during the interview.
     
  12. Tweetie_bird

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    ok, I odn't see anything wrong in taking out a notepad BEFORE the interview starts. I plan on doing it, simply because I may be asked about my research. And a lot of my research can be explained by flow charts and quick draw diagrams. I know medical students who had to almost give a presentation on their research at the interview, so I want ot be prepared. Ofcourse, if something *important* comes up while you guys are talkign, there's no pain in jotting down 3 words really quickly to remind you what you had spoken about AFTER the interivew.

    I would say, don't waste more than a few (3-4) seconds here and there to jot down really quickly what is being said. That way, we don't distract our interviewers. Just my 2c.
     
  13. thesaint

    thesaint Member

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    i feel it is not professional to whip out a notepad.WHAT are u thinking of? like they said above it might serve as a distraction to the interviwer, which u do not want, SO to be better prepared DO research and know your question beacause medical interviews ARE ORAL INTERVIEWS. SO know your stuff
     
  14. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile

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    i had an interview today and i used *the notebook* (duh duh DUH music in the background)... actually, during some of the more informative fact-laden presentations, i wrote down some potential questions for the interviewers that popped into my head and then reviewed this list before going in with the person one-on-one. however, i did "whip it out" at one point, but it was to write down the email address of the interviewer, as she offered it to me in case i wanted to ask her questions later.

    in any case, i don't really see anything wrong with it... in job interviews i have been to and in interviews i have personally conducted (in the job world), i have found it adventageous to be prepared w/questions. moreover, i have looked favorably upon the potential employee who has researched my company and has come up with some questions (even if it is just "do you like it here?") to pose to their interviewers.

    my $0.02. :)
     

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