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Useful Interview Tips and Tricks Techniques for Taking Notes

Business managementFor educatorsFor journalists

Introduction

Interviewing people can be a daunting task. It is important to remember that you are talking with real people and not just gathering information with your interview questions. You should have an objective in mind when going into an interview but remain open to new ideas or additional questions during the conversation.

Good interviewing skills will help you as an interviewer. You’ll obtain the information necessary while keeping your subject relaxed.

As such, you can use various interview techniques during an interview. These techniques help you gather information efficiently and quickly while maintaining a rapport with the subject.

We recommend that you follow our tested interview guide on how to prepare for an interview. This article will provide the best interviewing techniques to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Meaning and Importance of Interview Notes

An interview note is a written summary of what was said during an interview. Interview notes can be used as a reference tool to remind you of the details discussed during an interview.

Further uses of interview notes include:

In business, it is vital to record all completed tasks, interviews, and other important events.

An interview note can be helpful when conducting research or preparing for a new project. Interview notes should be stored in an organized manner so that they can easily be retrieved when needed.

When you use interview notes as a reference tool, you can quickly recall all the details discussed during an interview.

This will allow you to organize them into a coherent topic outline. Notes are also helpful if you are to write a report requiring in-depth research on the subject matter.

Before you conduct an interview, you should prepare several of the top interview questions that you want to be answered. Using your notes will help you recall the right questions so that you don’t forget them when conducting the interview.

This can help make sure that your conversations flow more smoothly and efficiently.

Preparation Is a Half of a Successful Interview

No two interviews are ever the same, so preparing is crucial. It would be best if you never walked into an interview without having done any research on or preparation for the topic at hand.

This will help you ask questions (better ones), formulate a more cohesive conversation outline, and ensure no critical details are missed.

Thinking and preparing your questions can also help you feel more confident in yourself and the interview itself. This can make your answers more natural and fluid, which will come across as more authentic when speaking with your interviewee.

Additionally, it would be best to get the necessary interview tools, such as:

Scheduling and coordinating tools can help you keep track of all your interview-related appointments. These include scheduling software, calendars, and reminders. They can be used by individuals or teams, making it easy to organize meetings, conference calls, and other events on time.

You need tools like a pen, microphone, notebook, and other resources for the main interview process. You can also use these tools to record the interview for future reference.

It’s always best to record the interview, even if you think you can remember everything. You never know when a recording will come in handy or how important it’ll be to have evidence of what was said during the interview.

Tools That Can Simplify Your Interview Notes

We’ve already explained why you should take notes during an interview. However, if you’re not very good at taking notes or find it challenging to keep up with everything, some tools can help simplify your interview notes.

You can use video recording software to have a video interview if you want a more precise record of what was said. You can also use voice recording software to take notes by speaking instead of typing them out.

It’s also possible to combine these three tools to get the best of both worlds: a precise record of what was said during the interview and your notes taken while it was happening.

But after recording, there’s a slight problem with transcription. You can either do this yourself or hire someone to do it for you—but both approaches have their drawbacks. It’s likely to take up much of your time and energy if you transcribe the recording yourself.

You’ll also need to ensure that you’re listening carefully enough so that none of the important details get lost in translation.

On the other hand, if you hire someone else to do the job, they might miss something important while trying to listen for words they recognize.

This is where transcription software comes in handy. With the right tool, you can get the interview transcribed quickly and easily—and then proofread it to ensure that nothing important gets missed.

Audio transcription tools, like Audext, make the note-taking process during interviews more efficient, allowing you to focus on asking the right questions and listening for answers instead of trying to write down everything that’s said.

This makes it easier for you to get through each interview quickly and start moving on with your research.

However, it’s best to remember that audio to text transcription tool should not replace the more traditional methods of taking notes. To get the most out of each interview, it’s essential to mix up your note-taking strategies and combine them with an excellent audio transcription tool.

Read also: What is the best audio to text converter free online transcription?

The Plan During Taking Interview Notes

This section outlines how to conduct the interview and take notes simultaneously. It also includes some practical tips for ensuring that your notes are as accurate as possible.

Welcome the candidate

The first thing to do is welcome your candidate and put them at ease. The best way to do this is through a combination of small talk and asking questions that will allow you to get a sense of the candidate’s personality, knowledge, and experience.

Explain why you’re taking notes

It’s helpful to explain that you’re taking notes because you want to ensure that the conversation is as accurate as possible and that you can refer to it later.

This will help ensure that your candidate doesn’t feel like they’re being judged or evaluated based on what they say during the interview.

Take notes on everything the interviewee says, from their name to the company’s mission

It would help if you took down their name, the company’s mission statement, job title, and other details about their role. It would be best if you also took notes on what they say during the interview, including any questions they ask you and any stories or anecdotes they use to illustrate a point.

Write down any questions you have and bring them up at the end of the interview

You should write down any questions you have for the interviewee and bring them up at the end of your meeting. This will help ensure that you don’t forget to ask something important or miss an opportunity to learn more about them.

Jot down the impressions of the interviewee and the company after the interview is over

After the interview, jot down some notes about your impressions of the candidate and their company. If they were extroverts or introverts, what questions did they ask you?

Was it clear that they knew what they were talking about? How well did their stories illustrate points about their experience or personality? Write down anything else that stood out to you during the interview.

Prioritize listening over writing

Listening is crucial when conducting an interview, so it’s essential to keep writing to a minimum. Try not to stop the candidate from writing down their answers, as this can distract them and make them feel like they aren’t being heard. Instead, wait until the end of the conversation before you jot down anything that stands out.

Review your notes as soon as possible after the interview for clarity and to make sure you didn’t miss anything important

Since you don’t want to interrupt the interviewee, try to jot down notes during the conversation as best you can. Review these notes immediately after the conversation has ended to ensure that nothing important was missed or forgotten.

This will also give you time to organize your thoughts and write a more thorough summary of what occurred during the interview.

Thank the interviewee for their time

Always be courteous. Thank the interviewee for their time and consideration, and let them know you appreciate their input. Thanking someone shows respect for them as well as for yourself.

If you have any follow-up questions, make sure to ask those at this point, so there are no misunderstandings about what was said during the interview.

Be Sure You Cover All the Important Points and Check Out Missed Ones

You can never be too thorough in an interview. You want to make sure that you covered all the crucial points, and you also want to be sure that you didn’t miss any questions that your subject should have answered. If you have any additional questions that didn’t get answered, ask them at this point.

We advise you to review your notes and the interview transcript to ensure you have covered everything. This will also help you remember what was said during the interview.

Finally, you can follow up with the subject to see if they have any questions or concerns about the interview. This is especially important if you didn’t get all of your questions answered during the interview.

We recommend sending a thank-you note to each subject at this point, thanking them for their time and letting them know how much of an asset they were in helping you complete the interview.

Conclusion

Learning how to take notes during an interview can be a challenge. It’s easy to get distracted and lose track of what is being said, or worse yet, miss important information that could influence your story.

However, taking notes quickly and efficiently is possible with the right tools while ensuring you remember everything said during the interview.

Tools like notebooks, pens, and smartphones can help you take notes more quickly. It’s also vital to know the proper steps to take during the interview, such as asking questions that will help you gather more information and focusing on the person being interviewed while they speak.

By following these interview tips and taking notes during your next interview, you can ensure you get all the details straight.

Katrin Deres 10/11/2022
Katrin runs her own podcast show and is interested in the best ways to transcribe audio recordings into text.
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