Documenting the Interview
One benefit of active listening is that interviewers can take notes while the applicant is talking without losing track of what's being said. Thanks to thought speed, you can write down keywords and ideas during the interview, then immediately after, develop your notes more fully. Revisiting your notes right away will ensure that you retain important facts.
Some interviewers believe that note taking will offend applicants or make them uneasy. If you feel this way, tell the applicant at the beginning of the interview that you'll be taking some notes to make certain that you have sufficient information upon which to base an effective evaluation. Most applicants will not mind, even preferring that you do take notes. After all, jobs have many applicants competing for them; with so many people being considered for each position, how can the interviewer differentiate among applicants without referring to notes? In fact, not taking any notes could convey a lack of interest; consequently, the applicant may lose interest in the job.
Notes taken are a permanent record of your interview and should be written with care. Whether you use a separate preprinted form (Appendix F) or a blank piece of paper, the same guidelines relating to documentation apply. Interviewers are cautioned against writing directly on the employment application. This is considered a legal document and should bear the handwriting of the applicant only. Likewise, have the applicant fill in any blanks or make any corrections on the application form.
In addition to serving as a permanent record of an interview, documentation enables interviewers to measure each applicant's job suitability against the requirements of the job. Following the interview, place your notes next to the job description. Then simply compare your notes about the applicant's relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments with the requirements, duties, and responsibilities of the available opening. This should make it easy to identify areas in which the applicant shines as well as any skills or experience he's lacking, especially if your job description identifies tasks as being essential or nonessential.
Documentation may also be used to compare applicants in the final running with