15 Note Taking Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Note Taking skills will be used.

Whether you’re a student preparing for exams or a professional getting ready for a meeting, note taking is a valuable skill. But did you know that your note taking skills can also help you prepare for a job interview?

That’s right—employers often ask interview questions about how candidates take notes and what methods they use to organize information. This line of questioning is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to listen attentively, process information, and communicate effectively.

If you want to make a good impression during your next job interview, brush up on your note taking skills and be prepared to answer questions about your methods. In this guide, we’ll share some common interview questions about note taking, along with sample answers to help you prepare for your next job interview.

1. What are the advantages of taking notes?

This question can help interviewers understand your note-taking skills and how you use them. They may ask this to see if you know the benefits of taking notes in a meeting or lecture. You can answer this by explaining what you find helpful about taking notes, such as:

Helping you remember important information
Helping you stay focused on the speaker
Helping you organize thoughts
Example: “Taking notes is one of my favorite study methods because it helps me remember important information from lectures and meetings. I also find that it helps me stay focused during a presentation or speech since I’m not distracted by other things. Finally, I like that it helps me organize my thoughts so I can better understand the topic.”

2. How do you keep your notes organized and efficient?

Note taking is an important skill for any administrative assistant. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the organizational skills necessary to keep your notes organized and easy to access when needed. In your answer, explain how you stay organized while note taking. Explain that you use a system that makes it easy to find information quickly.

Example: “I organize my notes by topic and speaker. I take notes in bullet points so they are easier to read later on. When I am done with my notes, I type them up into a document and save it in a folder labeled with the date of the meeting. This way, I can easily find all of my notes from each meeting.”

3. What is an outline? Why do you think it’s useful?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of note taking and how it can be applied in the workplace. You should answer this question by defining what an outline is, why you think it’s useful and how you use outlines when taking notes.

Example: “An outline is a list of main points that are organized into sub-points. I find outlines to be very helpful because they allow me to organize my thoughts and ideas while also providing a visual representation of the information being discussed. This allows me to quickly reference important details later on.”

4. What is the Cornell Method? When should you use it?

The Cornell Method is a note-taking system that many professionals use. Your interviewer may ask this question to see if you know how to take notes using the Cornell Method and when it’s appropriate to do so. In your answer, explain what the Cornell Method is and give an example of when you’ve used it in the past.

Example: “The Cornell Method is a way to organize your notes while taking them during a lecture or presentation. It involves dividing a piece of paper into three columns. The first column is for key points, the second column is for supporting details and the third column is for any questions you have about the information being presented.”

5. What is the difference between a summary and a paraphrase?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your note taking skills and determine whether you can summarize information accurately. To answer, think of a time when you had to take notes on something that was important or relevant to you. Explain the difference between summary and paraphrase and how you used each skill in your own life.

Example: “A summary is an overview of what someone said or wrote while paraphrasing involves rephrasing someone’s words into your own words. I use both skills regularly when taking notes because it helps me remember key points and facts more easily. In college, I took several history classes where we learned about different historical events. My professor often spoke quickly, so I would write down everything he said verbatim and then paraphrase his main ideas later.”

6. What is the SQ3R method? What is its main advantage?

The SQ3R method is a note-taking technique that involves the steps of survey, question, read, recite and review. This interview question tests your knowledge of different methods for taking notes in class or at work. Your answer should show you know how to use this method effectively.

Example: “The SQ3R method stands for survey, question, read, recite and review. It’s a way to take notes by first surveying the material, then asking yourself questions about it. You then read the relevant parts of the material, recite what you’ve learned out loud and finally review what you’ve written down.”

7. What are some tips for improving note-taking skills?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have any tips for improving your note-taking skills. They want to know that you can improve your own skills and are willing to do so. In your answer, share a few tips you’ve learned over the years about taking notes in class or at work.

Example: “I find it helpful to use color coding when taking notes. This helps me organize my thoughts and ideas as I write them down. Another tip is to take notes on both sides of the paper. That way, I don’t run out of room while writing and can flip the page over to continue taking notes.”

8. What technique can be used to find key words in a passage that is being read?

This question can help an interviewer determine your note taking skills and how you apply them to a variety of situations. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the steps involved in finding key words and how they can help you remember important information.

Example: “There are several techniques that can be used to find key words in a passage being read. One technique is underlining key words as you read through a passage. Another method is highlighting key words by using different colors or highlighters. A third way to find key words is by circling them with a pen.”

9. Can you explain what semantic mapping is? How does it help with note-taking?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of note-taking and how it relates to other subjects. It also shows the interviewer that you can apply what you learn in school to real-world situations.

Example: “Semantic mapping is when you take notes on a topic or subject, then relate them to another one. For example, if I was taking notes on the Civil War, I would map out all the information about the war and its causes, battles and outcomes. Then, I would map out the information to something else like World War II. This helps me remember important facts and details by relating them to other topics.”

10. Can you give me some examples of good note-taking habits?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have the skills and knowledge necessary to take notes during a meeting or presentation. They want to know that you can pay attention, write clearly and organize your thoughts in an easy-to-read way.

Example: “I think it’s important to be organized when taking notes. I always make sure my handwriting is neat and legible so that anyone who reads my notes later can understand what I wrote. I also try to use shorthand whenever possible because it helps me save time while writing. Another good habit is making sure I don’t miss anything by listening carefully and asking questions if I need clarification.”

11. What are some common issues people face when it comes to taking notes?

This question can help the interviewer understand your awareness of common mistakes people make when taking notes. It can also show them that you know how to correct these issues and provide a better experience for yourself or others who may be relying on your notes.

Example: “There are several things I’ve seen students do while taking notes that can cause problems later. One is writing too fast, which makes it hard to read their notes later. Another is not organizing their notes well enough, which can lead to missing important information. Finally, they sometimes write in shorthand that they don’t remember later.”

12. What are some ways to improve listening skills?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have any strategies for improving your note taking skills. They want to know that you can improve your abilities and are willing to put in the effort to do so. In your answer, explain how you’ve used specific methods or techniques to improve your listening skills in the past.

Example: “I find it helpful to take notes while listening to a lecture or presentation. I use my laptop to type out what the speaker is saying and also write down important points on paper. This helps me remember more of what was said because I’m using two different methods to record information. Another strategy I use is to repeat back what I heard to myself after the person has finished speaking. This allows me to check my understanding of what they said.”

13. What are some ways you can test yourself on your notes?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you use your notes to study and prepare for future tests or exams. You can answer this question by describing a few methods you’ve used in the past, such as highlighting important information or creating flashcards.

Example: “I usually test myself on my notes within 24 hours of taking them. I’ll read through all of my notes once and highlight any key points that I want to remember. Then, I’ll go back over those highlighted sections one at a time and try to recall what they mean. If I’m having trouble remembering something, I’ll write down the main idea and then look up the details later.”

14. Are there any tools or software that can help with note-taking?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience using tools or software that can help with note-taking. This is because taking notes by hand can be time consuming, and it’s important to take good notes in a timely manner. If you’re not familiar with any tools or software that can help with note-taking, consider researching some before your interview so you can answer this question more confidently.

Example: “I’ve used Evernote for several years now, and I find it very helpful when taking notes during meetings. It allows me to type my notes instead of writing them out by hand, which saves me time. I also like how easy it is to organize my notes into different folders and subfolders. Another tool I use is Microsoft OneNote, which is similar to Evernote but has additional features.”

15. What are some ways to avoid distractions while taking notes?

Employers may ask this question to see if you can stay focused during an interview. They want to know that you’ll be able to pay attention and take notes while they’re speaking, so it’s important to show them that you have strategies for avoiding distractions. In your answer, explain what distracts you and how you avoid those things when taking notes.

Example: “I find that I’m most distracted by my phone, so I always put it on silent before the meeting starts. If I need to check something, I leave my phone in my bag until the end of the meeting. Another distraction is other people talking, so I try to sit as far away from others as possible. This helps me focus on the speaker.”


15 Cooperation Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

15 Resourcefulness Interview Questions and Answers