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Notes taking paper during an interview

Anonymous A asked on Jun 14, 2018 - 4 answers

Do interviewers look at these sheets of paper with my notes, structure, etc. after the interview has ended?

I am asking to know if my notes should be clear only for my own understanding or also fot later skimming by the interviewer...


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replied on Jun 15, 2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years
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Notes are always collected at the end of the interview for confidentiality purposes. I usually review them in three moments:

  • During the interview itself I frequently glance at the organization of the sheets while the candidate is filling them out
  • Right after the interview when I write a first impression I look at them more closely to see what details were put in the framework that might not have been communicated or to remind myself how well developed the framework was
  • At the end of the day (I fold them together with the resume of the person) I review again to recall the interviewee

So I would say that while notes do not need to be super-clear or always legible, I definitely woudl recommend to have them very well organized so that you come across as professional, structured and disciplined.

Hope it helps,


replied on Jun 14, 2018
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The sheets won't be reviewed by your interviewer - they are only for you.

Your interviewer may ask to keep the notes at the end, but this is just to try limit how much of the case you can share with other people, as firms like to keep the content of their cases confidential for obvious reasons.

Anonymous B replied on Jun 15, 2018


I just sat Round 1 and can give you some advice.

They 100% will collect the interview paper - Whether they look at it, im not too sure but I have a feeling they do glance at it all. It can help provide a reference for their data collection on you and help to clarify their own understanding of your approach.

Make your notes and structure clear - pretend they will read it so make it legible and easy to read -this will help you out ALOT. Personally i go through maybe 7 sheets of paper in a case because i write large and space it out. This means i dont lose numbers or mix things up.

Also try to logically write and draw up tables etc - when i set up my pages the interviewer actually said "where did you learn that? its a great way to do it".

Good luck!

Care to share how you set up your pages? — Anonymous on Jun 17, 2018 (edited)

replied on Jun 14, 2018
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Your notes are just for you so the interviewer will not look at them after the interview. BUT

  1. A good habit is to guide the interviewer through your structure by showing the structure on paper. So at least the structure should look clean and clear for the interviewer. Literally, move your pen to the different elements of your structure while presenting. And very often you need to do more than one structure while solving the case.
  2. You need to have clarity with numbers to be successful at calculations.
  3. While providing the final recommendation you need to find all the key numbers quickly, in order to use them in the arguments. Thus you need clarity

All in all - having clear and organized notes have many pros while unclear notes can easily lead to failure.