Take a notebook or something else for interview?

I'll preface this by saying it may sound silly, but it's the first time I'll be going to a strategy consulting interview. I've been practicing case studies and scribbling notes and frameworks in a notebook. When I go to the actual interview though, should I be using something other than a notebook to write down my thoughts, calculations, etc.? Few sheets of computer paper? Not sure, heh.

I presume an interviewer won't care, but I just wanted to be sure.


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Comments (4)

Apr 12, 2012 - 12:01am

Notebook paper should be fine -- as long as its neat and not crumpled -- you don't want to make a bad impression.

I personally used two sheets of graph paper in the horizontal, landscape format. One sheet that remained in the graph paper notebook, the other I tore out (neatly)... I used one for notes/structure, the other for calculations. The key point is to use the same set-up you used to practice. Graph paper was actually helpful... in the dozens of case interviews I went though, I actually had to draw a graph a few times... although by no means is this common.

If you used notebook paper in your practice cases, use notebook paper the same way in your real interviews! Sometimes the notes were collected, but this was to ensure that the case didn't leak to other interview candidates -- not so the interviewers could look over them.

Case-in-point has a few pages on how to set-up your paper. I took a few things from there, but ultimately find what works best for you.

Apr 12, 2012 - 12:02am

A padfolio is the go to for consulting interviews (or any interviews for that matter). Some people prefer graph paper because it makes it easier to draw graphs - I personally used a yellow notepad. Regardless of what you use, just make sure it looks professional and doesn't make math / note taking any harder than it needs to be.

Apr 12, 2012 - 12:54am

Would it be ok to take the whole notebook, or do I need to take out a few sheets of paper? Obviously I'm not going to use the entire notebook (that would be one heck of a case!), but it seems like if I just rip out a few sheets of notebook paper that may not look good either?

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