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Should You Bring Your iPad to Interviews?

"Leave the iPad in your briefcase," according to the article "iPads and Interviews: Why the Two Don't Mix." Technology is an easily integrated and effective tool in office and classroom settings, but relying on technology during an interview it can have the opposite effect. There is a time and place for iPads; if you are too engaged with the iPad or cell phone during the interview, it can form a barrier between you and the interviewer and leave the impression you are disengaged in the conversation taking place.

In her experiences as a managing partner at a search firm specializing in higher education, Shelly Weiss Storbeck argues that bringing a pen and pad of paper is more valued, especially in cases where hiring decisions come down to how you are presenting yourself during the interview. These physical tools in front of you inhibit you from writing down everything that is said almost as fast as people talk. It offers a better impression that you are engaged; there is no iPad between you and the interviewer. In cases where there is a presentation that you are giving or a slideshow that must be viewed, yes the iPad will be helpful. However, in the long run, an iPad at an interview can cause you to miss out on building the interpersonal relationship with interviewer and come off that you are just typing away inattentively.

Storbeck concludes that the purpose of in-person interviews is to give good first impressions; to offer people a sense of you as an individual in a short period of time and see if you will fit with the organization. Your interactions with the iPad can eclipse your interactions with interviewers, shifting their attention to the attention you paid to your iPad instead of to you as a potential employee.

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