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UK job search: contracts and taking notes
May 13, 2012 11:37 AM   Subscribe

(UK-based) I've started applying for new jobs and as I'm now getting along in the process, I'm wondering about 1) signing a contract before leaving my current job and 2) taking notes during a job interview.

I'm a little nervous about how to actually leave my job if I find a new one. I want to make sure everything is confirmed before I resign. How can I do this? Ideally, I would like to ask to sign my new contract before I give notice at my current job - is this normal, or do employers expect you to give notice as soon as you receive (and accept) an offer? I'm frightened of something going wrong.

Also, I've been reading job interview advice online. One blog I read advised interviewees to bring a notepad to take notes during the interview on points the interviewers bring up you might want to remember. The blog also said the interviewee could bring a written list of questions to ask employers. I would love to do this as I have a list of questions, but I'm afraid I'll forget them. The blog I read was US-based, so: in the UK, will an interviewer think it's strange if I bring in a notepad and/or a list of questions?

Thank you for your help - I am focusing on preparing as much as I can but these little things are worrying me.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm american, but live in the UK.

I took notes on the questions when I interviewed for the job I have now.

Mr. Pony was a recruiter and says they'll be cool with it. (We're in the care and support sector if that makes a difference)

Good luck!
posted by misspony at 11:47 AM on May 13, 2012


I'm in the UK and I've interviewed (and taken) various jobs in the IT industry.

I've never given notice without a signed contract, and I've always had a notepad.

I think it's relatively common to end up surprised by some of the contract terms (you assumed a normal amount of holiday and pension? you thought it would have the same salary that you were offered verbally? you wanted to keep your first born child?) so it's a pretty good idea not to burn any bridges until you're sure you have all the terms ironed out.

In business it's normal that nobody will do anything without a written contract - not just employees but suppliers and so forth as well - so it would be odd (and even suspicious) if a company was surprised by this.
posted by emilyw at 11:49 AM on May 13, 2012


I was lucky in that I had a job to immediately go back to (the one I have now) but I highly recommend keeping notes at the interview
posted by parmanparman at 11:59 AM on May 13, 2012


I work in HR, and it's 100% standard to not resign at your current role until you have signed the contract for your new role. Generally, your start date at the new company will be dependent on your notice period.

I always take questions and my notes in with me, there is never a problem with somebody taking their own notes in an interview.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:19 PM on May 13, 2012


Another UK person. I always have a list of questions to ask and a notepad. In a good number of cases the interviewer has done the same, so it will not seem weird.
posted by Z303 at 4:20 PM on May 13, 2012


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