Answering your cell phone during an interview isn’t only rude, it’s wrong. So is leaving your cell phone on a nearby desk or table in full view.
As for a tablet? Well, that’s a slightly different story. Keep in mind the purpose of the interview is for the hiring manager to get to know you. You shouldn’t be buried in your device but, according to Ask Annie, a tablet can help make you “a stronger and more memorable candidate.”
Here’s an example: If you’re a web designer, you can literally show the interviewer a variety of sites you’ve created. Instead of describing them, simply show off your work.
Show, don’t tell.
We’re not saying to go out and buy a tablet if you’re short on cash right now or that it will hinder you to not have one, nor are we saying to use it excessively. But if you do have one, you can use it to your advantage. For starters, you can keep it “handy but unobtrusive.” Don’t bring it out until you know it will help get your point across and then be polite by asking if it’s okay to use it.
You can also show pictures or a bar chart, per the piece, that tracks the results of your latest project. Don’t go overboard, however. Make sure the information is relevant to your experience and to the job you’re pursuing. And as a reminder, keep solid eye contact with your interviewer to keep your eyes focused on him or her and not the screen.
Think of your personal branding statement and how the information you’re sharing is in accordance with it. Decide how to position yourself and leverage the tablet to support it.
Plus, the piece says to encourage the interviewer to touch and swipe the information. That’ll be more active and interesting to the interviewer especially when there’s more than one interviewer in the room.