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Writing low-inference notes

This article describes low-inference notes and provides examples. A low-inference writing style is used to document information about a mentor applicant that needs to be shared with and discussed amongst the screening team or other teams within the organization. Low-inference notes are especially important for writing flags and rejection summaries. The most important thing is that the style of writing is objective, unbiased, and does not contain assumptions made without evidence.

Characteristics of low-inference notes:

  • No judgments or indirect conclusions, no assumptions
  • Only based on true evidence such as what was seen or heard
  • Specific, direct, no paraphrasing
  • Objective

Phrases found in low-inference notes:

  • “The mentor applicant may....”
  • "During their interview, the applicant stated…"
  • “Applicant seems to be looking for XYZ, which does not align with our curriculum"
  • “It appears as though the mentor applicant…”
  • "XYZ may indicate..."
  • “The Screener is unsure whether applicant understands the boundaries of the mentor role”

Example:

  • "During the mentor interview, the applicant shared that they regularly work 60 hour weeks, and expressed a concern about being able to participate in evening events. This may indicate a lack of flexibility for in-person events.”
  • “Applicant seemed to lack understanding of the iMentor program as well as a true motivation to mentor. When asked why she wanted to mentor with us, she mentioned that her company works with iMentor and offers a day off from work and $100 for participating.”
  • “The applicant appears to take issue with our orientation process and the travel required from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Her emails to me are very short and she seems to be frustrated by the fingerprinting process. I'm concerned that she may pose a challenge to a PM when it comes to scheduling calls or making meetings that aren't directly in her neighborhood."
  • “Applicant displayed a disproportionate negative response to requests for more information by background check vendor, and did not seem willing to cooperate with the background check process. Applicant also seemed to display an high level of enthusiasm for being accepted into the program, and we are unable to ascertain his current motivations for participating in the program.”
  • “According to NYC orientation staff, the applicant caused a disturbance during orientation, to the extent that other attendees in her virtual breakout room reported her to iMentor staff and then left the room.”  
  • “The applicant seemed to express disapproval and negative judgement of undocumented immigrants, and the screener is concerned that this sentiment may pose a risk to an undocumented mentee.”