Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Continuation of the Art of Preparing for an Interview

Is this your first interview at a library? Are you at a loss? Do you have no idea what to prepare for? Here are some questions that you might find helpful to keep in mind while you prepare for your interview. Dress appropariately, be confident and good luck!

1. What motivates you?

2. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career?

3. Think about creativity as a continuum. Do you consider yourself an adaptor or an innovator? Why? Can you give me an example?

4. Are you more comfortable dealing with concrete, tangible or abstract, conceptual issues?

5. How much of a risk-taker are you? Describe a situation where taking a risk paid off, for you or for your employer?

6. How assertive are you?

7. What makes you stand out among your peers?

8. How would your friends describe you?

9. What sorts of organizational changes have you found hardest to accept?

10. How would you balance the expectations that our organization has of you participating in out-of-system committees and organizations and your private life?

11. How do you deal with needy people?

12. Describe the most difficult person you’ve had to work with.

13. Think of a particular instance with that person and tell me how the outcome could have been different.

14. How would you describe your learning ability?

15. How would you describe your teaching or training style? How easily can you adapt to the learner’s style?

16. What experience have you had with facilitating?

17. Describe your experience with strategic planning.

18. Would you use the same approach today?

19. How would you describe your negotiation skills?

20. How do you prefer to organize your time?

21. How do you set priorities? How flexible is your priority list?

22. If, at the end of the day, you had not accomplished all you intended to, what would you say or do?

23. How well do you multi-track?

24. How do you handle interruptions? How easy is it for you to get back into what you were doing?

25. Do long-term projects get boring?

26. Can you thrive in stressful situations? Against tight deadlines? When you have competing priorities or too many balls in the air?

27. How independently can you work?

28. What makes a good team?

29. How easily can you become part of a team? What role do you tend to take on a team?

30. What makes a meeting successful?

31. How would you describe your management philosophy and style?

32. Would previous employers or staff agree with this assessment?

33. How would you describe your decision-making approach? Are you decisive? Quick? Thorough? Intuitive or purely fact-based? Solo?

34. Tell me about a difficult or challenging decision you made recently.

35. How do you approach supervision and coaching of staff? Do you tend to delegate or direct?

36. How would you describe your problem-analysis skills and style?

37. How would you describe the amount of structure, direction and feedback that you need to excel?

38. What is your philosophy about collection management?

39. Summarize your computer/automation skills.

40. Where do you see libraries in 2015?

41. What made you choose librarianship as a career?

42. What do you view as the advantages for you of joining our team? Disadvantages?

43. Where do you see yourself in 2015?

44. What one reason would you give if I said “Tell me why we should hire you”?

45. When could you start, if we offer you the position?

46. Any questions?

These are some sample interview questions most of which came from a friend who was interviewed by a library system in Alberta, Canada. I would like to thank Linda and Karen Labuik for letting me post these questions here.