I would like to echo Jimmy and Laura about the importance of asking
questions to your potential employer. You should be interviewing them as
they interview you.
We've all been at the point where we're terrified to ask a question that
will take us out of the running for a position; it's a vulnerable place to
be. But not asking pointed questions may turn up red flags too, making it
look like you either don't know any better or don't have enough initiative
to ask for what you need to be successful.
A lot of the angst I've seen in workplace situations revolves around
socio-political situations. So some of the questions I might ask a
- What is the relationship between the library and the administration at
this institution? Does the administration recognize the importance of the
- Are there any projects you have wanted to complete that have failed due
to external forces? Please explain...
- What is your relationship to the president/provost/dean, and how does it
help/hinder your everyday work?
They'll appreciate your initiative -- be bold!
On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 5:40 PM, Laura Krier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> One of the pieces of advice I give to job seekers is to keep in mind that
> the interview is a two-way thing. It's not so much that you need to go in
> and prove that you deserve to work there, but that you should also be
> thinking about whether you WANT to work there. They have to win you over,
> too. I think reframing the situation mentally can be very helpful for job
> seekers because it puts you in a position where you are more confident, and
> on an equal footing.
> If you've been asked in for an interview, they've already determined that
> you're qualified. Now they want to find out if it'll be a good fit. And you
> want to know that, too! It's frustrating to get a new job and then realize
> that you don't actually want to work there or feel happy there. So in terms
> of thinking about questions for them, think about what you need to know to
> determine if you'll be happy working somewhere, if the culture is one you
> can thrive in.
> Just my 2 cents.
> On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 2:32 PM, Jimmy Ghaphery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > In responding I'm not raining on the idea of wiki, etc...
> > My perspective is from that of a hiring manager for technical positions.
> > Some of my current favorite soft questions:
> > 1. What was the last program you wrote and what did it do?
> > 2. What was the last thing you learned about programming?
> > 3. Tell us about a programming mistake you made, and how you corrected
> > 4. Have you ever worked on another person's code that you thought was any
> > good?
> > In general what I try to look for is not any specific "right" answer, but
> > an adventurous and open attitude embedded in answers:
> > Do they have some reason/calling for working in the education sector,
> > enthusiasm to providing information access?
> > Will they be able to learn next year's challenge?
> > How will they work with both technical and non-technical people?
> > Can they listen?
> > Do they have enough ego to be disruptive and move us forward?
> > Can they keep their ego in check to avoid disruption?
> > I also love hearing and thinking about candidates' questions. Are they
> > reeling off boilerplate stuff or is there some research behind them? Does
> > the question arise out of any of the conversation we've already had about
> > the position (demonstrated listening)?
> > So for me...while there is certainly a technical proficiency that needs
> > be there depending on the position, potential for growth and people
> > are often distinguishing characteristics.
> > All the best and good luck with the interview,
> > Jimmy
> > On Thu, May 8, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Samantha Winn <[log in to unmask]
> > >wrote:
> > > Although it is not specific to code-oriented positions, the Hiring
> > > Librarians blog maintains a very extensive spreadsheet of interview
> > > questions. You can access the spreadsheet on the Hiring Librarians
> > > homepage<http://hiringlibrarians.com/>or at the link below.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > <
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > --
> > Jimmy Ghaphery
> > Head, Digital Technologies
> > VCU Libraries
> > 804-827-3551
> Laura Krier