Asking questions is an essential part of the interview. You are interviewing them as well as them you. But, never ask questions that can be easily answered by browsing their website or common reference works. That just makes you look either lazy or not interested enough to take a few minutes to investigate the situation. This seems silly to say, but it does happen.
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Lunar and Planetary Institute
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of scott bacon
Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2014 6:13 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Job Interview : A Libcoder's Helpful Advices
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 potential employer:
- What is the relationship between the library and the administration at this institution? Does the administration recognize the importance of the library?
- 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!