The Right Questions for Interviews?

Hey all – just an FYI. A recent “Office Hours” column at Library Journal may be of interest.  It’s all about the questions we ask in interviews. Also see the response from SJSU School of Info grad Jessica Gilbert Redman. 

Please consider the following as part of your potential discovery sets for future interviews.

How do you keep learning? Describe your personal learning network (PLN). 

This gets to the heart of what I think makes a great librarian. The nuances of this answer could be telling. Unpack it a bit, too: What blogs do you read? Where do you look for answers about professional issues? Sure, the pages of LJ are an excellent start, but I would argue that a well-rounded future hire would be active and comfortable with a cultivated and well-curated PLN, both online and off. Describing it should be easy. I would want to hear about formal professional groups as well as informal ones. What benefits has your interviewee discovered in these networks?

What are some of your favorite books/TV shows/movies/podcasts? 

I think this can be very telling. Interest in “Cozy Detective Stories” or Stranger Things or the best of the best from the local film festival will come along for the job. I wouldn’t want it any other way. No one should ever be expected to be an expert on everything—that’s what readers’ advisory tools are for.

4 thoughts on “The Right Questions for Interviews?

  1. Profile photo of DanielleDanielle

    This couldn’t be more timely, as I have an important interview tomorrow. Not for a library job, for a P-T position teaching technical writing. But I am immersing myself in stuff about interviewing, so this was very welcome! I must say I have never been asked interesting questions like the ones you pose, perhaps that’s why I’m changing careers – I haven’t found the right job yet. I would very much hope to get some more creative and probing questions in future interviews (for library jobs)!

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