Several friends and acquaintances have recently asked what they should ask in an interview when the search committee or director inevitably asks “Do you have any questions for us?” (Hint: You should always have questions for us.)
If you’re looking for a really good job that’s a great fit for your skills and goals and interests (as opposed to just looking for a job, any job, one with a salary and benefits, really, any job will do), the interview is crucial to knowing whether or not you’re going to fit in there. And asking questions is one way to bust through the veneer of polish that we all put on for interview days. Seriously: you’ll never see more ties and jackets and heels than on days when we have a candidate coming. We’re all on Best Behavior, because we know we’re selling ourselves as much as you’re selling yourself. And you want to know more than our Best Behavior if you want to know if we’re a good fit for you.
So test us on that. Find out if we’re a good fit.
Here are a dozen questions that I a) enjoy asking, b) enjoy answering, and c) think can reveal something about the institution and the staff of a library. My brief commentary on why I would ask or what I suspect you might learn follows each question.
Jenica Rogers provides some insight into an important part of the librarian job interview.