Get rid of stupid trick questions

hunting in the cascadesThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in academic, archives, library vendors/service providers, public, school, and special libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

Uncivil work environment
Not assigned challenging work
Administration not supportive of advancement

Where do you look for open positions?

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

30 minutes-2 hours

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: all are good ways

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Being able to present

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Look at experience
Desire to keep learning while on the job
Customer service/people-oriented personalities are a must

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Get rid of stupid trick questions like:
What is your greatest weakness or strengths?

Focus more on past experiences and allow the interviewee to explain in the best details certain projects he or she was involved in and enjoyed.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Patience, determination to keep applying. Networking. Telling as many people possible that you are looking for job and the finer details you look for.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?


Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey!

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

1 Comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Urban area

One response to “Get rid of stupid trick questions

  1. As a hiring manager, I will tell you that the question about your strengths and weaknesses is NOT a trick question. I want to know if you have the slightest amount of self-awareness, if the job you’re interviewing for is in line with the things you think you’re good at, and (if you get to that point) if your references agree with your assessment of both your strengths or weaknesses.


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