I have a job interview tomorrow. For a full time position at a library. This is a big deal. I am still in school working to get my MLS degree. Full time positions in libraries for people who don’t have the degree yet are almost impossible to find. So naturally, I am super nervous. Please send good vibes my way! I’m going to need them.
Job interviews are the worst. I always wonder if the people doing the interviewing are as miserable as the people being interviewed. It can’t be enjoyable for them either. And I also wonder if they realize that so much of what’s being thrown at them is bullshit. You’re not getting the true me during an interview. I’m way too nervous and eager to please to relax and show you what a totally awesome employee I can be. And I am an awesome employee. Ask anyone I’ve worked with. (Except the people at the Applebee’s where I worked for two weeks before quitting an hour before my shift over the phone. Those people probably hate my guts.)
I wouldn’t outright lie on an interview. (I’m way to scared to do that. All those CSI shows have made people really good at finding out the truth.) But when you ask me why I want the job, I’m not going to tell you the number one reason: I’m poor and can’t afford not to work. Interviews are basically just a game. Can I figure out what the interviewer wants to hear and say it coherently? And the interviewer needs to be able to see through the bullshit and decide what’s actually relevant to the job being offered.
Here’s how a real interview would go if I were being honest with the questions being asked:
Why are you leaving your current position? “Well here’s the thing, I’m not 100% sure if I’m leaving my current position yet. That depends on whether or not you are willing to pay me more than they do. If you are, then I’m leaving my current position cause my employers are cheap. If you aren’t willing to pay me more, then I’m not leaving my current position because you’re cheap.
“Why do you want to work for us? “I have spent the past week sending out 100 resumes a day. Out of those 500 resumes sent, three people contacted me back and you are the only ones who invited me in for an interview. Beggars can’t be choosy so I’ll work for anyone who’s willing to hire me.”
What’s your greatest weakness? “The first time I got drunk I was 16. It was at a friend’s house party. My friend Pamela and I bought a bottle of Georgi vodka to drink. Yea I’m talking about the vodka of choice for homeless people that you see advertisements for on the back of buses. So my friend and I buy this bottle, bring it to our friend’s house, and proceed to finish the entire thing. When I was in high school, I was lucky I weighed 100 pounds and I decided to spend my first real drinking experience on a half bottle of cheap vodka. As you can imagine, it did not end well. I remember leaving the kitchen while jumping on my friend’s back. The next minute, it was morning and I was lying on the floor, in pajamas, with throw up in my hair. I do not remember anything from that night. March of this year, I went to a wedding. It was on a Sunday so I drove my car to the wedding because I had orientation for a job early the next morning in the city and I didn’t want to get home late. I was all set to be extremely responsible. Well the reception started and all my friends were taking shots and I felt left out. The night ended with my friend driving my car and me puking at least three times in his bathroom. Naturally, I didn’t make it to the orientation the next morning. So what I’m trying to say is that my greatest weakness would be that after 13 years of drinking regularly I still do not have a full grasp on my limit. But I have recognized that vodka is just not for me and that I really shouldn’t mix drinks, so I’m learning.”
How well do you handle pressure and stressful situations? “I deal. I may have a few panic attacks along the way but if you provide me with some wine, and possibly some Klonopins, I should be OK.”
Where do you see yourself in five years? “Oh my God! Why would you ask that? I just told you I have panic attacks! Now I’m slowly doing math in my head and, hold on give me a second…in five years…I’ll be…34! Thanks for reminding me of that! Is the AC on in here? It’s really hot in here, no? Oh boy, five years. 34-years-old. I hope I’m married, or at least in a long-term committed relationship. Dear God, please don’t let that relationship be with a cat. Oh God, definitely not a cat. If it HAS to be a non-human companion, at least be a dog. Um, wow! Five years from now. I don’t know man. I like to live in the moment. Yea! That’s it. I’m a care free individual who lives in the moment and doesn’t worry about the future. I like to focus on the task at hand. How could I get any important deadlines finished if I’m worrying about the next five years? So, um, great question. What’s the next one?”
What is your desired salary? “You’re seriously asking me that? You do realize that’s a ridiculous question that all HR people should throw away forever, right? You’re not fooling me. I know you know how much you’re going to pay me. Now it’s just my job to state an amount that’s within that range. If I go too low, you’re either going to think I don’t value myself enough or you’re gonna pay me that instead of the original higher amount. If I go too high, you’re going to think I’m insane for actually thinking I’m worth that much and immediately tell me to get out of your office. But since you’re asking, my desired salary is one million dollars. Go big or go home!”
Do you have any questions for us? “Actually I do. How much does this job pay and how many vacation days do I get?”
Note to anyone who wants to complain about lazy, ungrateful young workers these days and/or future employers: This entire post is completely ridiculous, and terribly over-exaggerated. I am actually an extremely dedicated worker, with perfect written and oral communication skills, looking for a company where I can truly grow.
I loved this post – definitely find those answers relatable! Best of luck in your interview! If you don’t get it (which I’m sure you will), you’ll just have to make a career of blogging. 😉
Thanks! A career in blogging…that would be awesome!
I’m sure it’s every blogger’s dream aha :’)
I love this! Also, I think it’s total bullshit that you often don’t get to know about salary and vacation time until after you interview. Realistically, that’s what 95% of my decision will be based off of so it would save everyone a lot of time and interview awkwardness to know that upfront.
Or health insurance! When I switched jobs (because I got laid off) I got a raise but it was actually a DECREASE in take-home pay because my new employer has shit insurance.
I agree with all. I feel like all interviews should include information on salary and benefits. Thankfully, I’ve noticed that the last few job interviews I’ve gone on the company has gone over the salary and benefits during the interview.
This is perfect. It’s true – it’s all one big lie. I always say how organized I am, but they’ll never see my desk at home right?? Let’s hope not….
Haha, we really are just saying whatever we think they want to hear.
AHHHH!!! GOOD LUCK, HON!!!! You’re going to kill it!!!
On a side note, I love this post! Definitely have felt like saying all of the above during my many, many, MANY interviews that I have had thus far.
I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed for ya! 🙂
Thanks! The interview went well but I won’t be taking it even if it’s offered. It’s less money than what I make now and it’s farther away from home. I’d also probably have to drop a class or two because of the hours so it would make me graduate a semester later. It would have been good experience but it’s not worth it.
That’s great that the interview went well! But I completely understand. The first library job I was offered was when I was still in grad school. It was a full-time position at an elementary school and while it would have been great experience, there was no way I could have lived on the pay without taking on an extra part-time job (or lived while remaining relatively sane lol). I was disappointed for sure but the right one came along at the right time. And I am positive the same will happen for you! Keep doing your thang girl! xoxo
Uhh interviews suck and those are really awful questions. They should stop asking that weakness one altogether! It’s a trap!!!
‘Leaving your current position’ question – I usually go for something like, ‘I really enjoy my current job, it has taught me a lot, but I am keen for a new challenge and I feel that this position would offer me many new and interesting challenges’.
‘Why do you want to work for us’ – I usually Google the Library beforehand and look at their social media sites to get a feel for what they do with their customers and programs and draw on that. In my interview for this job I said I was interested in the organisation because I could see from their actions that they were very client focused and that is something that is very important to me. I sited the fact that they recently got rid of fines as a reason because it provided less roadblocks for use of the library and therefore encouraged continued use without the fear of being judged for being late returning items.
Questions for us – a lot of people say no or ask general questions about salary and a start date. I usually have a doozy organised for them, hopefully something that is a current issue in Libraries. My last interview I said – it has recently come to light that some journals previously thought to be scholarly are not as peer reviewed as we thought because they ask for payments for authors to be published. Do you have any skills programs that teach people like HSC students and other members of the public about how to look for authentic information on the internet? If not, is this an area of concern for you?
I have been told that the job I have now I was the only person interviewed that had a decent question, most had none. I think having a good and relevant question that is organisation specific and shows you have a good library knowledge makes you stand out. That is just me though 🙂 Another good one (that an interview panel loved) was that I knew the area was low income and that there was a fair digital divide going on so I said: Technology is an area that similar to Libraries is constantly evolving, there is always something new going on and many patrons see it as the responsibility of the Library to provide them information to gain skills in these new areas of technology. What do you feel the Library’s role is in teaching people how to use technology? – I made it more specific because I was very aware of the programs they had available, I talked more specifically about internet security for facebook and things like this. But apparently they loved this question.
Sorry to leave you an essay, but I have been for a lot of interviews over the years and if I can help in even the smallest measure I will 🙂
Best of luck, walk in there knowing you are perfect for the role and try to think of it as you are both interviewing each other to see if it is a good fit 🙂
Thanks so much for all the tips. The question thing really helps. I always force myself to ask some question but it’s usually about the position and trying to get more details about. Having a detailed question planned before the interview is a really good idea. I like that and will definitely try it for my next interview!
I’m glad I was able to help a bit. I didn’t used to plan my questions, but found that since I have I have felt better about my interviews. You always know that question is coming and you can try and use it to find out things about them. 🙂 sneaky sneaky hahaha
Yeah those questions are all bullshit. There’s no good answers to ANY of them and they have nothing to do with what type of employee you are. But whaddaya gonna do? Lie your ass off and tell them what they want to hear, of course!
Reblogged this on milanioliva/ olivera kovacevic jankovic.
Shhh!! Don’t tell them our secret!
I was once in a difficult situation in a job where I was asked to interview for another position because (what I found out through pressuring HR) my department was being downsized. They didn’t want to lose me, but apparently they couldn’t hand me a new job without interviewing. Anyway, the sitch was odd, so when I interviewed, I told them what was up. I knew the people interviewing me and knew they’d appreciate a real answer and not BS. I also told them I wanted to stay with the company and would work hard no matter what. I just didn’t want to sit there and invent the typical job answers when the whole scenario was really stressful and unique.
That is an interesting situation. I hope that being honest in the interview worked out and they gave you the job!
Hope it went well!
Thanks! The interview did go well but I wouldn’t take it even if they offered it to me. It’s less than what I make now. And it’s an hour and a half travel both ways. It’s not worth it.
Ah dislike 😦
Hahahaha love it. Especially the first one!
lol! I love, love, love it! Everything you said is literally what goes on in most people’s mind when they are being interviewed. Its such a ridiculous process, really. Just ask me about what my skills are and things that are related to the job! Let’s not get into my personal career goals JUST yet…I don’t know you to tell you what’s going on in my mind about where I’ll be in the next 5 years. Hell…I didn’t plan on being HERE in this room with YOU for THIS job. That’s for sure! lol. Great post!