Interview I.Q.

11 Questions | Total Attempts: 47

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Interview Quizzes & Trivia

The following questions are asked of three imaginary high school seniors applying for the position of Library Page. See if you can identify the best response to each interview question. As you read, think about which response would sound the most impressive to you if you were on the interview panel, and why you’d be impressed with it.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Tell me about yourself.
    • A. 

      Well, I was born in Fullerton, California on April 6, 1996, but I grew up mostly here in Pasadena after my parents divorced in 2000. I have two younger sisters, a cat named Fluffy and a pet turtle named Speedy. My favorite food is lasagna and my favorite TV show is Dexter. Other than that, I don’t know--I’m not that special… I go to school, come home, and play a lot of video games. I like hanging out with my friends, but they all live kinda far. Mostly, I like having weekends to just sit around and do nothing. But my mom says I need to get out and do something “productive,” so that’s why I’m here.

    • B. 

      I’m on the roller derby team at my high school. We’re the only public high school to have a roller derby team, and I’ve been team captain all four years. I like staying in shape and I love the outdoors. I also like going to comedy clubs. I’m really funny and smart, and I’m usually the life of any party. I’m always cracking jokes. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: A guy walks into a bar…

    • C. 

      I’m a senior at Marshall High School. I’ve done very well there, making the Honor Roll every year, and I’ve been the president of two student clubs and vice-president of two others. I am passionate about learning and can’t wait to start college at UCLA Barbara this fall. I love the Pasadena Public Library, and I’ve been coming here for programs ever since I was a kid. Now that I’m older, I want to do something to give back to the community and gain work experience doing things to help the library continue to be a great place for kids like me.

  • 2. 
    What is your greatest strength?
    • A. 

      I’m a really good singer. Seriously, I was chosen for the top show choir at my school for four years in a row, and I got lots of solos. I can sight-sing any piece of music you hand me. I know that’s not something you’re looking for in a library page position… But maybe you could consider having me do a singalong with some kids at a storytime or something? That would be cool.

    • B. 

      Well, I happen to be great at team-building. I notice that you are looking for a team player, and one of my best qualities is being a reliable, friendly, and trustworthy team member. I also have a sense of how to motivate other people by making them feel included and appreciated. Whenever I have worked on projects in groups at school, we have always gotten the work done—and enjoyed ourselves doing it.

    • C. 

      I don’t like to brag, but I’m pretty smart. I get good grades. I’m even smarter than most of my teachers.

  • 3. 
    Where do you see yourself five years from now?  How does this position fit with your long-term career objectives?
    • A. 

      I never thought about it before now, but I could totally be a librarian. Maybe even a head librarian. I think you’ll see that I’m a quality employee worth promoting. I bet you I could even do your job.

    • B. 

      In five years, if I keep playing football in college, I think I’ll probably make it to the NFL. But if I’m not, well, I don’t know. I guess I could just keep working here.

    • C. 

      In five years, I hope to be already done with my B.A., or close to finishing. I’d like to be able to graduate college with a variety of different job experiences and internships behind me. My long-term goal is to become a teacher. I want to inspire kids to learn and dream. But I know that teaching is not all just dreams and inspiration; it’s also paperwork and organization. I think that the experience I will get at this job doing filing and keeping things in order will help me to build on my organizational skills and maybe make me a better teacher someday.

  • 4. 
    What is your greatest weakness?
    • A. 

      I used to be really bad at math. I almost flunked Algebra. But I just recently started this amazing online course that makes math really fun, and things are starting to make sense! I think I’m getting better at it now. I may not be good at everything, but at least I’m always learning!

    • B. 

      I’m terrible about being on time. I would probably never make it to school on time if it wasn’t for my mom making my lunch for me.

    • C. 

      I have no weaknesses. I really am good at everything.

  • 5. 
    Why should I hire you?
    • A. 

      I don’t know why I’m better than anybody else. I mean, I don’t know the other people you’ve interviewed so far. But I really want this job. And I can show up on time and do the work. So why not give me a shot?

    • B. 

      You should hire me because I’m detail-oriented, motivated and passionate about libraries. I have also demonstrated, in every school project or club I’ve been a part of, that I’m a team player, willing to lend a hand and go above and beyond whenever needed. I guarantee you that I will not only get the work done, but I will also be someone that you can count on for any extra project you want to throw at me.

    • C. 

      Well, you are looking to fill a position here, aren’t you?

  • 6. 
    Why are you applying for this position?
    • A. 

      Because it’s quiet here, and nice, and I hear you guys have perks. Like, is it true that staff members get a special card that never gets charged overdue fees? Sweet.

    • B. 

      Because I’m really tired of working at fast food places. It’s always hot in the kitchen and the customers are always grouchy. If I never see another French fry as long as I live, that’s fine with me!

    • C. 

      Because I love libraries, and I think my passion for libraries would make me a real asset. I like the idea of being part of an organization that’s about providing free information to people. I like the idea that I could do something to help students like me.

  • 7. 
    Would you rather work with others or alone?  
    • A. 

      I’m pretty adaptable either way. I always hold myself accountable for getting the work done, whether I’m working on my own or in a group. And I’m also fine with being a leader or a follower, because every person’s contribution is important, no matter what.

    • B. 

      I don’t mind working on teams, but only if I can be the leader. I’ve had to work under some really bad leaders before and they obviously didn’t know what they were doing.

    • C. 

      I generally prefer not to have to work with people. And I figure I shouldn’t have to work with people too much in a library job where it’s always quiet—am I right?

  • 8. 
    What do you know about the position of Library Page?
    • A. 

      I don’t know much about it. I was hoping you would tell me.

    • B. 

      I know that library pages shelve the books and help to keep the library’s day-to-day needs taken care of so that customers can find what they’re looking for and library staff can do their jobs smoothly. I know that you need to know how the Dewey Decimal system works, and I do. I’m certain I can quickly learn anything else I need to know to do the job well.

    • C. 

      Library pages read to little kids, right? No? Why not? You have to have a master’s degree to read books or something?

  • 9. 
    What is the toughest problem you’ve ever faced in a project?
    • A. 

      I can’t remember any problems… There’s never been anything I couldn’t handle.

    • B. 

      One time I was working in a group project for my economics class, where the guy who was supposed to write up our budget didn’t pull his weight. He had broken up with his girlfriend or something. Well, I wasn’t gonna do everything for him. I had too much to do already. And the teacher was such a jerk about it, he gave our whole group a D. That was so unfair.

    • C. 

      Once, my classmates and I were working on a huge project for our digital animation class, and the girl who was supposed to finish creating the backgrounds and filling in the scenery got sick and didn’t show up to school for a week. The project was coming due and we were in danger of not making it. So I got my teammates together after school one day and we talked it over and divided up the rest of her work amongst ourselves so that we could get it done. I had to stay up late doing my part. But it got done, thanks to my hard work and the hard work of my awesome teammates.

  • 10. 
    What kind of experience do you have that makes you the right candidate for this job?
    • A. 

      I worked as a volunteer at the library once, and I helped with cleaning hardcover books and shelving paperbacks. I learned how important it is that books are nice and neat on the shelf so people can find them. That’s my only library experience, but I have a lot of experience with other things, such as: adhering to schedules, keeping project deadlines, working in teams and communicating with peers and supervisors, all through the experiences I have had in school. I was the president of my high school’s French Club, and we planned several cheese parties throughout the 2014-2015 school year. I had to work with the other officers of the club and the French teacher to make sure that the parties had all the food we needed, the decorations, the space, the invitations, and the publicity. I also got great experience delegating responsibilities to my fellow officers. I know all of these activities prepared me to work on a team and get projects done, to be responsible and report on time and stick to a schedule.

    • B. 

      Honestly, not a lot of experience. I just graduated high school, you know. This will be my first job, if I get it. But sometimes you need somebody who’s willing to learn. Not like older people, who get really set in their ways and won’t do anything you ask them.

    • C. 

      Oh I have tons of experience! I used to be a volunteer here. I know all about books. I read all the time. I'm even writing a book, you know. It's about my life as a high school student. It's gonna be a bestseller.

  • 11. 
    Do you have any questions for us?
    • A. 

      I’m really interested in knowing more about the special projects that you mentioned pages sometimes do at the library. Do pages ever help the librarians with preparing materials for their craft programs? I’m a very crafty person, myself, and since I want to be a teacher someday, I would love any opportunity to help the librarians’ programs run smoothly.

    • B. 

      I do have a question, actually… But it’s not for me. It’s for a friend. See, I had a friend who got kicked out of the library once because she wouldn’t move her bike and she got into it with the security guard. Kinda stupid, I know. But anyway, my friend wanted to know how long a library ban usually lasts. The incident happened six months ago. Is she okay to check out books again? I’m sorry for asking this; I just promised her I would ask since she heard I was coming here for an interview anyway.

    • C. 

      I know I got the job, so my only questions are: When do I start and how much do I get paid?

  • 12. 
    Keep in mind that when you are answering questions in an employment interview: ·        Questions about “you” are not just about you—they’re about WHY YOU’RE A GOOD FIT FOR THE JOB. ·        Always address the characteristics of the job you’re applying for, and why you’re the best candidate. ·        Do your homework!  At least know SOMETHING about the job you’re applying for before you apply. ·        Talk up your strengths!  And don’t assume you have no experience because you’re young.  You have more experience than you may think.  An interview is NEVER the time to sell yourself short. ·        But don’t be arrogant—any sign of a tendency to think you are smarter or better than everyone else will send your prospective employer running for the hills… Or for the nearest candidate who might be more willing to take direction and follow instructions! ·        When asked about your weaknesses, try to turn a weakness into a strength.  If there was something that came difficult to you at first, show how you overcame that and balanced it out with a compensating strength, like a willingness to take classes and learn. ·        Show that you can be a “people person.”  There are very few jobs you will ever apply for that will not require some skill working with people.  No matter what, you will always have to work under someone, with someone, for someone.  And even if you don’t consider yourself a “people person,” at least try to project yourself as a “team player,” meaning that you can work with others when necessary and you are willing to do what it takes to help the team. ·        Never put down previous classmates, teachers, bosses or coworkers.  Instead, be complimentary toward the people you have worked with before, and if you can’t do that, try to give them the benefit of the doubt.  You’ll come across as a more likable person that way.  Remember: your interviewer is testing you out to see if she would enjoy working with you!  You don’t want to give her the impression that you are a trash talker.  ·        Be nice, always smile, but don’t be too familiar or friendly.  Discussing things that are too personal will only distract the employer from his goal of finding out what your potential qualities are, and he will have a more difficult time building an objective opinion of you. ·        Be enthusiastic about the job!  Your first few jobs out of high school may not be your dream job, and that’s okay, but employers always like a candidate who at least sounds interested and excited to come to work. ·        Always have a question to ask them at the end!  If you have no questions at all you’ll look like you’re not that interested.  Just don’t ask anything about salary or hours unless they ask you.  And it’s okay to say you’re not comfortable answering any questions about salary. ·        Always leave plenty of time to find the interviewing place—since you have not worked there before, you may get lost and you don’t want to be late! ·        Show up dressed to impress!  A good rule of thumb is to dress conservatively, such as you would if you were visiting your grandma.  Better yet, ask a parent or grandparent for help buying your interview outfit!  They may be willing to splurge a little on something nice to help you make a good impression.   Good luck!!