So recently, many people I know (including myself) have been applying for jobs. Although it may be tempting as a new graduate to take any job that comes along (especially a permanent one), over the course of a couple of co-ops and student jobs, I began to realize that one of the most important aspects of a job is the work environment. This may seem obvious, but again, as a new graduate, most of us would be happy to even get an interview, let alone a hopes at a job.
Even as new graduates, I think we should have certain expectations and if something throws up a red flag, we should be careful. If something throws up two or three, remember to reconsider whether you would take the job.
Say you get an interview. Great, right? Well, yes… but then what if some worrisome things started popping up? If say it was a permanent position, I would expect a lot of libraries to fly someone in for a second stage in-person interview. If they’re not willing, you might look into why. Budget might be a reason in the current economic environment, but then you might also consider whether the job is worth paying hundreds of dollars for the interview.
How was the first interview? Did you get a good sense of how people were like? Did you like the way that they did it? Did you feel like you were wasting your time? If you get negative ‘vibe’, research more about the library, ask colleagues and friends if they know anything. Think about whether you would want to work there for a year, for five, for ten.
Prepare Your Own Questions
I think the easiest way to get a better feel is to ask your own questions at the end of the interview. Again, this sounds obvious, but some people do not seem to be willing to ask questions such as:
- How would you describe your management style?
- How would you describe the team dynamics?
- What do you like most about working for your organization?
- Is there anything that stands out as a benefit to working for your organization?
I’ve asked these questions before myself and have gotten some pretty good answers from some and some vague ones from others. Vague isn’t always bad since it depends who your interviewers are, but on a panel, there should be at least one person who can properly answer each question.