Top Interview Questions...What Would You Ask?

ALA Director for Membership Development John Chrastka is preparing a search for a new Director of the Berwyn (IL) Public Library. He posed the following question to facebook users: "What is your best interview question for potential new library directors?" Responses were unusually creative and even entertaining...

Jaime Corris Hammond - One of your librarians has stolen one of your other librarians' pie. What do you do?

Rose Mungovan Hoffman - Why do you think YOU are the *best* candidate for the job?

Eric Odeen - A plane full of librarians crashes on the US-Canada border. Where do they bury the survivors?

Nick Buron - Putting aside how staff is allocated now, what is the best way to allocate your staff to serve the public.

John Amundsen - What is your favorite Replacements song? If they reply, "Bastards of Young," hire him or her immediately, on the spot.

Lori Reed - How do you balance the need for competing priorities in this economy where library budgets are being slashed?
and - Do you think it is beneficial for a director to work the circulation desk?

Daniel Kraus - "What kind of puppy are you going to give me?"

Janet Swan Hill - How soon can we put a masseuse on staff?

Liz Danforth - "Express your views on the comparative role of paraprofessionals and professionals."

Bruce Alan Wilson - How are you going to explain to the mayor and city council (or the county commission, or whatever body funds the library) why the library needs more money in these tough economic times?

Carrie Gardner - why is the sky blue?

Nanette Perez - what would you do for a klondike bar?

Necia Parker-Gibson - well, you've got a cannibal, a goat and an anteater on one side of the river....

Kerry Ward - Will you place your hand on the Library Bill of Rights and pledge undying allegiance to the ALA Membership Director?

Jeff Croke - How fast can you replace the Dewey decimal system with a system that actually makes sense to the average library user?

Doug Dawson - A bookmobile leaves the Harold Washington branch of the Chicago Public Library at 9:17 AM on its way to Berwyn with ILL materials. How long before it is stuck at a dead stop in a traffic jam on the Eisenhower?

Elisa F. Topper - You have been kidnapped by aliens and are being taken to another planet--what 2 items would you take with you? (Real question from another director) and - Also another question (I was once asked in an interivew)--what was the last movie that you saw? (Can also be book read). Hesitated to answer--The 40 Yr Old Virgin! (movie)

John Chrastka - personal favorite from my interview here at ALA was: how comfortable would you be working with so many women?

Jenny Reiswig - No way, someone asked you that? I hope you answered "well I can only comfortably hold two in my lap at one time."


Tina G Johnson - IF should be the case, . . . would you work during your lunch? :) LOL

Anne Heidemann - What's the best piece of criticism you've ever received and how has it helped you? What's the most important thing you've learned in the last six months?

If you are interested, or know a good candidate for a happening suburban Chicago departmental library, send that CV this way. The search is in progress through June 15.


I'm glad someone compiled all these questions as they disappear from Facebook so fast. Thanks for sharing!

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