Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sway podcast

I have put Sway on my list because of the chapter about interviewing, and because I am also reading Predictably Irrational, and I think people who are prepping for interviews should listen to this part on the podcast about interviews.


The type of interview questions they are talking about are simulations. The idea is that you give the candidate a defined task or a problem to accomplish, correctly, in a set amount of time. Make the column in this spreadsheet add up. Catalog this webpage. Roleplay a reference encounter. Deliver a presentation. These are all examples of simulation questions in a librarian interview, and you should be prepared for them.

You should also be prepared for the ways that interviewers mess them up. The interviewers may not have prepared a scoring guide so they can compare the skills of all of the candidates equally. You may not be perfect, but you should appear trainable--a 2 out of 5 on a difficult simulation with great references is better than a 4 out of 5 with an I would never hire them again reference (some people just give good interview). They may not have tested the question, just taken it from a book, and they are not prepared for the broad range of responses--ones the book didn't tell them to expect. The interviewers also don't realize that if a simulation doesn't have a scale, it needs to have a solution or a goal. Or a mix of both.

If you have claimed to be able to do something--use a program, write or speak another language--you should be prepared for a simulation question to appear on the interview script.

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