Do You Like to File?

Quality Interviewing coverQuality Interviewing
3rd ed., 1994

Mary loves to tell the story about the time I, along with another person, interviewed her for her first Library Clerk position. It was somewhere around the year 1998 or 1999. We all hit it off really well and pretty much cracked up through the entire interview. The library had an old list of interview questions that I think had been asked since the beginning of time. One of the questions was “Do you like to file?” Without missing a beat, Mary said something like, “Does anyone really like to file?” Of course, she followed it up with something about how she would do whatever the job required and do it well, but I thought that was a perfect, honest answer. (Yes, Mary, people do like to file. I, for one, love to file.)

So. This book. It’s not entirely awful, but as usual it is very outdated. It does not prompt interview-givers to ask anything about technology skills (though typing words-per-minute seems crucial). It is just not very indicative of modern interviewing or hiring practices. It does have some reasonable advice and good worksheets (which surprisingly enough were not written on in this copy!).

I also take issue with the second image (below) where applicants (plural) is written as applicant’s (possessive). No, no, no!!


P.S. Mary wrote a great post on stupid interview questions over at Library Lost and Found. Check it out!

Quality interviewing back cover

Gathering data from applicants

Using probes in interviewing


  1. Probes? I think this must be one of those alien abduction interviews! It certainly is from the right time period. The theory seems okay, but really! Vibrations?? The ‘in’ group? And the highly professional “un-huh”. . . Please weed!

  2. That font! What is that font called? I cannot handle those horrid quotation marks.

  3. I have a friend who applied for a position as a French translator (back when French was the language of government sharing) at the FBI. When they found she could type, they put her in the typing pool. Even to this day, I wonder what in her interview made them think she was applying for job as a typist?

  4. …if you hadn’t pointed the apostrophe out, I wouldn’t have felt such dread at reading further. Oh, woe to a final copy with that sort of punctuation. Terrible…

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