Lasting Final Impression – Ask Those Questions

by Shayna Monnens, Head Editor, INALJ South Dakota

Lasting Final Impression – Ask Those Questions

shaynam1I came across this very interesting article the other day by, and I was so blown away by the content that I had to share. You may have already seen this article. I know that I have seen it shared by a fellow librarian on Facebook, and it was sent to my work email as a library link of the day. The article, written by Kelly Gregorio and posted on February 27, is titled 6 Questions to Ask During Your Interview That Will Make an Employer Want to Hire You.”

The contents of the article are pretty straight-forward, providing the reader with some great insight into some sensible and intelligent questions that SHOULD be asked during a job interview. What I found the most disconcerting is that during my interviewing process for different positions, it never occurred to me to actually ask questions like these. How did I even get hired? These are brilliant!

The author of the article presents the six questions, and then gives their thoughts on why asking these questions is so important. Here is a list of the six questions:

1. If I were to start tomorrow, what would be the top priority on my to-do list?

2. What would you say are the top two personality traits someone needs to do this job well?

3. What improvements or changes do you hope the new candidate will bring to this position?

4. I know this company prides itself on X and Y, so what would you say is the most important aspect of your culture?

5. Do you like working here?

6. Is there anything that stands out to you that makes you think I might not be the right fit for this job?                                                                                    

  -Kelly Gregorio Brazen Careerist 2/27/13
It can be a fairly simple process to blow an interview. One doesn’t have to try very hard to watch what they have worked so hard for and prepared for blow up in their face. It’s really a crucial moment when the interview panel or committee finishes up with their questions and then proceeds to ask you if you have any questions. In past experience, I have had that moment when your mind goes blank and you watch it all crumble around you. The last 30 to 45 minute interview just went out the window because I said the dreaded “Uhh” and the lovely “deer in the headlights” look appeared on my face. The final nail in the coffin is when I decline, saying that I have no questions. Poof! Gone. I am now just some random face that they may vaguely remember when they are making their decision.

Painful experience has taught me that those last 10 minutes of the interview are just as important as the first 2. It’s important to give them a great first impression, but it’s just as crucial, if not more so, to leave them with a stellar lasting one as well. Looking at the questions presented by Brazen Life in the article, I am really drawn to questions 1 and 3. Not only do these show that you are actively interested in the position, but you are invested in knowing the future of the position and how you can play a key role in it. I also have a great deal of respect for number 6. As the author states, it’s a chance to redeem yourself in the interviewers’ eyes, and to address any concerns that they may have about you. You have the opportunity to defend yourself in those last few minutes and reveal a different side of yourself.

Props to those who have the courage to ask number 5; I don’t think that I could. I would feel intrusive asking such a personal question, especially when I am trying to present myself in the very best of light to the interviewer. Who knows though, that honest curiosity might be one of the qualities that they are looking for in a candidate.

There are thousands of articles/blogs/tips on interviews out there, and it can be easy to lose yourself in the contradictions of what you should do and shouldn’t do. The reason I decided to share this one is simple: I hadn’t seen anything like this when I was researching interview tips, and it would have been phenomenal if I had. I think this article contains some extremely valuable information, and that the questions presented are something that you should consider including in future interviews.

Many happy thoughts on your future interviews!


Go check out the full article:


Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.