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Interview Questions & Answers


[Please note: I think this is a first draft of my application to work in a bookstore, or at least I’m willing to make it one]

Please answer the following questions. Feel free to elaborate when applicable.

What experience do you have in customer service?

During my freshman year of college, I worked the register in the university cafe. I also served customers coffee, soup, falafel pita sandwiches, and deep-dish pizza.

Do you have experience supervising others? If yes, describe.


What did you like best about the jobs you’ve had in the past? What did you especially dislike?

LIKE – Keeping things organized, feeling industrious, talking pleasantly with customers, smiling, knowing at night I’d be happy going to work in the morning.

DISLIKE – Not enough books and talk of books and writing at any of these jobs, except for my freshman year in that coffee shop. Cobb and Weiss, I’ll never forget you.

What are your strongest qualities? What are your weak points?

STRONG QUALITIES – Attentive, patient listening, industrious, sometimes insightful, grateful for everything.

WEAK POINTS – I’m a verbal processor, so sometimes I contribute ideas that seem to come out of nowhere. Some are small gems, most are not.

What praise have you received from former employers? What criticism have you received?

PRAISE – “Good job!” “Thank you!” “I’m going to bump your cut up to 50%” “I can always depend on you.”

CRITICISM – “And here I am, a college dropout.”

Describe your work habits.

I arrive promptly, ready to work, often with a smile. I usually have a list of priorities that I try to go through in order, but sometimes I have to immediately attend to things as they come.

What types of books and music do you enjoy?

I enjoy any fiction, but I’ve started reviewing small press books, and I like them a lot for their relevance. The last 4 books I’ve read are: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith); In this alone impulse, (Shya Scanlon), Richard Yates (Tao Lin), The Ask (Sam Lipsyte). The next 3 on my list look like they’re going to be Ever (Blake Butler), Forecast (Shya Scanlon), Diary Of An Innocent (Tony Duvert).

Music grows in all directions. I like Bob Dylan, reggae, and vallenato, which comes from the coast of Colombia. However, I can’t fluently dance to any of this. I do try, though.

Why do you want to work in a bookstore?

I want to work in a bookstore because I enjoy books and everything related to books. I want to be surrounded with books and help people navigate aisles. I want to talk pleasantly about opinions on specific books and writers. I want to make friends with people who also work in a bookstore. I want to write stories alongside them. Yes, I’m assuming some of them like to write stories.

Do you have any scheduling conflicts or time restrictions?


September 30, 2010 1:47 pm

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