A commenter on yesterday's post related a story about a job interview that sent up so many red flags that the person withdrew from consideration on the spot. It sounded like a terrible place, but it set me to wondering what sorts of red flags people might see in a job interview and what questions they might ask to elicit evasive responses from interviewers desperate to bring anyone in to their awful library.
Of course if you know about the library, you could ask questions like, "Are you planning to further demote any librarians?" or "If I start at this salary, will my salary be going up over the years, or down?"
I've been on interviews where I've wanted to ask whether things were always this dusty or when they were planning to replace the lights or why was everyone I met during the interview so surly, but I didn't, and look at me now. I heard about an interview once where the interviewee at some point decided she didn't want the job and just started swearing like a sailor at every meeting after lunch.
Those questions and that behavior are so direct and aggressive, though, and designed to make the interviewers not like you. It seems like a bad idea to be aggressive and hostile to interviewers, even if they're trying to trick you into coming there. One never knows what the situation will be ten years down the line.
But I put the question to you. What sort of problematic signals should librarians, especially perhaps new librarians, be looking for on job interviews, and what sort of polite questions should they ask to find out what problems they will be facing?