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Archivist Interview

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
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How to Answer
Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks in the workplace.
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Top 25 Archivist Interview Questions with Full Content
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with setbacks in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Setbacks can be trying, but I find that you have to learn how to lose before you learn how to win. While I never enjoy a setback, I use them as a stepping off point to something even better."
What about being an archivist excites you, and what originally attracted you to this career?
The interviewer would like to know that you are interested in this position as a long-term career opportunity. Tell the interviewer what excites you about this job and why you decided to pursue this career. Demonstrate your passion for the field and enthusiasm for this opportunity.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I came into this career path while working on my Bachelor's Degree in American History. I was not interested in pursuing a role in the education industry, and so I decided to explore other career paths that suited my educational background. I am passionate about history and the discovery of new documents and artifacts that can open our eyes to periods of history. For that reason, I knew that a career as an archivist would be a great fit for me."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I was meeting with my academic advisor last year, during my final year of university. After some career discovery exercises, it was apparent that I had a strong penchant for history, artifacts, and education. I decided to complete my internship at our local museum so that I could learn more about the industry and career path. I loved every day of it and am confident in my pursuit of this industry."
How well are you able to write descriptions on records? Do you enjoy doing this, and if so why?
Tell the interviewer about your writing skills by providing an example of your writing experience. If possible, bring a particular sample with you to the interview.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I pride myself on my excellent writing skills and was fortunate to use the skills in my last position of archivist when working for the Society of American Archivists. I enjoyed this task because I love writing and providing clear descriptions of artifacts and records that the world will have access to for generations to come."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Although I do not have direct experience writing for archives and samples, I do have a great deal of writing experience from my projects and papers in university. This is a skill I would be happy to learn."
Have you progressed in your career as you have expected?
Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Talk to the interviewer about your career progression and what you would like to see in the future.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Overall, my career has progressed a touch slower than I would have liked. I have held a couple of positions that didn't offer the growth and learning that I was expecting; however, I have bounced back nicely. I feel that this particular position would take my career exactly where it should be."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am pleased with the progress of my career. I am proud of my accomplishments and the path my career has taken so far."
Tell me about your organizational skills in a work environment.
As an archivist, you must be organized with your work at all times. Talk to the interviewer about your organizational skills in a work environment by providing an example of your capabilities.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe excellent organizational skills are essential to perform the duties of an archivist successfully. If I have to archive numerous documents in a short period, I prioritize in order of their respective deadlines. I will use lists to keep track of upcoming duties and a calendar to keep track of deadlines. Regarding the records, I will ensure to keep different records in their respective places to facilitate the organizational process."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I understand that organization is a high priority in this industry. While obtaining my bachelor's degree in library science, we learned a great deal about the importance of a well-organized project. Do you use any particular software to keep your projects organized here? I was trained on LOCKSS and am confident that I will be able to learn any software programs quickly."
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