Brash Jobs: Preparing The Interview (Part 3)

Hey Friends!

For those of you on the mailing list, my system went super crazy and sent out an earlier, unfinished draft of this week’s post the other day. Disregard that one! 

Brash Jobs is back this week with the next step of the job-hunting process. You know what I’m talking about: the dreaded interview. This is where everything is make or break and you have to be on your tip-top game to get the job. The tension! The pressure!

How it might look:

Portrait Of Female Woman Sitting At Interview

How it might feel:

shark attack

Relevant AND slightly comical!

Never fear! This is just the next step in your training montage to get the job you want.

*Cue Eye of the Tiger*

Forbes and Glassdoor have both written about the top 50 most asked interview questions, presented below. Be ready for any of these at the interview:

  1. What are your strengths?
  2. What are your weaknesses?
  3. Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
  5. Why do you want to leave your current company?
  6. Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
  7. What can you offer us that someone else can not?
  8. What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
  9. Are you willing to relocate?
  10. Are you willing to travel?
  11. Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  12. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
  13. What is your dream job?
  14. How did you hear about this position?
  15. What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
  16. Discuss your resume.
  17. Discuss your educational background.
  18. Describe yourself.
  19. Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
  20. Why should we hire you?
  21. Why are you looking for a new job?
  22. Would you work holidays/weekends?
  23. How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
  24. What are your salary requirements?
  25. Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
  26. Who are our competitors?
  27. What was your biggest failure?
  28. What motivates you?
  29. What’s your availability?
  30. Who’s your mentor?
  31. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
  32. How do you handle pressure?
  33. What is the name of our CEO?
  34. What are your career goals?
  35. What gets you up in the morning?
  36. What would your direct reports say about you?
  37. What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
  38. If I called your boss right now and asked them what is an area that you could improve on, what would they say?
  39. Are you a leader or a follower?
  40. What was the last book you’ve read for fun?
  41. What are your co-worker pet peeves?
  42. What are your hobbies?
  43. What is your favorite website?
  44. What makes you uncomfortable?
  45. What are some of your leadership experiences?
  46. How would you fire someone?
  47. What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
  48. Would you work 40+ hours a week?
  49. What questions haven’t I asked you?
  50. What questions do you have for me?

Think you’ve got these covered? Then I’ll leave you to try out the top 25 oddball questions! Think you’re about to panic? Forbes also has tips and tricks to ace the top ten questions!

I will leave most of these questions to you guys to answer for yourselves, but I’ll address specific ones you have a question – just post in the comments below or ask me on Facebook or Twitter! For help with questions 7, 14, 20, and 26, you can read my last post on prepping for the interview. Don’t forget my Instagram is pretty rad, too.

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian


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Amazon Prime Day: The Internet’s Biggest Disappointment

Hey Friends!

If you read last week’s post about Amazon’s 20th anniversary (called “Prime Day”), then you were probably hopeful and waiting like everyone else on the internet! Promised to be bigger than Black Friday, Prime Day was anything but that.

“Aw come on, Justin. It wasn’t THAT bad.”

Let’s take to Twitter!

Jeff Bezos had a bad case of “over promise, under deliver”. My brother told me days ago that “Bezos always delivers”. Better start eating those words, Alex.

I have some recommendations, Amazon.

Why do I care about this? Because I’m a librarian. I’m a seeker of information. I seek good prices for my hard-earned money, as should you be, too. Paying retail is for chumps. Stay tuned to the end and I’ll give you an additional tool to finding those good prices.

Let us know what’s going on

I get it, Amazon, you wanted to keep Prime Day items a big mystery. However, I should at least have the option flag a particular product and get an alert when it goes on sale during Prime Day. You guys already notify me when packages ship, get delivered, and when a wait-listed item is available…why not give us what we really want?

The popular app If This Then That (IFTTT) lets me know when prices change for items that I want at places like Best Buy, and that app is FREE. For $99/year, you can do better that that. This would be especially useful when new flash deals got unveiled throughout the day. Because, you know, no one wants to refresh their page every 10 minutes to see if anything new has come up.

Space deals out better

This was Prime Day, not the new Nintendo, iPhone or Apple Watch. Amazon made a whopping mistake in front-loading some of its best items at midnight PST. At 1, 2, and 3am for the rest of the USA is not when I want to be hunting for deals. When I checked at 2am, most of the items were so-so. A few hours later when I woke up for work, two of its major TV deals and hot items like the Amazon Echo were already gone.

It made zero sense to debut all the A-listers in the middle of the night, especially when the sale is just for Prime subscribers (and lasts all day). That lead to extreme disappointment for users who were either not in the know or felt on the fence about buying a product. Space the deals out and let the average person with a life have a chance of getting stuff.

Make it easy to find what I actually want

This part made me more frustrated than anything.

Amazon prime

Seriously, you’re going to force me to navigate through stuff I don’t want?

I am restricted to seeing five random on-sale items at a time, and this is PAGE 1 OF 262?!

“But look! You can narrow it down by department!”

Great! Let’s look in electronics…96 PAGES.

Offer recommendations

That horrible interface could’ve been way easier if Amazon used its current arsenal, like using my order and browsing history to suggest items I’d be interested in.  Amazon already recommends items I might like or ones based on items I’ve viewed/bought, so why not show a similar algorithm on Prime Day?

Nobody deserves to slog through 260 pages of beard trimmers, work boots, krill oil, DVDs, bras, stereos and vitamins to get to the things they want.However, being forced to look at items I had no interest in buying did get me to buy a few things I wasn’t expecting. A chef’s hat for $3.49? Well, one of our part time kids just got accepted into a cooking school…you win that round, Amazon.

Be honest

The reason that Amazon Prime subscribers stay subscribers is because they like being treated well by Amazon; We like feeling important. I thought Amazon would treat its Prime members well on Prime Day, but it was really a warehouse-cleaning garage sale with the hopes of grabbing new Prime members who signed up for the 30 day trial and forget to cancel.


If you stay tuned to the end, then congrats! If you’ve never heard of Camel camel camel, then this may become your new best friend. CCC can compare and track prices for you on Amazon items, and can even notify you when the price changes. FREE!

If you’ve already heard of CCC, then I’ve really got nothing for you. Here’s a cute puppy!



That’s all for this week, I hope you got a few good Prime deals!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian



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Amazon Prime Day Is Coming…Are You Ready?

Hey Friends!

This week is a bit more a social experiment, and I’d like your input. As some of you may have heard, Amazon is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary next week on July 15th and announced it would have “Prime Day“. Starting at midnight and running 24 hours, Amazon will be offering seven main specials throughout the day and lightning deals on clothing, electronics, movies, and more as often as every ten minutes! However, Prime Day is only open to Amazon Prime members.

prime day

“But Justin, I’m not a Prime member!”

Okay, go sign up for a Prime account! Sign up for a free 30-day trial and get access. BOOM.

While this sounds very exciting, I’m not sure how I feel about Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos claiming that Prime Day will be “bigger than Black Friday” or Alibaba’s Singles Day. I mean, that’s a bold statement, Bezos. This better be some incredible stuff you’ve got…If it just turns out to be last year’s Blu-Rays, cameras, GPS gadgets, and tablets, I’m gonna be mad.

After a little sniffing around, it seems I’m not the only skeptic. Time magazine is fairly convinced that Amazon is after two things:

  1. Getting more people to become Prime members, whether they forget to cancel their 30-day trials or get addicted to the free two-day shipping
  2. Crushing their potential competitor, which rolls out later this year.Jet is still in beta testing, but should launch publicly later this year. Jet’s model is a yearly fee ($50) with an incentive-based price scale; items would be 5%-6% lower than anywhere online and even lower if members agree to certain terms – giving their email address, using their debit card, promising not to return an item, etc. Personally, I think the idea is awesome.

For this week, I want to hear from YOU:

Will you be engaging in Prime Day? What are you hoping to get? What kind of prices are you expecting? Do you think it’s going to be bigger than Black Friday? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Next week, we’ll discuss how Prime Day went!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian (and Prime Day shopper)




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Happy Fourth of July!!!

Hey Friends!

Happy Independence Day to all my American librarians! For all my international librarians, Happy Saturday!

(Except maybe England, who probably wishes us a Happy Colonialist Traitor Day.)

Or Will Smith Day.

Or Will Smith Day.

Chances are many of you are out shopping, at the beach, or doing some other such vacation-y things today and might not read this until Monday. If so, Happy Monday!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian (guy who’s off to do vacation-y things, too!)


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What an exciting day! I had another post written for this week, but I’m saving that for another time. This breaking news couldn’t wait!

Earlier this morning – like within the last few hours – the Supreme Court has made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states!

“What’s the deal, Justin? Why is this important to you?”

While I’m not one to discuss politics on my blog, I’m an advocate for freedom and equality. As a librarian, I believe in equal access to information, and the freedom of information…why not root for equal access to marriage, and freedom of marriage?

I am not gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, etc…I’m just a straight man who believes everyone should be allowed to marry who they want. Remember, I was a theater major in undergrad – if I only had straight friends in college, I would’ve been pretty lonely. Many of my friends today are gay or lesbian and have long felt like the legal system treats them as second-class citizens; I’m so happy to see them so excited! As a divorced friend once joked, “I believe gays and lesbians are entitled to all the headaches and stress straight people have”.

What else does this mean for the USA? First and foremost, this means…


Think about it, you can now have twice as many:

  • Opportunities to wear your nice suits/dresses
  • Glasses of champagne
  • Free dinners
  • Groomsmen/bridesmaid gifts
  • Tuxedo rentals
  • Hours on the dance floor
  • Chances to meet a special someone if you’re single
  • Chances just to meet new/fun/cool people
  • Great stories and memories to share
  • Bridal showers to attend
  • Bachelor/bachelorette parties

Don’t forget, all this money going towards food, cake, venues, DJs, officiates, champagne, wedding planners, dress makers, wedding gifts, parties and so on helps stimulate the economy. Everybody wins!

I wonder what else you might learn today.

Didn’t think about all that, did you?

That’s all for this week. Go out and have a great day, America!


Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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We Are Charleston…Honoring A Fallen Librarian

Hey Friends,

I’m afraid this week’s post is a somber one. As most of you are aware, nine people were shot and killed during Bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Eight died at the scene and a ninth died at a hospital – six women and three men. The angry side of me wants to censor the shooter’s name and give him zero attention so I can focus on the victims. However, the librarian side of me feels obligated to provide information without bias. With that in mind, I will say the shooter is 21-year-old Dylann Roof  and leave it at that.

Among those who lost their lives was Cynthia Hurd, librarian and sister of former North Carolina state Sen. Malcolm Graham. Hurd, 54, has worked in libraries for 31 years and was the manager of the St. Andrews Regional Library. On Thursday, officials closed all 16 libraries and announced they would be naming the library in her honor.

cynthia hurd

Cynthia Hurd examining a newspaper display. (Courtesy of The Post and Courier)

Hurd’s coworker, Kim Odom, said Hurd “really opened up to me what library service meant…(It’s) not just a building where you come for storytime but a place where you really can get help…whether it is helping someone with a resume or helping them use a computer a little bit better.” The whole story on Hurd can be found here.

I’m glad Hurd was such an inspiration to others. We’re all here to help people, it’s part of why we joined the library profession. Day and night, we try to convince friends and family that libraries are more than just big boxes with books inside; We offer so much more than that – services, assistance, programs, presentations, shows, guest speakers, crafts, job help – you all know I could go on for another 12 pages.

Come to think of it, there’s a good chance Hurd was promoting the library while at her church. However, one thing library school doesn’t prepare you for is a shooting. When men and women sign up for the police academy or the armed forces, they know they’re signing up for potential combat. Librarians don’t sign up for getting shot at – especially while at church. In fact, NOBODY signs up for that.

Please keep Cynthia’s family in your thoughts this week, and don’t forget what she stood for. To me, it’s humbling to think she had been working in libraries longer than I’ve been alive. Take a moment this week, weekend or whenever you can to remember why we librarians do what we do…we’re here to help people and make a difference in the lives of those around us. Thank you for making a difference, Cynthia Hurd.

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian


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Unusual Librarians Who Rock: A Hero to 90’s Kids Everywhere

Hey Friends!

I was looking over my agenda this weekend thinking about what to post about next. I know I’ve been heavy on the Brash Jobs lately and realized I haven’t done an episode of Unusual Librarians Who Rock (ULWR) in over a year! If you grew up during the 90’s, then you’re probably very familiar with this English museum-curating, vampire-vanquishing high school librarian.

I’m talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Rupert Edmund Giles, MLS.


Librarians should totally dress this way.

Giles (played by Anthony Steward Head) serves as mentor, trainer and kinda-sorta father figure to heroine Buffy Summers (made famous by Sarah Michelle Gellar) and her friends who help protect Sunnydale from vampires, demons, werewolves, zombies, witches, and the like.

Before he became a librarian, Giles was a pretty bad dude. He was raised and groomed to be part of a secret organization called “The Watchers” – they pretty much mentor and teach slayers. Was Giles down with this? NO WAY. Rather than carry on the family legacy, he dropped out of studying history at Oxford so he could dabble in dark magic, demonology, witchcraft, hot-wiring cars, sorcery and punk rock. Long story short, Giles summoned a demon, got one of his close friends killed, and learned how to sing and play guitar with mad skill!


(Probably because Anthony Steward Head is an accomplished guitarist/singer in real life.)

After failing to banish the demon that killed his friend, Giles finally accepted his destiny and became a member of The Watchers. Trained in martial arts and fencing, Giles breaks the stereotype of being some mild-mannered librarian. Giles’ Wikipedia page recounts a time be beat a vampire “senseless with a flaming baseball bat”. Oh, he’s also fluent in Latin, ancient Greek, Sumerian, Japanese and possibly Gaelic.

The Toast made up a great fictional course list for Giles during his time in library school. I’m only mentioning a few of my favorites, but you can read them all here.

Course List for Rupert Giles, Master of Library Sciences Candidate, Michaelmas Term 1982

  • Taking Your Glasses Off And Slowly Rubbing Your Temples: An Introduction
  • Guarding A Vampire Slaying-Teen: Is It For You? Non-Traditional Employment In A Saturated Library Sciences Market
  • Late Fees And Love Spells: Intro to Communications Systems
  • Making The Most Of Your Resources: How To Acquire Medieval Assault Weapons And Strange Tinctures On A Limited Library Budget
  • Distinguishing Between Third-Degree Burns And Spontaneous Combustion
  • Integrated Library Systems And Standard Runes
  • Supernatural Harassment In The Workplace: What Every Librarian Should Know
  • There’s An Ancient Prophecy For That: Matching Your Present-Day Disturbances With Twelfth-Century Romanian Curses

You keep doing you, Giles.


That’s all for this week! Don’t forget also comment or discuss on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about this or any of my stuff!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian


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