Museums Part 2: Interview Questions

Following the recent post on the challenges of breaking into museums work (I mean working in museums, not breaking into museums – an altogether different challenge), we’ve been sent a very handy list of questions which have been asked at interviews for museum posts.

Many thanks to Dr. Konstantinos Arvanitis from our MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies programme for compiling this list from alumni contacts.

So, your starter for 10:

  • What made you apply for this role?
  • Give an example of a time where you’ve had to fix a solution.
  • What areas would you like to improve on?
  • What is your favourite work in the collection?
  • Tell us about what you do in your current role.
  • What methods do you use to organise your work load?
  • What experience do you have of writing correspondence with donors?
  • The classic one; What are your two main strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is your proudest achievement so far?
  • How would you deal with difficult internal and external volunteers?
  • How do you ensure you maintain good relationships with colleagues?
  • Can you give an example of a project you have coordinated where you have needed to pull together many different elements?
  • Can you give an example of when you have had to work with members across the department/organisation to deliver a project?
  • Can you give an example of a project that has gone wrong/not turned out as planned?
  • Why do you want to work in..(place name) and for (department)?
  • What are the benefits of working in small team?
  • What could you bring to the role?
  • What are the main considerations to bear in mind when acquiring an object?
  • Could you tell me about any exhibition experience?
  • What are the main outputs of a special exhibition?

It’s an interesting mixture of

  • the old classics which are asked at just about any interview
  • specialist knowledge about working in a museums or gallery context
  • the chance to demonstrate your own skills and your self-knowledge and
  • some real thought as to how you personally would fit with the role.

So now you know, you can get yourself prepared for your next interview.

If you’re a University of Manchester postgrad (or recent alumnus – we can still help you up to three years after graduating), you could also book a mock interview before the real event. We know just what to ask you …