A Librarian's Guide to Interviewing
One of the remarkable things about being a librarian is that some people think we know everything. It never ceases to amaze me how often people ask for my opinion or ask me a question about something in which I have no expertise. For example, people walk up with all manner of cell phones and ask various questions about them. I have a Windows phone, which definitely puts me in the minority, so when someone asks me how to do something on an iPhone or Android phone, I may be able to figure it out, but I have no first-hand experience. The same is true for various laptops, tablets, etc.
Since people ask for my opinion on various topics, I’ve decided to discuss a topic that I have experience with, but I’m in no way an expert. I have interviewed and hired people to fill vacant positions, as needed, for many years. I have also co-interviewed with others who were filling vacant positions. I’m not a human resources professional, but based on my personal experience hiring people, I am going to give you, the reading public, some tips on interviewing.
Tip 1: Read the job description. If you are applying for a job that requires you to spend your shift shelving books, you do not have a desk job.
Tip 2: Know something about the company you are applying with. Question: How often do you use the library? Answer: I haven't been in a library since high school. Unless you just graduated, chances are that things have changed.
Tip 3: Dress like you are going to a job interview. Your outfit might look great at a nightclub, but since you aren't headed to one, you may want to change clothes.
Tip 4: Arrive early for your interview or at the very least, be on time. Keep in mind that the interviewer has scheduled it at a specific time for a reason. Showing up late not only gives a bad impression, it throws the interviewer’s schedule into disarray. Call if you're going to be late, don't wait to apologize once you get there.
Tip 5: If you want the job, don’t make insulting comments about the interviewers, the questions they ask, or the company you are applying with. I have been amazed over the years at some of the things applicants have said during the interview. I’m thinking, “he or she didn’t just say that.”
Tip 6: If you want an expert’s advice about interviewing, consult the resources we have at the library.
- What color is your parachute? guide to rethinking interviews : ace the interview and land your dream job
- This is how to get your next job : an inside look at what employers really want
- The essential phone interview handbook
- The job search solution : the ultimate system for finding a great job now!
- 101 great answers to the toughest interview questions
- Can I wear my nose ring to the interview? : the crash course, finding, landing, and keeping your first real job