Research and experience-  based tips on how tosucceed in an entry-level   librarian interview     ALA LLAMA webinar series...
Megan Hodge                        Nicole Spoor       Teresa Doherty     Deborah Lammers
Our survey
What should applicants know about your institution beforecoming to the interview? N=324                    Library website...
How important are the following in terms of choosing a candidate foran entry-level librarian position? N=361Very important...
How important are the following competencies when hiring anentry-level librarian at your institution? N=361
How has the economy affected           hiring?     More          No change in # of     applicants:   interviews: 80%     75%
Gimme a “Yay!”       
Respondents’ Comments• “Put your best foot forward,” because  “personality plays a bigger role than most  people think.”• ...
UNSHELVED ®June 23, 2012© Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum Unshelved.comUsed with permission.
Academic Libraries       
Public libraries         
Pu b l i c                                L i b r a r y                                T i me l i n
Pu b l i c L i b r a r yI n t e r v i e w
Pu b l i c L i b r a r y        I n t e r v i e w
Pu b l i c L i b r a r yI n t e r v i e w            
Pu b l i c L i b r a r y   I n t e r v i e w         
Ti p s f r o m Pu b l i cL i b r a r y Ma n a g e r s
Ti p s f r o m Pu b l i cL i b r a r y Ma n a g e r s
Ti p s f r o m Pu b l i c                   L i b r a r y Ma n a g e r sT u c k a h o e Ar e a L i b r a r y , He n r i c o
Additional Resources• Ask a Manager blog:• Career Q&A with the Info Career People:  http://www....
Any questions?   View this presentation and our notes @          (search for LLAMA webinar).  ...
Research and experience-based tips on how to succeed in an entry-level librarian interview
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Research and experience-based tips on how to succeed in an entry-level librarian interview


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Presenters: Megan Hodge, Nicole Spoor, Teresa Doherty, and Deborah Lammers. Presented on July 25, 2012; sponsored by ALA's Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA).

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  • Welcome!Presentation agenda and format
  • Introduction of our group.
  • MeganWe’ve presented this in a variety of places over the past year, and had a pretty even distribution of attendees from various types of libraries and who are in different stages of the job search process. Remember that if you have a question about a specific type of library that we’ve got an academic and a public library expert here.
  • NicoleLast spring Megan and I sent out a survey through multiple list servs asking librarians that had participated on hiring committees about their experiences. We especially wanted feedback from those who had served on committees that were hiring entry-level librarians. We ultimately wanted to know what things a librarian with little to no experience could do in an interview to compete with more seasoned librarian in a tough job market.We asked that those completing the survey work in an academic or public library and have experience on at least one hiring committee since 2008.We were overwhelmed when we received 430 responses. Most respondents were very happy to share what they knew about the interview process and we received great feedback that we think can really help entry-level librarians and those with more experience, alike.Of the 430 respondents just over 70% were from academic libraries (305) and almost 30% were from public libraries (125).
  • NicoleWhen conducting a literature review we found that there was little research about the interviewing process in libraries though we did find a few good tips. Applicants spend a lot of time creating resumes and cover letter, but little time preparing for an interview. Interview preparation should take just as much or more time than creating a resume or cover letter. Practicing for the interview is very helpful way to lessen your nerves. If you have thought through and practiced answers for some of the most used questions, you will be more likely to respond to questions quickly and intelligently when you are being stared at by a hiring committee. Many Interview questions relevant to librarian position can be found with a quick Google search.The literature also revealed that in general Attitude and Personality are more important than skills, education or experiences. Other important qualities are enthusiasm, flexibility and adaptability.And don’t forget that not only is the hiring committee interview you but you are also interviewing the library.You want the library to be the right fit for you, so you can be successful in the position
  • MeganSo what do hiring committees expect you to know about the institution before the interview? Well, you’re a librarian, so they do expect you to do your homework. Our top responses to this question indicate that a familiarity with the library or institution’s most publicly available information—its website and social media pages and its mission and strategic plan—are the minimum expected of you as the candidate. If the institution sends you pamphlets in the mail about the library, read them!It would also be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the demographics of the institution or area, the programs or services the library offers, and library policies. You want to look like you’ve done your research when you walk into your interview and these things come up. You risk looking like you don’t care about the job if it comes as a surprise that the university has a strong religious affiliation, for example. Also, remember that interviews go both ways: you’re trying to determine whether the library is a good fit for you as well. If you wouldn’t be happy living in a rural area with no public transportation, now’s the time to find out.How can you find this information out, if it’s not readily available on the institution’s web page? Google is your friend. Also, depending on how local the library is, you can visit and ask questions of the patrons. To give you an example, when I interviewed at a local college library, I got there really early and walked around a bit, asking students what they thought of the library. I found out that the students thought the librarians weren’t very student friendly, which is definitely something I wouldn’t have found out if I’d confined my research to the college’s web page.
  • MeganWe asked our survey respondents to rate how important each of the 5 qualities you see here are in their determinations of who to hire, and the answers should make new librarians very happy. The most important things hiring committees look at in entry-level candidates is personality, attitude, and institutional fit. Experience and education, often the weakest links for new grads, were not rated nearly as highly. These place you on a level playing field—perhaps even in a position of superiority—with all the more experienced folks who have been laid off and are applying for the same entry-level jobs as you. As a new graduate, I found this really reassuring; often we focus on education and experience when hiring committees are most interested in personalities and how well you will fit into their organization.This reinforces what I said before about interviewing being a two-way street, though. If your personality and attitude don’t really fit with the library you’re interviewing with--if you’re more laid back and you’re applying for a fast-paced instruction position, for example—keep in mind that you may not do well there. Obviously if you’re unemployed and have student loans to pay, you just need a job, but temper your expectations accordingly.Something to think about: How can you find out about an institution’s culture and make sure you demonstrate institutional fit on your interview?
  • NicoleWe also asked our respondents what competencies were most important to them when hiring a librarian. Of the 361 responses, approximately three quarters said that communication skills and customer service skills were very important. These are skills that transferrable from just about any career, so new librarians should work toward showing how jobs that they have had in the past relate to the position of librarian. As one respondent put it…connect the dots for us. The third most important competency was a familiarity with library technology.A demonstrated commitment to the profession and Expertise with library technology were slightly less important.
  • NicoleRespondents were also asked to choose three character traits that they felt were most important. Intelligence and Enthusiasm topped the list and cooperativeness was a close third. Some of the other highest ranking character traits were responsibility (115), Friendliness (84), and CreativityThe two Least important character traits were decisiveness (3) and Ambition (14)Again our survey shows that the most wanted character traits are not things only found in seasoned librarians. This information helps to level the playing field a bit.
  • MeganI wanted to put this question on our survey because we’d all heard on listservs and anecdotally from classmates that it was harder to get a job, but at that point there wasn’t really any hard data to back that assertion up. The survey did confirm what we all knew: 3/4 of our respondents said they’d seen an increase in the number of applicants they were getting for jobs, but most—80%--had not changed the number of people they actually invited to interviews. If you do the math there, that means that a smaller percentage of applicants are being invited to interviews. As one of our respondents put it, “We have a stronger base from which to choose, but only interview the best of the best.”Something for you all to think about in light of this information: There are many books and Web sites that have lists of common interview questions, and these are great. There are some new questions hiring committees are asking because of the recession, though, so how would you prepare for these?: What is your ability to adapt since “position fluidity” and “workload creep” are now common? How would you deal with minimal resources? What is your true interest in/commitment to the position, considering (a) you are overqualified or (b) vacated positions are often going unfilled and we may not be able to replace you?
  • MeganOne of my favorite questions from the survey is, “What is the most impressive thing a candidate has ever done in an interview?” We did get some unintentionally funny responses, like “candidate had impressive cleavage”, but the real reason it’s my favorite question is because in my opinion it had some of the most useful information from our survey.
  • MeganCandidates who stood out in our respondents’ minds asked a lot of relevant questions in their interviews. Some people think that asking questions in an interview makes you look like you haven’t done your homework, but this is NOT true! There are some things you simply cannot learn from doing research online, like what the culture of the library or institution is, and what the day-to-day duties of the job entail. Asking questions shows that you are truly interested in finding out more about the library and whether it will be a good fit for you.A lot of library jobs require you to do a teaching demo or sample story time or booktalk, so another way to be impressive is to go a great job with this. Know your presentation by heart so you don’t have to refer to your notes. If appropriate, incorporate neat technology, like PollEverywhere. Conversely, though, have a back-up plan in case technology fails and your PowerPoint won’t load, for example.Another great suggestion our respondents gave is to have suggested ideas for innovation that are implementable in that library, regardless of whether you’re hired or not. This could mean making a mock-up wiki or Twitter account for the library, for example.Finally and perhaps most importantly, show your passion and excitement for THIS job. While you may be applying for everything you’re qualified for and just want something to pay the bills, the hiring committee isn’t going to care about that. You’re more likely to stick around and do a good job if this is a job you’re genuinely excited about, so make sure you have a good answer—beyond “I’ve always wanted to live in New York City”—when the hiring committee asks you why you want to work there. Bonus points if you indicate a passion for working with less popular demographics. This could mean remedial rather than honors students, and grumpy teens and homeless people rather than cute kids.
  • MeganIt can be really terrifying, going into a job interview when you know you’re going up against people who’ve been doing the job you’re applying for for years. Thankfully, our respondents offered some great advice on how to make yourself competitive.Be enthusiastic. This is a new library school grad stereotype, but play it up. Because you haven’t been in the profession for years or decades, you may not have the ennui or cynicism that more experienced applicants might; this could mean you have fresh ideas or be more willing to embrace a changing institution.Secondly, connect your experience and skills to the position. This is something you already should have done in your cover letter, but really connect those dots for the hiring committee at the interview. It may be obvious to you how working at Starbucks has given you great experience dealing with cranky patrons, but you can’t leave it up to the hiring committee to make those connections. While you’ve been prepping singlemindedly for this interview, the committee’s got lots of candidates to look at, so give them something to take notes about.Another new grad stereotype is that you’ll know a lot about technology. If so, great, talk this up in the interview. If not, take some online tutorials and familiarize yourself with programs like Jing so you can speak authoritatively if the committee asks you about your familiarity with technology. Many libraries don’t have the budgets for people dedicated to technology, so any tech abilities will be a plus.Finally, get as much experience as you can through volunteering and internships. I know I said before that our survey takers said experience was less important than fit and attitude, but that doesn’t mean you should expect to graduate from library school with no library experience and expect to get a job based on your personality. This is an opportunity to prove what a go-getter you are. You can get virtual reference experience through My Info Quest,, or the Internet Public Library, and in-person reference experience by subbing at a public library or volunteering at a local community college library. Lots of library publications publish book reviews, and this is a great way to get some collection development experience. Library Journal in particular is always looking for reviewers. I know it’s hard to find the time to do all this when you’re working full time and have a family on top of going to school, but remember that school won’t do you any good if you can’t find a job.
  • Nicole
  • TeresaWe have to thank the creators of the Unshelved comic, Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum, for allowing us to share this recent strip with you as part of our presentation. These guys are great, and if you aren’t familiar with the comic strip, please check it out at
  • TeresaI have worked in Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University for 13 years now, and in that time have sat through hundreds of faculty candidate presentations, and have participated in several recruitment committees, most recently for an entry-level web applications librarian. For each position, we generally invite 3 applicants to spend a day with us. I’m here to walk you through a candidate visit so you won’t be too surprised when you get that call to visit a library you’ve applied to.
  • TeresaIt’s a marathonThe hiring process at an academic library is much like a marathon. You need to be prepared, you need to be dedicated, and with any luck, you’ll reach the finish line without dying. I can’t guarantee that your marathon experience will be as fun as this one pictured, but we’ll try to make it interesting. Here’s an idea of the timeline for a faculty hiring at my library, though obviously each library will have its own idiosyncratic process. September: a position is advertised (or “announced” as we sometimes say). We advertise in professional publications, on listservs, on our library website and our university’s website. November: deadline for applications. I am using the term “applications”, but not in the traditional sense. We do not require interested applicants to complete a traditional application such as for paraprofessional or staff positions. What is required is a cover letter and resume, and contact information for 3 references.January: The top 3 candidates are invited to visit our library for a day of meetings. March: The offer is made to the top candidate. April: Welcome aboard!
  • TeresaThe screening committee is usually composed of the head of the department for the position, several faculty members from other departments, and often a paraprofessional whose work is related that the position being recruited. The committee is responsible for reviewing all resumes, summarizing the strengths and weaknesses in order to recommend the best candidates, and making reference calls for the top candidates. They also assist the candidate during their visit. From the VCU Libraries Faculty Recruitment manual“The purpose of the interview is to both solicit information from the candidate and to provide the candidate an opportunity to assess his or her interest in the VCU Libraries.”
  • TeresaThis zombie has an easy day compared to your visit to an academic library as a candidate. Here’s a sample itinerary: The day before the interview, a library staffer, usually a member of the screening committee, will pick you up at the airport and drive you to the hotel. BTW, we try to put our candidates up in the swanky Jefferson Hotel in downtown Richmond. We like to tell visitors that the grand staircase was the model for the scene in Gone with the Wind (even though it’s not, but it is lovely). It is true, though, that there used to be live alligators in a pond in the lobby. Anyway…Next up is dinner with several library folks, usually the head of the division, the department head or colleagues. Remember, you are on-stage even at this early part of your interview, so keep your wits about you. Think of it as a first date: listen, but be prepared to talk (though not with your mouth full). Ask questions. Mind your manners. In the morning, you’ll be picked up at hotel and brought to the library. In the next few hours, you’ll meet with the screening committee, librarians and staff from your department, and possibly get a tour of the building. Then, it’s time for your presentation.
  • TeresaWe require that all faculty candidates give a presentation on a given topic as part of their visit. We invite all library staff, including paraprofessionals as well as faculty, to attend and complete an evaluation of the candidate. All candidates are given the same topic, though we have had discussions about changing our approach and allowing candidates to talk on a topic of their own choosing. This would certainly give them (you) the opportunity to be creative, but it does make it more difficult to compare candidates, so we continue to craft such thrilling titles as:“innovative library services and how to implement them in a liaison model of librarianship” or “Undergraduate Students and the Academic Library: Beyond the First Year Experience”It’s your choice – if you choose to use Powerpoint, or Prezi, or something totally new. That’s cool. Whatever you choose, make sure you’re comfortable with it. If you want to go all throw-back, retro and choose to not use technology for your presentation, that’s cool too, just get up and talk to us about your ideas. That can be very compelling. One more note about presentations, even if the position you are applying for as an entry-level library would never require you to give another presentation in your career, you will still need to do this as part of the process. A cataloging library, or access librarian, may never speak to a group larger than your own department, but there you go, it’s part of our tradition. Don’t worry, we will definitely cut you some slack if that’s the case. The presentation is followed by a question and answer session with faculty and staff. Be prepared – everyone will have a copy of your cover letter and resume and should be interested in what you just shared in your presentation. Be ready to answer all sorts of questions, from “tell us more about your experience as a soloist in the orchestra in your college jazz band” to “what is it about this position that grabbed your attention?” to “you are currently working at Alabama: how do you feel moving to a university that doesn’t have a football program?”
  • TeresaOkay, you survived the presentation, and it’s all downhill from here. But it’s still hard work, so take a minute to grab a bottle of water and take a deep breath. Next up, lunch with department heads in your division. Then, meet with library administrators, then our personnel administrator, then back to meet with the screening committee again. The final meeting is with our University Librarian, who meets with each and every candidate. Then, we take you back to the hotel when you can kick off your shoes, update your Facebook page and congratulate yourself on making it through the day!
  • DeborahPublic library hiring process: timeline and what the interview might be like.
  • DeborahPublic Library Hiring Timeline: More Like a SprintIf the academic hiring process is like a marathon, the public library process is much more like a sprint.A possible timeline, based on my library:HR advertises position: 2-4 weeksHR and the library screen applications: 1-4 weeksLibrary schedules and conducts interviews: 1-2 weeksHR offers employment: within 2 weeksWhole process could take less than 2 months. 4 months would probably be the upper end. Obviously, the hiring timeline is much shorter than the academic timeline.(your mileage may vary, depending on the library)
  • DeborahPublic Library InterviewSo, what will the actual interview be like? This race car is here to remind you that compared to a 2-day academic library interview, the public library interview zooms by.In my library, an entry level interview lasts about an hour. It is possible you might get called back for a second interview, but that isn’t the norm. Unlike the academic process, for public libraries, expect to provide your own transportation to the interview, or to interview via phone or Skype. I don’t recommend a race car, but that’s up to you.Also unlike the academic process, the interview panel is typically small. In my system, 2-4 people is the norm.One thing that is similar to the academic process: you may be asked in advance to give presentation, story time or book talk.
  • DeborahPublic Library InterviewWhat kinds of questions can you expect? You will be asked a variety of questions, but I wanted to mention a few that I think are important.For YA & Children’s positions, expect questions that test your knowledge of literature for those age levels. You should be reading widely in your chosen area.Expect “current awareness” questions – how much do you know about trends & issues affecting public libraries?Makerspaces? QR codes? How are libraries handling checking out ebooks to patrons? For adult positions in particular, expect questions that will demonstrate your knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, new technologies. Ereaders?
  • DeborahPublic Library InterviewAt some point during your interview, you will probably be given a tour of the branch and your prospective work area. You may meet and chat with some current staff. Please be careful with casual comments. Anything negative will get back to the hiring committee.
  • DeborahMost likely, a public library will not treat you to lunch or dinner, particularly libraries that are part of city or county government. Sorry about that. Meghan’s story (colleague did spend half a day on a public library interview, and they did take her to lunch – but they were a smaller, regional system – this is not the norm).
  • TeresaSome things in the interview process which haven’t change:Dress up and be politeSome things never go out of style, like a black V-neck sweater and a red tie. Librarians aren’t known for our glamorous sense of fashion, however we do understand that sometimes you just have to dress up a bit. Once we hire you, you can change into something more comfortable, but first impressions matter, just like on a blind date.
  • TeresaReview your resume before you come for a visit and be prepared to answer questions about every item on it. I wouldn’t worry too much about a gap in employment, especially now in these difficult economic times. If you mention a project you worked on, be ready to talk about your participation, how it worked out, what you might do differently. For internships, outline your responsibilities, what you learned versus what you expected to learn. Be positive about your experiences; if you failed, what did you take away from the situation that will help you in the future?
  • TeresaGiven that you are applying for a position as a librarian, in an academic situation, you should understand how important it is that everything is spelled correctly in what you share with us. Typos and grammatical errors seem doubly worse for jobs in an educational setting. Don’t rely on your spell-check. If you’re like me, you have inadvertently added a misspelled word to your dictionary and forgot to fix it (or didn’t know how!). Have a friend read your cover letter and resume; as a last resort, read it out loud to your dog or hamster. Find the errors and fix them before they get to us :o)If you are applying for more than one position at a time (and we’ve all done this), make sure that you update your cover letter to refer to THIS JOB, not another one. I’ve seen cover letters for librarians that include the phrase “interested in applying for this security guard position at your library.” That’s a sure way to get yourself cut from the herd, so to speak, and not in a good way. Along the same lines, make sure that you spell everyone’s name correctly. When you address your letter to the chair of the screening committee, copy the spelling directly from the announcement, don’t guess. Personally, I’ve got two names which can be spelled a variety of ways, and I always appreciate it when someone makes the effort to spell them correctly. If you give me an “h” in Teresa that my mother didn’t want me to have, or spelled Doherty in one of many many variations I’ve seen over the years, you are doing me a disservice (and by extension, making yourself look lazy – don’t do that to yourself!)
  • TeresaSomething else which hasn’t changed – be prepared! You can take this to mean be prepared in the general sense, but here I am thinking of a specific case – preparing the people you have chosen to be your references. First off, contact them in advance and see if they would be able to act as a good reference for you. It may be that you had a great instructor in class several years ago, but she doesn’t remember you from Adam; probably not as good a reference as you would have liked. Once you have rounded up your references, prepare them by sending them the position announcement for the job you are applying form; that’s easy – just send them the link. Then, send them your current resume so that they know what you’ve been up to and what your other accomplishments are. Then, share some details about projects you worked on together, anecdotes about your interaction, positive comments by patrons and co-workers during your time together, etc. These are all helpful when the reference call comes.Btw, I love this image because it reminds me of the famous quote, by a pro golfer (I’ve seen it attributed to both Gary Player and Arnold Palmer): “the more I practiced, the luckier I get”. Good thing to keep in mind.
  • TeresaSome things which have changed: social mediasocial mediaReview your social media presence – Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest… how do you look to the outside world? You might care to adjust your privacy settings. Be aware of listserv etiquette. As my colleagues have noted, you are probably already subscribed to library-related listservs in order to keep up with trends, news, job announcements, etc. Think about how you interact with your colleagues on the list – and I use the term “colleagues” intentionally, because it is entirely possible that other subscribers to that list include possible hiring librarians and co-workers. Be professional – ask questions; better yet, answer questions. Share interesting articles with the list, ask how different libraries handle situations you are experiencing (or would like to experience). I’m not saying that you can’t be yourself and have to act like you’re always “at work”; on the other hand, don’t do what I saw recently -- a list member was bragging about an upcoming job interview and admitting that she didn’t know anything about the library or the position, and was asking for help getting prepared. This is not what you want the chair of the screening committee to read in her daily digest. Use a professional email address. There is some debate about whether it is appropriate to use the email address of your current employer when applying for a new job. I can see both sides of the argument, so let’s say it’s your choice. If you choose to use a generic email provider, such as Gmail, please create an email account that won’t embarrass you. Don’t be “sexy_librarian2be” or “ILoveCats” – a simple first name, last name combination is perfectly appropriate. If you have a common name, you might need to add your city or state or title – like or
  • TeresaIf you have the opportunity to do a portion of your interview via Skype, keep a couple things in mind. First off, keep the cat out of the room. When you use Skype to keep in contact with friends and family, having your pets around is part of the charm. In a professional situation, plan to keep the dogs and cats (and roommates and co-workers) out of the frame. Do a test run to see what your camera sees. Make an effort to choose a neutral background, such as a wall or draperies, or a bookshelf (always good for librarians). Don’t sit in front of a window or have the light pointing down on your from above, or from below, come to think of it. If you can, get someone to practice with you. Don’t forget to dress from head to toe, just in case there’s an emergency. You don’t want to be that candidate that had a fire alarm go off in the middle of the interview and stood up to show that although she was dressed professionally up top, she was wearing pajamas and fuzzy slippers on bottom. Anyway, you know that they say that when you are dressed up, down to your feet, in your professional outfit of choice, and you put a smile on your face even if you aren’t feeling it, you will come across as a pro. That’s the image you want to share with the people on the other end of the call, so be prepared. Well, if there actually was a fire (or just a drill), we would probably cut you some slack, but still, at least try :o)
  • DeborahWisdom from Public Library ManagersTeresa and I put together some tips from hiring managers in academic and public libraries.Don’t discount a job in a smaller, or more rural, library system. These libraries may pay less, but you will be a big fish in a small pond. You will have opportunities for job experiences you would never get in a larger system. You will have the opportunity to work more closely with the Director and upper management.Look for jobs on city & county websites. They may not be advertised anywhere else. Often, my library system ONLY advertises on our county website.
  • DeborahIt seems to me that there is heavy competition for entry level, Adult Librarian positions. I’m going to suggest something radical: Consider Children’s or Teen Librarianship, if you’ve never thought about it. Shadow these librarians to see what their jobs are like. You may surprise yourself!For public service positions, you MUST like to work with people
  • DeborahNights & weekends will be required in public library, public service positions.In local government, the application AND the resume get you in the door. Include ALL important elements from your resume in your application so you don’t get weeded out!Job searching etiquette is important.Applicant pools may be large and competition is tough. Don’t give up or get discouraged too easily.Feel free to email or contact me with any questions.
  • TeresaOne suggestion I received from a recent screening committee chair was to Google yourself and be prepared to explain what you find (at least on the first and second pages of results). I just did mine, and was happy to see that my faculty vitae, my LinkedIn account, a recent article in College and Research Library News were the top 3 results, and then there are other people with similar names, followed by a presentation I gave at ALA several years ago. See what results you get, and be prepared to talk about them.This phrase “frequently asked questions” reminds me that in the course of your candidate visit, as you meet with different groups of people, you may be asked the same, or similar questions, in different settings. I would recommend that you do what librarians have learned to do: pretend each question is the first time you’ve heard it. People behind service desks get a lot of the same questions all the time (can you guess what they are? -- “where’s the restroom?” “where are the books?”). Remember, it’s the 10th time you’ve been asked the question, but it’s the first time the person standing in front of you has asked you this question.
  • TeresaThe last reminder is that you remember that during your entire visit as a candidate, you are on stage. From the ride in from the airport to the last meeting of the day, except for when you can find time to escape to the restroom, you will be accompanied by and interacting with library staff. They will be evaluating how you interact, how friendly, approachable, likeable, you are, and gauging how well you will fit into their library environment. Don’t let this scare you, just stand up straight and mind your p’s and q’s. And good luck! Maybe I’ll see you when you visit my library. If you do, please introduce yourself. I’d love to meet you.
  • Research and experience-based tips on how to succeed in an entry-level librarian interview

    1. 1. Research and experience- based tips on how tosucceed in an entry-level librarian interview ALA LLAMA webinar series July 25, 2012 1:30 - 3pm #better _interviewLLAMA
    2. 2. Megan Hodge Nicole Spoor Teresa Doherty Deborah Lammers
    3. 3.
    4. 4. Our survey
    5. 5. Lit
    6. 6. What should applicants know about your institution beforecoming to the interview? N=324 Library website & social media 133 responses Demographics 46 responses Mission / strategic plan Info re the library 64 responses 84 responses
    7. 7. How important are the following in terms of choosing a candidate foran entry-level librarian position? N=361Very important Important Moderately Of little Unimportant Important importance
    8. 8. How important are the following competencies when hiring anentry-level librarian at your institution? N=361
    9. 9. Smarts
    10. 10. How has the economy affected hiring? More No change in # of applicants: interviews: 80% 75%
    11. 11.
    12. 12. Gimme a “Yay!”
    13. 13. Respondents’ Comments• “Put your best foot forward,” because “personality plays a bigger role than most people think.”• “We are trying to find somebody who is a good fit for our library.”• “I feel lucky to already have a job, because some of the candidates we get are so smart and creative I don’t think I would be able to compete against them!”
    14. 14. UNSHELVED ®June 23, 2012© Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum Unshelved.comUsed with permission.
    15. 15. Academic Libraries
    16. 16.
    17. 17.
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20.
    21. 21. Public libraries
    22. 22. Pu b l i c L i b r a r y T i me l i n
    23. 23. Pu b l i c L i b r a r yI n t e r v i e w
    24. 24. Pu b l i c L i b r a r y I n t e r v i e w
    25. 25. Pu b l i c L i b r a r yI n t e r v i e w
    26. 26. Pu b l i c L i b r a r y I n t e r v i e w
    27. 27.
    28. 28.
    29. 29.
    30. 30.
    31. 31.
    32. 32.
    33. 33. Ti p s f r o m Pu b l i cL i b r a r y Ma n a g e r s
    34. 34. Ti p s f r o m Pu b l i cL i b r a r y Ma n a g e r s
    35. 35. Ti p s f r o m Pu b l i c L i b r a r y Ma n a g e r sT u c k a h o e Ar e a L i b r a r y , He n r i c o
    36. 36.
    37. 37.
    38. 38. Additional Resources• Ask a Manager blog:• Career Q&A with the Info Career People:• Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? by Ellen Gordon Reeves• “Congratulations! You Landed an Interview: What Hiring Committees Really Want” by Nicole Spoor and Megan Hodge. New Library Journal, 113 (3/4).• The Librarians Career Guidebook by Priscilla K. Shontz• Resume Writing And Interviewing Techniques That Work!: A How-to-do-it Manual for Librarians by Robert R. Newlen
    39. 39. Any questions? View this presentation and our notes @ (search for LLAMA webinar). Megan Hodge, Nicole Spoor, Teresa Doherty, mtdohert@vcu.eduDeborah Lammers,