On the 1st of October I attended an Interview Skills Seminar put together by ALIANewGrads. Three professionals spoke to us about their experiences interviewing people and all together provided a public and academic library perspective.

Hugh Rundle reminded us that the interview is the interviewers chance to see if you would fit into their organization. Reiterating all the skills you have will only bore your interviewers, you are at the interview stage, so they already think you are qualified. He also gave us all a list of deadly sins and hots tips.

Deadly sins:

  • Don’t bag out your previous work place.
  • Don’t identify the people who are your ‘bad worker’ examples.
  • Remember to answer all parts of multi part questions, take a notepad into an interview.
  • Do not speak the first thing that comes to mind when answering question, think before you speak.
  • Don’t ask questions you should really know the answer to, look at the website or job position.
  • Do not ask about leave, it will be on the website, unless it is study leave.

Hot tips:

  • Take a notepad and pen.
  • Look at everyone in the room when answering questions.
  • Arrive really early.
  • Take the CV and position description with you.
  • Take any paperwork they send you.
  • Slow down.
  • Be confident.

Darren Ryan’s talk was all about preparation, ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ and exactly how you can find that first job. He suggested we consider that the job hunting process starts right now. By getting our faces known at networking events and workshops you are doing a lot build a professional and pleasing image for yourself (well hopefully you are! Remember to always act professionally at events and on your social media pages, they all contribute to providing future employers a picture of your character). Darren also reminded us to keep the connections going, don’t go to events and shove your business card at a ton of people, take the time to ask them questions and via email keep them informed of your progress or any other events you are attending.

Lastly, Yasmin Moore from Monash University stressed the importance of the selection criteria. She said, that particularly for academic libraries, the selection criteria is their guide for creating interview questions. She reminded us of the STAR strategy for answering questions;

S: situation
T: task
A: action
R: result

and encouraged us to create a dossier of projects we have been a part of. Doing so will hopefully remind us of any transferable skills we have developed over time so we can make ourselves stand out.

On the 23rd I will be attending the Wikipedia & Libraries Info Evening at RMIT. I hope to see some of you there!