Friday, November 12, 2010

Interviews and preparation Part.1

This is a follow up to an earlier post by Meredith Farkas and Ned Potter's recent post about working in libraries. My post will look at a recent interview I had for a job within an academic library in London as maternity cover. Its just a reflection of my approach to it. What I felt I did right and what I didn't do correctly.

Firstly, I was a bit shocked, as getting any interviews in this market was a surprise. I also was a bit fearful, as I have had some faux pas at interviews.

I then saw it as an opportunity. Therefore, my first port of call was to look at the job specification. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it. Therefore, first thing you should do, is make individual folders (virtual or paper) of each job you go for later reference. I therefore looked at the job specification via the cache web page I found. I also looked at the application form. This would allow me to see what I was going for and what I had put respectively. Then, I started reading a book my girlfriend used called Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions. This is a really good book, and had a great anecdote, in which he says of a lawyer who never lost a case, was once asked why he was such a great lawyer. He said he was not a great lawyer, but the best prepared. Preparation was therefore what I was going to do.

My first piece of preparation was to look at the library website. In looking at this I discovered three things. Firstly, that they used Millenium III library management system. Secondly, that they used the same photocopying and print system than what I had been used. Finally, that this was found via the libraries youtube channel. Very web 2.0 and something that made the job more appealing. Therefore, I felt at an advantage because in the interview I could point out I wouldn't need so much training.

I then looked at the panel and checked there digital status (aka linkedin, facebook etc. This allowed me to see what there area of expertise was and what they looked like.

I then looked at the map of where I had to go for the interview, and printed off directions. Just in case I got lost. I certainly did not want to be late for an interview as that created a very bad impression.

I then proceeded to be Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions. I set up a table of questions he raised, giving a short answer to each. I then looked at the questions I should ask. I did this over a week before the interview so I was honed in on the target. Getting the job. Being this well prepared I felt pretty confident.

In part two I will discuss the interview.

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