Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

The Interview Process

I’m in my last semester at SLIS West, and that means it’s time to start applying for professional jobs! Woohoo! Especially because I’m primarily interested in working in an academic library, I’ve got to be applying for things pre-graduation whenever possible. Sometimes the academic library hiring process can take a little while, and I’m hoping to have a professional level job immediately after graduation if not before it. Of course, this all depends on jobs available and all that jazz. I have been lucky enough to get a few interview opportunities for professional jobs this semester, and the hiring/application process for academic librarian jobs is quite different compared to what I experienced as a nurse or as a library student. Sometimes it involves 2 interviews- one with just a search committee, and then if you’re invited back, a longer interview day with more library staff. Sometimes it’s just one interview. Often, for the longer interview day, you’re also required to present on a topic assigned by the search committee.

So, yes, I know that having multiple presentations you have to do in every library class can be frustrating, but it also is totally worth it. Public speaking is tough, at least for me, and the only thing that makes it better is having to do it over and over again. So, thank you all you instructors out there who’ve made me give presentations in front of classes.

The longer interview day also usually consist of a tour, meeting with library departments where they may ask you questions, and a meeting with HR. Each interview day has been a bit different organization wise, of course, but a lot of them had all these main elements. What a difference from my nursing interviews that involved meeting one on one with the nurse manager and then maybe a quick tour! I think it’s evidence, though, of the nature of academic librarianship. Libraries seem willing to really invest in their employees and there’s a lot of internal (library departments) and external (other academic departments/people) collaboration. I won’t lie, these type of interviews have been a bit more stressful for me than the ones from my prior career, but I just remind myself that nervousness and excitement involve nearly identical physiological responses. So, it’s all in your frame of mind. So I’m telling myself “hey, you’re not nervous, you’re excited you rock star you!!!”

Good luck to all as they are applying and interviewing. If you’re a SLIS West student- there’s also going to be some events coming up in a Spring 2017 Career Series Panel: Nuts & Bolts of Library Resumes and Cover Letters on February 25 and a panel discussion with library directors and managers on April 8. See ya there!

PS: This week’s Terry Pratchett quote:

The Library didn’t only contain magical books, the ones which are chained to their shelves and are very dangerous. It also contained perfectly ordinary books, printed on commonplace paper in mundane ink. It would be a mistake to think that they weren’t also dangerous, just because reading them didn’t make fireworks go off in the sky. Reading them sometimes did the more dangerous trick of making fireworks go off in the privacy of the reader’s brain.
-TP, Soul Music