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PCC Library Technology Certificate Programs

A Library Guide for prospective/current/alumni students in the Library Technology, Archives & Digital Collections, and Digitization Certifcate Programs at Pasadena City College

Interviewing

Tips from the PCC Career Center

“A strong resume will get you the interview, but a strong interview will get you the job”

The interview is one of the most important phases of the job search process. 

Your resume and cover letter are simply tools to get you to the interviewing stage. 

The interview is your opportunity to convince an employer that you are the right person for the job.

As the interviewee, the main purposes of the interview are to:

  • Communicate information about yourself, your experience and your abilities
  • Seek further information about the position and the organization
  • Evaluate the match between your needs and what the job offer

Example Library Assistant Interview Questions

Warm up questions (Frequently asked in all interviews):

  • Briefly summarize your work history and education

  • Tell us how your background and experience have prepared you for this position.
    (You should always be prepared for this question)

  • What made you apply for this position?  

Work History and Job Performance: 
  • Can you describe one or two of your most important accomplishments?
    (You should always be prepared for this question)

     
  • What skills do you bring to working in a team environment and how would you get to know your co-workers?
     
  • Everyone has strengths and weaknesses as workers.  What traits or qualities do you feel could be strengthened or improved? Or In what areas would you like to improve?
     
  • Why are you leaving your present job? or Why did you leave your last job?

Library Technology

  • What library ILMS automation systems(s) have you used?  Describe your experience using the system.
     
  • Describe your experience operating computers and Office computer software. 
     
  • How would you help a library patron who calls with questions about downloading an e-book?

Library Public Services

  • This position involves customer service. Please describe any customer service experience you have had. (You should always be prepared for this question)
     
  • Working at a library public service desk can be a high-pressure situation.  Describe a situation with a problem customer and how you handled it.  You may give an example that is not related to a library position.
     
  • If a library patron is having difficulty finding a book, what would you do to assist?
     
  • How you would plan and conduct a library program for children?
     
  • What experience do you have working in a multicultural environment?
     
  • Please describe any supervisory experience you have.

Library Technical Services

  • Describe your experience processing library materials to prepare them for inclusion in library collections.
     
  • Describe your experience effectively verifying bibliographical data for library materials.
     
  • Describe an experience in which your attention to detail and thoroughness had an impact on your work duties.

Summary Statements:

  • Is there anything you would like to add about yourself?
     
  • Do you have any questions about the position?
     
  • Would you like to make a summary statement? 
    (You should always be prepared for this question)

Interview Preparation

  • Dress appropriately and arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview appointment.

  • There may be more than one person interviewing you.  You might have a committee of  five to eight people.  Try to maintain eye contact with your interviewers (or look at their foreheads.)  Speak with confidence and try not to be shy.  You are trying to convince the interviewers to hire you!

  • Do some research about the library before your interview. You can show that you have a real interest in working for that organization, if you are able to work into your answers what you know about their library and how your skills and experience will benefit them.  This research may also help you ask relevant questions at the end of the interview.

Some ways to research the library:

  • Look at the library’s website to see what services they provide and see if you can figure out what automation system they use.
  • If the library is open to the public, come to the library a day or two beforehand and observe or ask a question at the Reference Desk.  Observe how you are treated as an anonymous patron.  This also helps you decide if you want to be part of this organization.