How can I stand out from the crowd when I apply for my next job and if I am not successful how can my next application be better? These are two questions I wanted students and new graduates to get answers for after attending our KSC workshop. Long story short. I got my answers, and so much more.
Following on from our Key Selection Criteria Seminar in June, the Victorian ALIA SNGG team hosted its second tool building seminar for the year in August: the topic this time was Interview Skills.
Understanding this daunting part of the job hunting process, our panel of industry experts gave their best tips and advice for succeeding in a job interview. The diverse group included:
- Anna Findlay, Senior Advisor, Library Liaison and Engagement, La Trobe University Library
- Karyn Siegmann, Manager Library Services, Bayside City Council
- Carolyn Macvean, Manager, Parliamentary Library and Information Service Victoria
Covering a number of different library sectors, the presenters gave advice based on their own experience both as a candidate and as a recruiter. Some of their their best tips and advice were:
Before the interview:
- If given a choice for your interview time choose the first or last of the day. That way you will have more chance of being memorable.
- Study the key selection criteria and come up with examples from your personal experience. The questions asked will usually be drawn from the KSC.
- Many places use behavioural questions, so have a look at some examples of these so you can be prepared.
- Keep up with current trends in the library sector and show that you’re interested and engaged in the industry. Attend networking and PD events, and conferences. Showing a recruiter that you are passionate about the industry is much more attractive than telling them. (Coming to ALIA events is a great start!)
- Make notes to take with you. If you don’t want to forget that awesome example you had for that behavioural question, write it down. It’s okay to refer to notes during an interview, and shows recruiters how well prepared you are.
- Do your research!
- Make sure you have researched the organisation you are interviewing for. Look at their website and read through their strategic and annual plans, then consider how you and your skills can contribute to these plans.
- Make an effort to understand the community your are applying to work with. How well do you know the types of clients the organisation services?
- Have you thought about the future of public libraries when applying for a job in one? Do your research and you’ll be able to ace this question!
During the interview:
- Dress neat, smart and comfortable. This doesn’t mean you have to mask your personality in corporate attire. You can and should be authentic in your appearance.
- Pause… Breathe… You’re allowed to ask a recruiter to repeat a question, ask for a moment to gather your thoughts, or to refer to your notes.
- Big NOs in an interview: Don’t be a smartarse, don’t be dishonest, don’t forget to iron your shirt!
Bonus pro tip:
- Keep an aspirations job folder with position descriptions of your dream jobs to help you think about the skills you want to develop.
If you missed the event or have forgotten something you can watch the live video from the night on Facebook.
You can find other great tips by checking out the tweets from the night.
For even more help SNGGing that dream job, check out the National Resume Review Service offered by ALIA SNGG. This service allows you to send your resume to an industry professional who will provide you feedback and tips for improvement. This service is available to all ALIA members, including student members!
ALIA SNGG also have more job SNGGing information on our Job Site. Check it out!
Our next event is a more casual social event: Join us for our Spring Social event on Thursday 21 September. Hope to see you there!
So! You’ve created a stellar resume, teased out some STAR selection criteria, and scored yourself an interview.
What next? You’ve got to smash the interview and get the job!
Come join Queensland ALIA Students and New Graduates group for a hands-on panel and workshop all about the skills you need in an interview. We’ll be joined by experienced library managers and have the opportunity to ask them all the burning questions you have about what it takes to shine in a job interview.
Do you have a question for the panel? Contribute to our anonymous Padlet and get your question heard!
When: Saturday 2nd September
Where: Main Library (V714), QUT Gardens Point Campus
Cost: ALIA members free; non-members $5
RSVP: Spaces strictly limited. Please register by 29/08/17 via Eventbrite or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The ACT Students and New Graduates Group are holding a Key Selection Criteria (KSC) workshop at the National Library, come join us! Hear about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing KSC and how to stand out from the crowd. If nothing else, we hope you leave the event more confident about applying for your next job.
We have some wonderful speakers from the University of Canberra Library, The National Library of Australia, ACT Libraries and the Federal Government who are all keen to help you create the best possible job application.
WHEN: September 5, 2017 from 5.30pm-7.00pm
WHERE: Ferguson Room at The National Library of Australia
COST: Free for ALIA Members / $5 for Non ALIA Members
R.S.V.P email@example.com (with your ALIA Member No.)
We look forward to seeing everyone there!
Cindy Nguyen and Chris Sonneveld
ALIA Student and New Graduate (ACT) Coordinators