Job Hunter Follow Up: Alexandra Patterson



Alexandra Patterson took the Job Hunter’s survey on May 6, 2014.  


Her responses appeared earlier today as HR can tell when you just want a job instead of wanting THAT job.

Your Background

How long has it been since you got your library degree?

I graduated in May 2014.

How many years of library work experience do you have?

I worked as a student assistant in libraries for four years before going to library school. While in library school I had numerous internships. No professional experience though.

How many years of work experience outside of libraries do you have?

Your Answer Here

How old are you?
(Totally optional! Or feel free to give me a decade/ballpark, rather than a number)


Your Job Hunt

How long did it take you before you found your job?

I started applying to jobs in December of my second year of library school and I was offered my current job just before graduation in May.

How many positions did you apply to?

Somewhere I lost track! Probably over 200.

How many interviews did you go on?

I had 5 phone interviews and 3 follow-up phone interviews. I also had 2 in person interviews.

What was your work situation while you were job hunting?
(in or out of school, employed/unemployed, full time/part time, freelancing, etc.?)

I was finishing my MSLS and working part-time at a large research library as a graduate assistant in the interlibrary loan and serials management departments.

Were you volunteering anywhere?

Your Answer Here

Did you travel for interviews? If so, who paid?

I traveled for two interviews. For one, the interviewing institution paid all expenses; for the second, I split the expenses with the interviewing institution.

Did you decline any offers?

Your Answer Here

Your Job

What’s your new job?

Your Answer Here

Is your job full or part time? Permanent or temporary?

My job is a full-time, 11-month, permanent position.

Did you relocate? If so, who paid?

Your Answer Here

How did you find the listing for your job?

I worked with a hiring agency who sent my application to various independent schools.

Did you meet all of the required qualifications? How many of the desired qualifications?

Luckily, I met all of the required qualifications and all but one of the desired qualifications.

What was the application process like? How many interviews did you do?

Because I was working with the hiring agency, I did not submit an tailored original application. The first time I had direct contact with the school was when I received an email from the HR manager. I interviewed first with her and then was invited to campus for two days of interviews. While I campus I met with the library staff, the library director, the dean of students, the academic dean, the headmaster and groups of students and faculty.

How did you prepare for the interview(s)?

I scoured the interview question repository on this site and copied every question that seemed remotely relevant into a google doc. I then went back and answered each question. Reading over my responses helped put me at ease about the interview.

Did you know anyone in the organization that hired you? If so, how?

Your Answer Here

Is your job commensurate with your skills, experience and expectations?

Your Answer Here

Is the pay scale higher or lower than you were looking for?

Your Answer Here

What do you think was the biggest obstacle in your job hunt? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me was that I still wasn’t sure which area of librarianship I wanted to go into. I was torn between working in a school library and working in serials in a large academic library. I think that some of my earlier applications reflected this wishy-washy thought process. As soon as I decided to fully commit myself to one or the other as I wrote application materials, I started getting interviews.

What set you apart from the other applicants? Why did they hire you?

The school is a 1:1 iPad school and many of the teachers make iBooks for their classes. I created an iBook portfolio that included my resume, major projects, research and pictures of displays that I had created. I think that really showed that I understood the school’s drive to integrate technology~

State of the Job Market

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen on a job announcement?

I saw ads that wanted a single person to be a subject specialist in Russian, biology and religion.

What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?

My favorite interview question was “tell me about yourself.” I love how open-ended it is and how it gave me the opportunity to really direct the interview to my skill set. The worst interview question was when I was asked the most off the wall reference question I had ever received. It’s hard to think of a good one on the spot!

Any good horror stories for us?

Your Answer Here

Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?

I was lucky enough to receive several interviews in the beginning of my last semester at library school and to get job before I graduated; I really can’t complain!

Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?

No, I still think that your passion for the position really shines through. I certainly think that’s what got me the job!

Anything else you want to tell us?

Your Answer Here


1 Comment

Filed under Job Hunter Follow Up

One response to “Job Hunter Follow Up: Alexandra Patterson

  1. Pingback: Job Hunter Follow Up: Alexandra Patterson | Hiring Librarians

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