What’s your current work situation?
I work as a Page and Volunteer Coordinator at a public library.
Did you relocate for your job? If so, who paid?
Yes, though I moved in with my partner so there was little relocation costs. I paid for the cost.
How did you find the listing for your job?
I believe that I found the listing on inalj.com.
Did you meet all of the required qualifications? How many of the desired qualifications?
Yes, I met all the required qualifications. The only desired qualification that I didn’t meet was having previous work experience in a library setting.
What was the application process like? How many interviews did you do?
I had one interview with three current staff members.
How did you prepare for the interview(s)?
I prepared for a few hours, I was nervous about specific questions regarding library automation systems which I had little experience with.
Did you know anyone in the organization that hired you? If so, how?
I didn’t know anyone!
Is your job commensurate with your skills, experience and expectations?
Is the pay scale higher or lower than you were looking for?
About what I was looking for. It was a full time position with benefits, so that influenced my decision to take the position.
What do you think was the biggest obstacle in your job hunt? How did you overcome it?
Getting the experience in a library. I overcame this obstacle because I had a lot of experience working with and managing volunteers. A component of the position that the library was really looking to strengthen.
What set you apart from the other applicants? Why did they hire you?
I think it was my experience working for a non-profit and the large base of volunteers in which I was able to successfully manage. I also had recently acquired my MLIS.
Your Job Hunt
How long did it take to find your job?
After getting my MLIS it took me two and a half months. However, my current position is a paraprofessional position that does not require the degree.
How many positions did you apply to?
After completing my proficiency exam to get my MLIS, I probably applied to roughly 12 different positions, both full and part time.
How many interviews did you go on?
What was your work situation while you were job hunting?
I worked full time at a large non-profit. I was responsible for special events and volunteer services at that organization.
Were you volunteering anywhere?
I volunteered the summer of 2009 at a public library. I has also recently completed a 150 hour internship at an academic library.
Did you travel for interviews? If so, who paid?
It was within driving distance, but I paid.
Did you decline any offers?
State of the Job Market
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen on a job announcement?
I was fortunate to secure a job shortly after gaining my MLIS, so nothing really stands out.
What was your favorite interview question? What was the worst?
The general questions about a time in which I worked on a project? I liked this question because I had sooo many examples from my previous position. So in a certain way this question really helped to boost my confidence in the interview. My least favorite was “Why should I hire you?” I think that like between confidence and arrogance can get pretty thin, and it’s also awkward tooting your horn over applicants you know nothing about.
Any good horror stories for us?
While I was still in school getting my Master’s degree I had an interview for a position as an Adult Services Librarian in which they asked me to demonstrate how to download an e-book to a nook. The nook died. So then they gave me a kindle. I have the kindle app installed on my iPhone so when I went to log in to my account and download a book, the title downloaded to my phone, which I left in my car so it wouldn’t be a distraction. Fail!
Has job hunting been a positive or negative experience, for the most part?
It was good, but only after getting invited to interview. I remember being frustrated in applying for jobs that I felt overqualified for, and nevering getting a call to interview..
Would you change your answer to “what’s the secret to getting hired”?
I’m not sure that I would, but I got hired despite not knowing anyone who works at the library, so it’s all a mystery to me.
What’s your ideal work situation?
I think ideally I would like to work as either a Teen Librarian or in an academic library as an ILL Librarian.
Anything else you want to tell us?
Hmmm, I think my appeal to my current position was the fact that it would provide me with an opportunity to gain experience working in a library setting. I hope to advance into a professional position at some point.