Further Questions: What “hot topics” would you ask candidates about in an interview right now?

This week we asked people who hire librarians

What “hot topics” would you ask candidates about in an interview right now (i.e. the new information literacy framework)? Or what topics have you recently included? What current issues in librarianship do you think candidates should be aware of and how can they best keep up on current topics?

My “hot topics” vary depending on the job, however, here’s what I usually look for:

General Public Service: Outreach and grant writing experience, familiarity and comfort with technology

Collection Development and Technical Services: Demand-driven acquisitions, RDA, cataloging experience

Reference: Traditional reference skills (being able to function without Google) but also technology experience-being able to work in both new and old reference styles is important-I like a librarian who can answer a reference question even if the network is down

And for all hires-customer service experience. We usually ask situational questions to gauge how someone would handle an issue with a problem patron, etc.

– Margaret M. Neill, Regional Library Branch Manager, Main Library, El Paso Public Library

J. McRee ElrodRDA is old news by now.  We would expect a new cataloguer to be aware of Bibframe developments.




– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging

Jessica OlinHonestly, I don’t really care about “hot topics.” I care about how tuned in librarians are to research, who they read both in and out of the profession, and how they will fit with the rest of the staff. “Who influences your practice and why?” is a better way for me to get to know someone than “what are your feelings on X?”
– Jessica Olin, Director of Parker Library, Wesley College
Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email us at hiringlibrariansquestionsATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you liked reading, you’re going to really love COMMENTING.



Filed under Further Questions

2 responses to “Further Questions: What “hot topics” would you ask candidates about in an interview right now?

  1. Pingback: Further Questions Questions | Hiring Librarians

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