Librarian Interview Questions and Answers

Feeling nervous is very natural phenomena prior to and during an interview. While many applicants believe that nervousness can wreck their employment chances, in some instances it can actually help. If you are nervous prior to an interview, your will be more inclined to do something about your nervousness so that it doesn’t affect your interview.

Making a checklist of things to do during the time that leads up to an interview can do wonders for your nervousness. If you have things listed down, you can tick them off as you complete them. You should know your resume inside out so that you can reiterate information from it during the interview and you should also understand interviewing styles of different companies so that you can work towards your preparation.

What else can be done to prepare for an interview? Anticipate what questions you may be asked and prepare answers. Ask for feedback from a friend with whom you conduct mock interviews but do not be too critical of yourself.

Here are some questions (and answers) that you may be asked during an interview for the position of a librarian.

Librarian Interview Questions and Answers

Tell me about your educational background and experience? How do they qualify you for this job?
I am a graduate of library sciences and have been working as a school librarian for the past five years. My experience and education, both are highly relevant to this position.

What are your strengths as a librarian?
I am a good leader, organized person, possess remarkable skills in record keeping, detail oriented, have good interpersonal skills and full command over cataloging, classification and referencing styles which make me a strong candidate for librarian.

What referencing styles are you familiar with?
I am familiar with APA, MLA, Harvard and Chicago referencing styles since these are most popular and are widely accepted around the globe. I am also a quick learner and quickly grasp new referencing formats.

What are the duties of a librarian?
Duties of a librarian include; maintaining book issuance records, ensuring barrier free access to available material, carrying out manual and digital cataloging, providing referencing assistance and guidelines and facilitating the students and patrons in search of specific reading material.

How much do you believe in the standard depiction of the “stern” librarian? Why?
The “stern” librarian is very passé. I do not believe in it much. While I think it is important to have an attitude that will keep discipline within a library, I do not believe in making yourself unpopular by your behavior. Librarians are hired to help people and not drive them away!

What is the most important skill that a librarian should possess?
Librarians need to be great researchers. They need to possess working knowledge of electronic information resources and corresponding delivery methods.

How do you feel about free online resources such as Wikipedia?
I think free information sources are a great idea. They provide people with much insight into concepts and histories. However, free sources are not always accurate so if one wants to gain precise information, one needs to be aware of where to look for it.

If we were to contact your references, what skills do you think they will chart out as your best?
I am known at my work place as meticulous and detail oriented. I believe that my customer service skills and research abilities will be highly commended by my references.

What kind of experience have you had with library groups?
I have led a number of reading and research clubs during my time as a librarian. I have had experience with leading both children’s clubs and those for adults.

What is web 2.0? Should it be present in a library?
Web 2.0 refers to the transition or development of cyber technology from static to dynamic web pages. Web 2.0 enables online databases and e-books to work and makes navigation through online material very easy which is why it is essential for any modern library.

What is your favorite online database for book reading and why?
My favorite is ‘worldcat’ since it has never disappointed me. Whatever is published, I believe they have it. I also like the database because they provide very useful referencing guidelines and showcase publications from all over the world.

Which library classification systems are you familiar with?
I am familiar with the universal classification systems used in the English speaking world like congress classification and Dewey decimal. I am also well versed in a couple of facet based classification systems. These include: Bliss bibliographic classification and colon system.

In what ways has the ‘library’ evolved? What changes do you foresee in the coming years?
The concept of library has become digital over the past decade. Gone are the days of manual cataloging. We have computerized record of every book now. Online libraries have made access to books even easier. I foresee the library evolving into a huge collection of e-books on cyber space in the coming years

Would you allow a teacher to photocopy some books, bind them and allow students to issue them?
As per the generally applicable copyrights policy, I would not allow complete photocopying and binding however copying small parts from the book to facilitate students is permissible provided that the photocopied pages are properly referenced when used.

How do you handle a student who is spoiling the books?
I take immediate disciplinary action as per policy because books of the library are public property and being the librarian makes me their custodian while placing heavy responsibility on my shoulders.

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