During an interview for the position of library assistant, you will be not only be checked about your knowledge of working in a library setting but also about how well you get along with people.
Since library assistants are in constant contact with people, they need to possess good interpersonal and communication skills.
Libraries are not what they used to be – a lot of library resources are in electronic form now.
Therefore, you will be tested on your knowledge of handling electronic information.
This means that you must be technology savvy as you will be asked questions pertaining to retrieving information from electronic resources.
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Of course, you cannot forgo the fact that your interview will be primarily aimed at your knowledge of books and cataloging systems so you need to be able to answer these intelligently.
Some questions that you might be asked (and their answers) are given below:
Library Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
1. Why should we hire you?
You should hire me because you require an experienced and competent individual having ample knowledge of book shelving, sequencing, cataloging, and tagging protocols.
As per your requirements, I possess 3+ years of experience in the same with the exact qualifications you are seeking in the successful candidate. I also offer expertise in sourcing, referencing, and retrieving publisher information.
2. Name 3 qualifications you have as a library assistant?
I am detail-oriented, tech-savvy, and highly organized. I believe these are the strongest assets that have always supported me in this role.
3. Share a rather difficult situation you faced and how you handled it?
Once it so happened that a teacher (also a Ph.D. scholar) requested a certain reference book which was out when she requested. I assured her that I’d have it back within a week, but the person who had loaned it did not return it on time and the other client wanted it urgently. She was very upset about finding it missing again. However, I took her contact number and called her as soon as the book was available.
4. How do you manage your time?
Time management is one of my strengths. If faced with much work to do in a limited time, I categorize the tasks as per their importance and priority then one by one, I manage them within the given deadline making sure the most important ones are done first.
5. Which classification systems are you familiar with?
I am familiar with the Dewey Decimal and Congress Classification systems.
6. Are customer service skills essential for this role in your opinion?
Definitely, the job involves public dealing on a daily basis. I believe good people skills are a must for this position.
7. What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism means using information from a source without acknowledging it. It is a literacy crime, and all information sources must be properly referenced to give due credit to the original authors of the work.
8. Which referencing formats are you familiar with?
I am well versed in APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago referencing styles. I can not only use these to retrieve publisher information but can also guide students regarding the same.
9. What do you like the most in library assistant job?
I enjoy being in the library and guiding people about the material they are seeking but most of all I enjoy receiving new books/media, reading their reviews, and entering these into the system.
10. Can you share one of your professional achievement with us?
I implemented a time-saving material location SOP that resulted in the reduction of retrieval time by 4 minutes per inquiry. I was also awarded the Best Library Assistant based on this ingenious accomplishment.
11. What do you think is the most important trait of a library assistant?
In my opinion, detail orientation is top of the list. Library assistants need to work with records and know where books and resources are located so they need to be organized too.
12. How important is it to possess good interpersonal skills for a library assistant? Why?
It is very important for library assistants to possess good interpersonal skills. This is because they are constantly in touch with library patrons and often need to demonstrate tact.
Also. one has to be patient and tolerant of patrons’ interests and tastes so that no one is offended.
13. Can you tell us of some of the library resources you have handled in the past?
Apart from books and magazines, I managed microfilms, periodicals, audio, and video materials, and cards and slides as well.
14. What library material other than books are you comfortable in handling?
Other than books I’m used to handling videotapes, computer files, cassettes, and CDs in the library.
15. What technology do you think is important to be familiar with in order to work effectively as a library assistant?
It is important to be able to work with library-specific cataloging systems. Library assistants have to work with spreadsheets so knowledge of Microsoft Excel is also important.
Since working as a library assistant means that one has to assist patrons in looking for online information or through library records, it is important to be technically savvy as well.
16. What maintenance duties do a library assistant need to perform?
It is important to be able to perform some book management and cataloging tasks.
On the other hand, it is also important to ensure the cleanliness of bookshelves which involves dusting and arranging, and rearranging books and resources in the library.