Library employees should be reading to keep up with their patrons! Go ahead and share the last book you read for fun! Did you have a chance to read a great romance novel on the beach? Were you deep into a mystery novel on the last rainy day? Did you dive into a home improvement book after recently purchasing a home? Or, maybe you love ongoing learning and read the most recent top-selling business book. Simply share your last fun reading experience.
Library Assistant Interview Questions
What was the last book you read for fun?
Why are you interested in leaving your current position?
Candidly share why you would like to leave your current job while focusing on how you will better yourself with this transition. For example, you might state, "I look forward to learning additional skills that I am not able to learn in my current position." Or, "I am excited to have a new team of co-workers to collaborate with, bounce new ideas off of, and create a great environment with. It is time for a new challenge!" Focusing on yourself will help the interviewer see that you are excited about being exceptional at your job while being respectful of your current organization.
"I look forward to learning additional skills that I am not able to learn in my current position."
What are your career goals?
Candidly express your career goals. Your response will help the interviewer develop your time as a library assistant to help you achieve your career goals. The interviewer can strategically develop a role for you that will help you develop your skills thus improving your resume and your chances of achieving your career goals faster!
What experiences do you have using a computer in the library?
The interviewer is simply trying to better understand your experience. Think through your computer experience in the library from the perspective of an employee as well as a patron, and share your experience. Have you utilized the check-out system? Have you utilized the return-system? Have you used the computer to follow up with patrons who have past-due items? Have you used the computer to help patrons find books? Have you used the computer to help students with research papers? Simply share your experiences to help the interviewer better understand your experiences.
What task in the library do you typically dislike doing the most?
Most people have something they dislike about their job, and that is okay! We recommend picking something that is not a large part of the library assistant's job. Start by telling the interviewer that you enjoy your job as a library assistant. Next, express your one dislike about the job again re-iterating that you enjoy your job and will happily do this one thing for the joy you get from the rest of the job! You might state something like this,
Based on the job description, which of the duties do you feel most comfortable with, and which do you feel may take some time to learn?
Candidly share which duties you feel comfortable with and express if there are any duties that you feel might challenge you. Be confidant expressing that you know with a little training you will be great at the job! Your candid response to the question will allow the interviewer to put together a great training plan if you are hired for the job to ensure you are successful in the role!
If you do not have any post-secondary education, do you plan on receiving that in the future?
The interviewer is curious if you will pursue further education to become a librarian or pursue another career. Go ahead and candidly share if you have plans to pursue your Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree expressing what degree you hope to receive and your timeline for pursuing post-secondary education.
Tell us about your work experience in libraries.
This one should be easy! Simply walk through your work history sharing where you have worked, what your job title was at each location, and how long you were employed there. Be sure to share 1 thing that you loved about each job as well; it is a quick way to show the interviewer that you are a positive person who loves their career.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments as a library assistant?
What things have you received the most recognition for? Was there a special project you completed? Did you update a library service or help launch a new initiative? Did you help create a clever new display or lead a new series? What days have you left your job smiling? These things will help lead you to your proudest accomplishment! Simply tell the interviewer about your proudest accomplishment explaining why you are so proud of your achievement.
Would there be any situation where you would refuse to answer a patron's question or request?
A great response to a question like this is: Unless the patron's question or response is inappropriate or unethical, I think I would be happy to work with the patron to see what we can do! I know that I won't be able to make every request known, but when possible, I try to help out as much as we can!
How do you keep track of work so that it gets done on time?
We all need a personal organization system. What is yours? Do you use your calendar? Do you keep a to-do list? Simply share what system you use to keep yourself organized and on track! Be sure to mention if you set reminders, use sticky notes, or write messages on your mirror to stay on track too.
What is your philosophy to librarianship?
Explain your definition of a librarians responsibilities. What is the librarian responsible for? Who is the librarian serving? What are the librarian's goals? Your responses to these questions will allow the interviewer understand your librarianship philosophy. You might say something like this, "I think librarians are responsible for setting the tone of their library. They decide if it will be a quiet, tranquil getaway or a hip fun hangout for learning. Librarians are responsible for serving the community they serve through providing books, helping kids love to read, providing a place for student's to study, and creating a sanctuary for adults to explore. I think the librarian's primary goal is to help people love reading and learning."
"I think librarians are responsible for setting the tone of their library. They decide if it will be a quiet, tranquil getaway or a hip fun hangout for learning. Librarians are responsible for serving the community they serve through providing books, helping kids love to read, providing a place for student's to study, and creating a sanctuary for adults to explore. I think the librarian's primary goal is to help people love reading and learning."
Have you ever dealt with an upset guest at the library before? What was the problem and how did you handle it?
The interviewer is hoping to hear that you handle these situations with poise and professionalism while not allowing them to get the best of you. Candidly share a time when you had an upset patron at the library. Explain why the person was upset, and express what steps you took to help the guest. Be sure to mention that you know the customer was not directly upset with you; they were upset with the situation. Share that you understand your responsibility is to serve the customer helping them be as happy as possible before leaving the location.
If I called your boss right now and asked him or her what is an area that you could improve on, what would he or she say?
Think of a skill that would help you further your career that your boss would like to see you achieve. This is a great item to share! Simply state what skill your boss would like to see you gain in order to achieve a promotion within the company. For example, you might state, "My boss would love for me to improve my education, so I can become a librarian. He is always telling me that I have the potential to do it, and he would like to see me dive into studying for that degree!"
"My boss would love for me to improve my education, so I can become a librarian. He is always telling me that I have the potential to do it, and he would like to see me dive into studying for that degree!"
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
What things are you typically commended for in your performance reviews? What compliments do you often receive? These things will lead you to your three positive words to describe yourself! Focusing on positives is key! Common responses might include:
- Team Player
What is it about our position that interests you the most?
How would you rate your organizational skills?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite books?
Why should we hire you?
Have you created any special programs in your library before? Were they successful?
As a Library Assistant, what do you believe is your best asset?
What frustrates you the most as a library assistant? How do you go about fixing it/solving it?
What management style do you prefer working with?
When have you used a computer to assist a patron at the library? How did you help them?
What area of the library do you hope to specialize in?
Give me a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.