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Librarian Interview Questions and Red Flags

You got an interview for a library position! Good for you! You’ve waited for this day for so long, and now it’s finally here.

I see so many questions about job interviews on librarian FaceBook groups. Mostly, prospective librarians are asking about what they can do to improve their chances of getting the job. What topics to focus on. What experiences to highlight. What to bring to the interview.

In this series, we will look at librarian interviews from a different angle. What questions should you ask at the interview? What are normal expectations?  What are not normal expectations? What red flags should you look for?

I have been on both sides of the interview table many, many times. I’ve worked in six schools. Five were librarian positions and one was as a classroom teacher. Most of the schools turned out great for me. One turned out to be a terrible fit. Looking back at that one, I remember some interview red flags that came up. Had I paid more attention to these red flags–had I asked more questions to clarify what was expected–I might have saved myself two years of stress and job dissatisfaction.

Guys, I know you are excited to get a library job. But you need to be careful and honest with yourself and what you expect. Get crystal-clear clarification if you have concerns in the interview.

If the school is not a fit for you, then it isn’t a fit. It’s okay to decline a job offer. It’s also okay to negotiate your contract to make it work better for you. It’s also okay to take a position that isn’t the best fit for you, but it’s better than where you are. No matter your situation, you deserve to go into it with eyes wide open. This series will help you determine what questions to ask, what’s most important to you, and what you are and are not willing to deal with at work.

I plan to add to this series throughout this school year. Hopefully, by the time schools start interviewing new librarians in the spring (or this winter for international schools), you will know what to ask in your interview.

Click on a post below to get started.


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