For most people, just talking about their strengths in an interview can be pretty challenging.
But talking about your weaknesses in a way that doesn’t sink your hiring prospects can feel even more challenging. Most of us can come up with plenty of weaknesses, but which one is okay to mention in an interview situation that won’t immediately doom you to the “rejects” pile?
One way to approach your response is to consider what an interviewer is trying to learn from the weaknesses question. Essentially, the goal is to not to make you feel unbelievable awkward, but rather to understand how well you know yourself (your self-awareness skills). Then, they’ll want to know how you would plan to address that weakness, or what steps you’ve taken to start working on it.
So what should you say (or not)? (more…)
Do an online search on tips on dressing for an interview and you’ll get lots of help – about 11.5 million hits, in fact. Everyone has very definitive “do’s and don’ts,” but the reality is that each work environment – and job within that environment – is at least slightly different from every other one.
Not only that, you’re equally unique. You may, in fact, have an amazing sense of personal style that enables you to pull off wardrobe choices that brilliantly speak to your strengths (rather than revealing your utter lack of fashion savvy, which is the case for many of us…).
Given the wide range of variables that may play into your choice of attire, one of the best ways to approach pulling together an interview outfit is to think about:
- the type of organization you’re interviewing with;
- the role you’re hoping to play within that organization; and
- what outfit makes you feel both comfortable and confident.
One of the best ways to distinguish yourself among other job applicants is to ask thoughtful, targeted questions during your interview, both in response to questions asked of you during the interview and at the end of the interview, when most applicants are asked if they have any questions to ask of the interviewer or interviewing panel.
Assume you may go through at least a couple of interviews, and use each one to ask questions that will give you additional insight not only into the job itself, but also into your potential boss’s management style and the company’s or department’s culture.
First interview questions – getting the lay of the land
If it’s your first interview, you’ll probably want to ask basic questions about the organization, doing so in such a way that indicates you’ve already gained a good understanding of the employer and its industry (including libraries). For example, “My research indicates that [company] is known for outstanding customer support. Are there ways in which this job supports that effort?” Other questions might include: (more…)
How to pull the narrative threads from your chaotic eclectic career
Recently I worked with an MLIS student whose resume prior to grad school was primarily retail, clerical, and a number of nanny jobs. She was stymied about how to weave her job experience – which ostensibly had nothing to do with LIS work – into a strong enough narrative to convince employers to take a chance on her.
Many of us have been there, done that. (more…)
The recently published Library Journal annual “Placements and Salaries” report, written by the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Suzie Allard, once again provides fascinating insights into how new graduates are faring in the LIS job market. (Shout-out to Library Journal for continuing to annually undertake and publicly share this information with the profession.)
The good news: to quote Dr. Allard, graduates are looking at “a healthy job market characterized by rising salary levels and work that calls for both traditional and nontraditional skills and roles.”
Key take-aways: (more…)
Yep, asking your network for job-hunting help can sometimes feel awkward.
But did you know that experts say less than one in three jobs results from an online application? That one statistic alone should quickly vault “reaching out to my community of colleagues” to the top of your job-hunting tactics list.
In order to give your outreach efforts (and your contacts) the best chance of actually being able to help you find a job, however, it’s important to do some prep work first.
Do these three things first
Before you send that first e-mail or make that first phone call request, you need to: (more…)