Un-rack Your Interview Nerves: prepping makes perfect

by Brittany Bush, Head Editor, INALJ West Virginia

Un-rack Your Interview Nerves: prepping makes perfect

meAs someone who tends to fly by the seat of their pants, formal interviews can be nerve racking. Because of this, it is important to begin preparing for your upcoming interview as soon as you are presented the opportunity. The following list will give you somewhat of a course of action upon accepting the interview proposal.
1.       Copies, copies, and more copies! – When readying for your interview, it can never hurt to have multiple copies of any and all information that you believe the hiring manager may find helpful. If you do not know the number of people you will be interviewing with, the general rule of thumb is to bring at least 3-5 copies of your resume. While your cover letter and references may be of less demand, it is always good to have multiple copies for those just-in-case moments.

2.       Practice makes perfect! – Although there are hundreds of questions an interviewer may ask, there are a few questions that are interview staples. Google these questions (some of which can be found here) before hand and take the time to think about/write out the answers. While doing this may not completely save you from some off-the-wall questions and awkward silences, it will allow you to decrease the response time as well as give you the ability to think of non-cliché answers.

3.       Dress to impress! – Dressing for the interview is probably one of the hardest parts of the pre-interview preparations (at least for us women). While most information will point you in the direction of a suit, I find that when one chooses clothes that are interview appropriate AND allow themselves to feel comfortable, they are more likely to have increased confidence and outwardly show it. Upon researching the company dress code, if you feel like you have a chance to tastefully implement some of your personal style into your interview attire, go for it!

4.       Be ready! – By creating a checklist and laying out all the items you will need the night before you interview, you will lower the chance of forgetting something that may be vital to the process.

While interviewing can be a nerve racking time, it doesn’t have to be completely filled with stress. Preparing as much as possible prior to your interview day will allow you to feel more comfortable in the interview itself and hopefully make a good impression on the interviewer.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list INALJ.com (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of T160K.org, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 20.5 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.