Preparing for a job interview

by Jennifer Crutchfield, Head Editor, INALJ Connecticut

Preparing for a job interview

headshotHi everyone! I am currently getting ready for the rare occurrence of a job interview, which is coming up in a few days. I am really excited about the interview because it is with a great company, but I’m also really nervous because I feel like I do not perform as well as I should during the interview process. I’m a shy person and I get really intimidated sitting in front of someone talking about myself.  This time I want to nail it and make the interviewers really want me for the position. I thought I would share some of my thoughts on getting ready for an interview and how I am preparing for this particular interview.

One thing I am really trying to do this time is practice! I feel like this is extremely useful to me because I tend to freeze up when asked a question. Practice is making me feel comfortable with many of the questions I will probably get asked.  An example of this would be the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question. My goodness, where do you start? I guess that is different for everyone, but for me I’m probably going to start with the past five years because this is when I graduated with my Master’s and got my first job.

Another thing I did to prepare for this interview is go through each and every qualification the institution is looking for and write down examples of each action I have taken that fulfills their need. I actually write down all my answers. I find that for me answers really sink into my head when I write them down. I understand this is time consuming and not for everyone. I watched a great YouTube video on how to ace an interview (It really is a good one!).  In that video, the presenter describes that when you are preparing for an interview, you should answer questions using PAR, which stands for Problem, Action, Result. I found this very helpful. It helped my gather my thoughts together on what I wanted to say.

These are only a few suggestions, but to get the full scope of the interview process watch this video:

Interview Pro: How to Ace Interviews and Win Jobs by SeattlePacific

editors note/update: Jennifer got the job!!!

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, 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 21 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. 


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