Job Application and Interview Tips


Special libraries and information centers are often found in the business world, and the hiring processes can be very different from those in academic and public libraries.

As pointed out in What Do Employers Want: a Guide for Library Science Students, (Priscilla K Shontz and Richard A. Murray, Libraries Unlimited, 2012) the hiring process in the for-profit world differs significantly from hiring in other library environments. As with other types of LIS employers, applications are usually accepted online, often through a generic recruiting site. However, as Steve Oberg, who has worked for academic libraries, vendors, and for-profit organizations, said:

For entry-level jobs in the for-profit sector, I cannot stress enough how important it is that job seekers look for ways of getting their feet in the door, of getting noticed. Typically the best way to do that is to look for onsite internship opportunities. This is invaluable experience and can often result in a job offer if you give a favorable impression.

Special libraries, information centers, and non-library environments require information professionals who are especially flexible and able to think creatively, and this unpredictability is reflected in their interviews. Perhaps more than in other types of library environments, you must be prepared to think on your feet and expect the unexpected when interviewing for these types of jobs. As always, preparing for your interview is especially important.

For additional advice on acing an interview in a special library environment, see:
Vault Interviewing Advice

See the following SJSU iSchool interviewing resources for more general information about preparing for a successful interview:
After the Interview
Basic Interview Questions
Behavioral Interview Questions
Interviewing Resources
Phone Screen Interview
Practice with Big Interview
Questions For You to Ask
Thank You Letter
The Video Interview