ALIA Career Starter Kit The Interview Recap

by | Nov 10, 2023 | ALIA, ALIA, ALIA SNGG and ALIA Group Event wrap-up posts, Events, Tips & resources

The final ALIA Career Stater Kit chat was on the Interview. 

Panelist for the Interview chat included:

  • Liz Walkley Hall, Associate Director, Engagement & Scholarly Communication at Flinders University.
  • Amy Georgiou, Library Volunteer Supervisor at Woolahra Libraries
  • Rosie Stevenson, Head of Library & Information Services, Weriona School, Independent K-12 girls school.


What can I expect in an interview?


You can expect an interview between the head of department and a member of the senior leadership team. They provide a broad view of the role. 

  • An overview of the role and what a day in the life looks like at the school.
  • A chat on thr library space
  • A set of questions to demonstrate your experience to see how well you would fit in the team.

Liz: In an Adademic Library, the interview process is formal. You will recieve an email to let you know the time & place for an online/physical interview.

  • A pannel of 3-5 people will ask a range of questions to check suitability of the candiet. [They may be recruiting for mult-positions]. 
  • Interview may take 45mins.

Amy: Public Library

  • A formal interview
  • Invited to attend an interview by email or call
  • A 1 hour interview speaking to the team leader you will be reporting to/ HR/ Independent representative.

Tip: Check your spam folder in case the place emails you an automated email.

Interview times can go from 45mins to 1 hour or more, but can be as little as 15mins if a person is sucinct answering questions. 

What happens in a 2nd Interview?


A second interview is less formal. The purpose of a second interview is to assist the selection panel with a reference check or conversation with previous supervisors.

It is time for a selection panel to decide between job applicants. Helping give the selection team time to see how well an individual will fit into a team. 

Ways to overcome interview nerves?

Liz tip to reduce nerves in an online interview is to add a face above your web camera. 

Rosie mentined to be aware of your surroundings in an online interview.   

Take note of the space and who is around you. 

Do you have pets, family members, children, friends or visitors who may distract you?

Are you in a tidy room? 

Do you need a virtual background? Is this appropriate?

How can I prepare for an interview?


Practice answering your responses and sharing your thoughts with friends & family.

Be early to calm your nearves. If you are running late, give them a call. 

Have a cheat sheat with examples of what you have done. Photos of a display or website you have worked on. 

Dress to impres in clothes and shoes you are comfortable wearing. 

Liz: Ask to have questions given to you in advance. 

Give yourself time to think on a question. If you don’t understand a question, ask if you can have the question rephrased.

Tip: Look at Toastmasters to express yourself better and improve your speaking skills.

Appropriate time for feedback if you are not succesful?

If you recieve a call, you can ask to have feedback or a time to schedule a feedback chat.

Ask 2 – 3 points on what skills you can work on and advice for areas of your resume to work on.

Email a library team member to ask feedback with 2-3 questions on areas you can improve. 

Other questions to ask:

  • Where can I learn the soft/technical skills for the role? 
  • Can you share any professional development tips?
  • What part/s of my resume worked well, and what advice do you have to adjust my resume to fit with the team & core values?
  • Are there any similar roles at the place that may fit my skills and experience?


ALIA (2023) ALIA Career Starter Kit The Interview. [Video] .Vimeo.



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