When interviewing for a library assistant role, it's important to show employers you're a knowledgeable and organized candidate. By preparing for common interview questions, you can show that you have the right skills and experiences for the job. It's common for library employers to ask questions about your previous roles and qualifications. In this article, we share common interview questions for a library assistant along with several sample answers.
Related: How To Become a Librarian Assistant
General questions for a library assistant
These interview questions can help an interviewer learn more about your personality and interest in their library assistant role:
- What inspired you to apply for this role?
- How would you describe yourself in three words?
- Tell me a bit about yourself.
- Are you a current member of this library?
- What do you value about our community?
- What book are you reading right now?
- Why is the library an important part of the community?
- What is your favorite book?
- What book genres do you enjoy?
- Why do you enjoy literature?
Related: 10 Library Science Careers
Library assistant questions about experience and background
These interview questions can help an interviewer gain a deeper understanding of your skills and previous experiences:
- Do you have research experience?
- Do you have strong communication skills?
- Do you have experience working with children or teens?
- Tell me about a time you worked with a challenging person.
- Tell me about any experiences you have teaching others.
- Are you able to follow directions well?
- Tell me about a time you helped someone.
- Can you share a situation when you were proactive?
- What is your problem-solving process?
- Do you have experience managing social media accounts?
Related: Guide for How To Become a Librarian
In-depth questions for library assistants
These interview questions can help an interviewer imagine how you might perform as a library assistant:
- What would you do if a community member was acting inappropriately?
- How do you keep yourself motivated?
- How do you stay organized?
- What would you do if the library didn't have a book someone wanted?
- How would you inspire others to enjoy reading?
- How would you encourage people to visit the library?
- Would you feel comfortable leading community activities or events?
- Would you need training on cataloging?
- Are you willing to help guests with basic computer questions?
- Do you know how to operate a scanner?
Interview questions for a library assistant with sample answers
Use these interview questions with sample answers to help you come up with your own responses:
Do you have experience assisting others?
Interviewers ask this question to determine if you have the right experience to be an assistant. They want to see that you're a helpful candidate who can follow orders. Use your response to share any experiences you have working alongside a manager or helping a customer. Show that you're someone who can anticipate people's needs and are eager to help.
Example: "In my previous role at a bookshop, I was the lead assistant to my manager. I was responsible for helping her place customers' book orders and assisting them with questions. She appreciated my organizational skills and put me in charge of placing our new books on the shelves. I also learned how to take inventory and gradually took on that responsibility. I was happy that I could place orders before we experienced any shortages."
Related: How To Get a Job at a Library
What skills make you qualified for this role?
This question helps interviewers learn if you have a good understanding of their role. They want you to show them that you have the right skills for this kind of job. A qualified librarian assistant is organized, helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. Along with sharing some of these skills, you can read through the job description to see which skills this role requires. Discussing skills they're looking for shows you're a prepared and capable candidate.
Example: "I decided to apply for this position because I saw you're looking for someone who is helpful and tech-savvy. As someone who used to teach computer classes, I can help others understand technology while also doing many tasks on my own. I can type 75 words per minute and also do some light coding, which I know are useful skills to have when updating the library's website.
Another skill that makes me qualified for this role is my ability to stay organized. I am someone who carries my planner with me everywhere, which helps me keep track of important dates and tasks. I also know how to keep an organized workspace. I am certain that I can follow the library's system to shelve books in an orderly fashion."
How would you make the library a welcoming environment?
The library is a space where community members can feel welcome. Interviewers ask this question to learn what ideas you can bring to the library. Show that you're committed to making the library an enjoyable space for readers of all ages. Consider sharing a few ideas of different activities or events you hope to implement.
Example: "First, I would make sure to greet everyone who walked through our doors. I think that simply acknowledging someone's presence is a great way to make them feel welcome. If I saw that a guest seemed lost or unsure of their selections, I would offer to help them narrow down their options. I have a vast knowledge of many different genres, so I have all kinds of recommendations for readers.
Another thing I would do was implement more children's reading activities. I think it's important to get people interested in reading at a young age. When I worked at a library two years ago, I started up a story hour program. I scheduled to have community members of different backgrounds read to children, with books that focus on sharing and inclusivity. I see your library doesn't have such a program, so I would be interested in getting it started."
Jobs similar to library assistants
If you're looking for a job as a library assistant or another related profession, there are many career paths you might consider. Here's a list of 10 jobs that are similar to library assistants:
7. Data curator
10. Reading tutor