Brash Jobs: Preparing for the Job Hunt and Interview (Part 1)

Hey, job seekers!

As my Brash Jobs series has started to grow, I’ve gotten some interview questions over the last few weeks from people who are nervous about the interview process. Maybe you’re new to the library field and not sure what they’ll ask, maybe it’s your first job in general, or you could just be seasoned and looking to brush up. Regardless, everyone wants to have a solid interview strategy.

“But Justin, I’m scared!”

GOOD! That means you care, but don’t let that scare you too much. Preparation is the greatest weapon you have to defeating your fear. No, really. Afraid of sharks? TNT and shark cages. Afraid of the dark? Dual flashlights and spare batteries. Afraid to fight? Training montage. Afraid of clowns? Sorry, there’s no hope for you. Preparing ahead of time will help you face your fears. In other words, become the Batman of interviewing.

The international mascot for overcoming fears, everyone.

The international mascot for overcoming fears, everyone.

Batman is the most prepared of them all, and it’s not just the gadgets. Before he even puts on the cape, Batman knows what villain he’s up against, their weakness, their psychology…In short, he’s got the tools AND he’s inside their head – which is what we’re going to do here.

The primary key to any job interview is to have a strategy. The guy who wings it rarely gets the job.

“But Justin, my friend winged an interview with [insert place] and they got the job!”

Oh, yeah? Let me explain two reasons why:

  •   Your friend is lying to you. Sorry. Chances are they were really nervous and didn’t want you to know how nervous they really were while prepping for the interview. We’re all guilty of that, so don’t feel bad about it.
  • Your friend got really lucky, and luck doesn’t last. If they winged that, they’ll probably wing things at work, too. In other words, your friend won’t have that job for long.

“But Justin, I’m great at interviewing!”

Yeah, you and everyone else. Everyone thinks they’re a great writer, a hilarious comedian, a safe driver, and probably have the most brilliant baby that’s ever been born. Don’t fall for this – everyone is a karate master until they take a punch to the face. Be real with yourself and figure out what are your strengths and weaknesses. Preparation is the single greatest advantage you have, use it!

You’d be surprised how little planning and plotting people actually do prior to their interview. Seriously, most people rehearse their voicemail greeting more than they rehearse what they’re going to say and do during the interview. Don’t be that person. Plan!

What do I mean by a plan? I mean researching who you’re going to interview with and getting an idea of who, what, and even why they are if you can. Go on their website and look for things of interest you’d like to know more about. (Think like Batman building a dossier on a villain.) A few questions to help guide you:

  • What do they need? Research their preferences
  • How do I meet those needs? We call this a value proposition
  • What specific skills does the job ask for?
  • Do I fit into their corporate culture?

More or less, find out what “rings their bell”.

The interview is when you explain how your background will help you solve their problems, why you are going to fit in well with their corporate culture, and how you plan to progress in their organization.

Want to learn how and what to look for? Stay tuned for part 2!


As always, feel free to comment below or on the Facebook page. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Brash Librarian, Justin Brasher

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