Help with Library Assistant application form

(13 Posts)
MamOfTwo Wed 05-Feb-14 13:24:50

My dream job has come up at my local library - library assistant. You have to apply using a county council application form rather than the usual CV and covering letter. Any tips or advice on what they will be looking for on the form? I don't have library experience but have transferable skills in a similar area. TIA

baffledmum Wed 05-Feb-14 18:38:26

Look at the job spec and task by tAsk set out what skills and experience you have in that area. Do the same with the person spec. Don't just say you can do it, evidence your claim.

GurlwiththeCurl Wed 05-Feb-14 19:43:36

Whatever else you do don't say that you want the job because of the peace and quiet or because you love books! Library jobs are about dealing with the full range of people and customer service. They are about managing information in a variety of media: books, web based, magazines, DVDs, newspapers etc. Helping people to find the information they need in whatever format and being proactive about suggesting sources of information. Libraries can be noisy places these days!

If you do put something about loving books, be prepared to back that up with the kinds of things you read. I once interviewed for an assistant post and the candidate said that she hated reading!

What kinds of transferable skills do you have? Be prepared for a lot of competition. Loads of experienced library staff have lost their jobs in recent years.

MamOfTwo Wed 05-Feb-14 21:03:17

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post - both your replies are very helpful!

Lilymaid Wed 05-Feb-14 21:15:57

Make sure you put in something on your computer skills. Vital in libraries and they will want someone who can easily learn how to use their own system as well as knowing about standard applications and Internet. People skills are vital and also organizational skills. Some Libraries make applicants do filing tests (possibly just reshelving books in correct order) so be prepared for that if interviewed. Seems simple but lots of applicants can't file in alphabetical or numerical order.

frugalfuzzpig Wed 05-Feb-14 21:23:04

Hi, I am a library assistant and the main focus of all applications/interviews is customer service. I had to give lots of examples of things like prioritising, giving exemplary service, solving a problem with a difficult customer etc.

We had a trolley test too. Alphabetising fiction and putting non fiction in Dewey order.

MamOfTwo Sun 02-Mar-14 18:24:57

Thank you to all who replied to this - I have an interview next week! Do you think the interview will be a competency one or a 'chat' one? Feeling nervous as I am not great at interviews!

GingerMaman Sun 02-Mar-14 18:43:09

I had a competency interview and then a test to put books into order, and a few questions on their online catalogue. Was offered the job straight away as I was the final person being interviewed. Best of luck smile x

MamOfTwo Sun 02-Mar-14 18:52:30

Thanks, GingerMaman, and congrats on your (new?) job! Yes, they said there will be a filing test. I'm not entirely sure what a competency interview is - better go and research that!

MamOfTwo Mon 03-Mar-14 12:27:34

Anyone else got any interview tips? TIA smile

GingerMaman Mon 03-Mar-14 12:52:41

Mam, competency interview is basically asking: give an example of when you dealt with a difficult customer. Give an example of when you resolved a difficult situation etc etc. you just need loads of examples, go into detail, and do show your passion for books. I no longer do the job but when I went for it, it was my childhood dream job. Unfortunately the one to one interaction that I enjoyed has now gone because of the automated systems, which is such a shame hmm

MamOfTwo Thu 06-Mar-14 18:01:07

I got the job! thanks to all on this thread. Your input was much appreciated. So happy!

schoolvolunteer Thu 06-Mar-14 18:25:41

Congratulations MamofTwo. I'm job searching myself after a long period away from the work place. I've applied for a job as a library assistant but didn't get an interview and on feedback was told that they had 100s of applicaitons and other candidates had worked in libraries before or had library qualifications - I didn't. You obviously impressed upon them the fact that your skills were transferrable to the library environment - can I be cheeky and ask what kind of skills those were? (might help me think a bit more laterally about my own skills!) The application for my job was competency-based and was an absolute nightmare to fill out!

Thanks for reporting back - it's good to hear a positive story. All the best in your new job!

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