This is a very interesting topic and potentially the one of the most future relevance. I found Ned Potter’s post on interviews extremely helpful and have saved it to my favourites.
I must confess to enjoying interviews. I enjoy talking about my work experience and current professional issues. As a Christian I can approach any interview with open expectations. Whether I get the job or not, I know that it will be for the best for me.
Having said that working in the small world of health librarianship, opportunities for new positions are quite rare, especially at the moment. Therefore when a suitable opportunity comes up, it is vital to prepare well. After all David took five stones to kill Goliath (only one was needed).
What do you like to do?
I really enjoy the basics of librarianship: helping people find information. If I were to move to a more managerial role, I would like to keep that element.
What do you dislike?
I dislike petty rules and bureaucratic regulations, because they so often stifle innovation. However they do sometimes have value in protecting organisations from risk. However not innovating is a risky strategy for an organisation.
Do you remember the last time you felt that feeling of deep satisfaction after creating, building, completing something? What was it about?
I really enjoyed organising our NHS Midlands Regional Trainers’ Forum on the 5th September. I enjoyed coordinating the day with the other organisers and speakers and interacting with participants on the day. I especially appreciated the fact that everyone found it a useful and helpful day.
What skills do you need to do the things you like?
I have been developing my support skills recently. I attended a medical statistics workshop, and one on mentoring. I also need to periodically serve on professional committees to develop myself and other professional colleagues.
It is hard to remember skills and activities if they were used a long time ago in one’s job. In 2008 I helped in an audit of evidence based practice in my hospital that was published. I have been working on evaluating the impact of training, and I helped to run the 2009 Clinical Librarian Study Day.
Outside work, I am a home group leader at my church, which involves helping people to grow in their Christian lives, and I also preach regularly. These things have helped me in supporting people at work and explaining complex ideas simply.
The idea of a CV database is also interesting. I am currently revalidating my chartership at the moment, and this provides a great opportunity to think about that.
As for interviews, I have found the key thing is to develop a rapport with the interview panel. If that cannot be done, it is better not to get the job. Preparation is of course the key, and don’t be afraid to stand out. In the interview for my current job, there was a test looking for information. I went beyond the standard sources and searched a more specialist resource as well. Presentations are also scary. The best presentation I ever gave was when I could not access my PowerPoint file on a floppy disk. I did much better using my paper backup sitting down with the panel.