Yikes! I've got a job interview ...

... now what the heck do I do? I am terrified.

Plus, I have no suitable suit. Must shop, time is short, have no fashion sense, hate shopping.

I am trying to recruit a buddy to help me pick out a suit that does not suck. And I guess I'd better crack those "no more sweaty palms" job-interview books I checked out a while back.

It's a public library interview with a panel of three. Can anybody relate their experiences, give me some idea of what to prepare for?



In, out, in, out - way out. Repeat.

Congratulations! DO give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far. NOW after you find a suit - and I'd advocate the typical white shirt/reddish tie combo - dispense with the cologne. If a panel member likes it, they will remember you positively, if they don't like it, it's an automatic strike against you. Go neutral.

Focus on your STRENGTHS and be able to turn your weaknesses around so that they can be USED as a strength. (ie: I tend to give people WAY more information than they need or asked for. To compensate for that tendency, I've perfected my reference interview skills to conduct a more specific search. Or something along those lines)

If this is an entry-level position, you'll want to know how many people you'll be working with and what their expectations of your skills are. You may be asked (and should be able to ask in return) what management style you prefer. Think about that one. If you are truly enthused about the opportunities you will find in the position, let it show. DON'T BE AFRAID TO TAKE SOME SECONDS TO FORMULATE AN ANSWER TO A QUESTION. In fact, if you don't quite understand the question, use the active listening skill of , "What I hear you asking is blah blah blah. Is this what you meant?" Very often the interviewers don't realize that a question can be confusing so don't hesitate to either ask them to repeat it or rephrase it.

And while it's pretty basic, don't forget your manners. Say please and thank you. Get the names of all the interviewers so you can send them a thank you note after the interview.


Whoooooff! That's good advice.Thanks for your kind support & tips. It has been so long since I went on a serious job interview at all (I've been where I am for 10 years), and this will be my first-ever librarian interview (just got the MLS last month), so I'm really indulging my tendency to freak out.I do have a suit-shopping buddy lined up, and I think she'll keep me on task in that department. About that reddish tie, though ...? I am (F), not (M). I hope I am not expected to wear a tie! (Or did I miss something, in my total disregard for fashion news?)

Forget the tie. You may want to forget a "real" suit right now. I tried very hard to find one this spring and summer. Everything had weird ruffles at the hem, or asymmetrical hems, or was in color combos like lime and purple, or mauve and tangerine. Just awful. Maybe ok on a 22 year old stick insect?

I ended up going with pricey-ish knit separates. Not too old lady looking but not fashion victim either: dressy turquoise buttonless cardigan, black mock turtle (!) top, and turquoise and black skirt. It looked businesslike, was very comfortable, and packed without any wrinkles!

I got a job offer on Thursday, so it must have been acceptable, even if it wasn't the classic navy blue suit for which I was looking. Best of luck. My other advice is to prepare some scenarios: times when something has been difficult, but you overcame obstacles; new ideas that interest you; and definitely, where you see yourself 5 years from now! I've been asked that in two recent interviews...I'm still not sure what the right answer is...

Ha! I know what you mean about the suits. I took a friend shopping with me yesterday and we had some good laughs over all the ones in the Definitely Not category. However, I did find one that I could live with.Thanks for the scenarios tips. I'm filing those away with the rest of my "Don't Panic" pre-interview documentation.

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