Ask an Agent: What Kind of Interview Questions Have You Been Asked?

askanagent2You’ve got questions,  we’ve got answers! Our volunteer Agents are on the job! Here’s what they have to say this week….

Question: Can you please list some examples of some specific questions I might encounter during a Teen Librarian interview? There are lots of sample librarian questions out there, but I’m not finding many that are teen specific. Thanks!

Alex (Chicago Public Library ) says:

First I’ll direct you to this incredible database of librarian interview questions ( it’s a google spreadsheet and I found it to be invaluable when I was interviewing for my current position as a teen librarian in an urban library.

A sampling of questions I’ve encountered/ would expect to encounter:

  • Tell us about a YA book you read recently?
  • Tell us about 3 YA titles you would select for a display on (LGBTQ month, Black History Month, Summer Reads etc)
  • How would you handle a teen who was being disruptive/destructive in the teen space
  • What if that behavior became a regular occurrence from that teen?
  • How would you handle an adult who is upset that they are not allowed to sit in the teen space even if the teen space is empty at the moment?
  • How would you handle an adult challenging a book in the teen space?
  • How would you handle adults who come into the YA section looking for age appropriate books for their 17 year old that don’t have any sex or swearing?
  • What would you do if a 7 year old came to you and asked for books about sex?
  • What is your philosophy of teen services?
  • What would you do to attract teens into the library?
  • What kind of outreach/partnership in the community would you do?In general I would expect to field questions about reader’s advisory, teen behavior challenges, adult behavior challenges and outreach.


Laura (Cape May County Library) says:

Here are some of the questions we ask our Teen Services Librarian candidates at the Cape May County Library:
  • How would you handle a complaint from an adult patron about noisy teenagers?
  • How would you respond to a patron who complains about inappropriate content in a teen book?
  • Describe how you would help a high school student who is looking for books on the Civil War for a homework assignment.
  • Tell us about a teen book you read recently that you enjoyed. Who would you recommend this book to?
  • What do you think an ideal library teen space would look like?
  • How do you keep up with the interests and trends of teen patrons?
  • How do you see library service to teens changing in the coming years?
  • Describe the process of planning and promoting a successful library program for teens? How do you define a successful program?
  • Tell us how you would advertise programming, the teen collection, and the offerings of the library for teens.
  • How you would make sure the library’s offerings are also widely known amongst the teen population who do not have easy access to technology?
  • Scenario 1- Two or three teens are in the teen room and you can hear the occasional “bad word” being used. How would you handle this?
  • Scenario 2- A teen walks into the library and needs help finding an Accelerated Reader book for school but he/she doesn’t know what to pick. How would you help him/her?
  • Scenario 3- There is a group of teens who are coming into the library who are constantly noisy and rowdy. What would you do about it?
  • Scenario 4- There are a handful of teens in the teen room. They are occasionally loud but quiet right back down. An adult patron comes up to you and complains that they should be thrown out. How would you handle this situation?
  • Scenario 5- You are sitting at your desk. A teen walks by and into the teen room. You hear the teen use a homophobic slur to address another teen. What do you do about it?
  • Imagine that you have unlimited budgetary resources for the library. How would you put these resources to use?


Thanks to our volunteer agents for the awesome answers. If you have a question about anything teen services related ask it here! Your question will be featured on the blog with answers from our agent volunteers or TSU team members. If you’d liked to be a volunteer agent, please submit your info here.


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