Practice interviewing skills with someone.

Fruit Venders, Indianapolis Market, aug., 1908. Wit., E N Clopper. Location Indianapolis, Indiana.This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Mostly general librarians. Our professional staff is divided into reference, programming and collection selectors.

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in a rural area in the Western US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 26-50 %

And how would you define “hirable”?

Someone with the skills and knowledge to do the job, and most importantly a positive attitude and the people skills to get along with colleagues and patrons.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

HR weeds through to determine if applicants meet the minimum qualifications. I meet with HR to make a determination on the one they think are questionable or borderline. Then we award points based on desirable qualifications above the minimum. We interview the top candidates and move down the list as other openings occur. Lists typically are good for one year, or until we have interviewed all candidates.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

If they don’t meet the minimum qualifications.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: Yes, if they ask. Most do not.

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Give enough information on the application to indicate minimum qualifications. Be sure to include any experience in other areas or volunteer that might substitute for the minimum qualifications. Don’t put so much detail that it is overwhelming. Bullet points are good. Remember that someone is reading many applications, and looking for a reason to whittle that number down to manageable size.
Practice interviewing skills with someone. Give enough detail to let the panel know that you have the knowledge and skills required and that you have a positive and enthusiastic attitude, but also know when to quit talking.

I want to hire someone who is

positive

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 50-100

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

If you are not hired for a position it is not necessarily that you are not qualified or the panel “didn’t like you.” Sitting on an interview panel is not easy. Usually there is only one position open, and several very qualified candidates. The panel needs to select only one, and many factors come into play, such as the need to fit someone into an existing work group, or a skill, such as a second language ability that is a bonus for a particular candidate where the choice may be between two otherwise equally qualified candidates.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015, Western US

Reader Response Requested: How Do You Balance Job Searching with…?

For this week’s question, let’s collaborate. This week you are the experts.

 This week I’d like to know:

How do you balance job searching with… ____ life? Another job? School? I’m going to get you started with my reply (though I’ve been off the job market for about a year and a half), then I hope you will share your tips in the comments.

Sarah Keil imageWhen I was job searching, I remember, at times, being overwhelmed with the job searching process. I was applying for job after job, while working and in school. It’s hard! My advice is to prioritize. This can be easier said than done, but your whole life can’t be spent working, studying, and applying for jobs. It’s just not sustainable!

So prioritize your off hours at home. Make a schedule, set a time limit, decide how many jobs per week you need to be applying for, whatever works best for you. Decide that you’ll work on job applications from 7-9 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Or decide that you’ll commit six hours per week to the job application process. Or try to apply to five jobs in one week. This can include finding jobs to apply for, emailing references, or working on actual applications itself. I often find I work more effectively if I have a specific block of time to devote to a task. If you structure your job application process like you would structure tasks at work, this can also help prepare you for your next job. Win win!

Aside from prioritizing your time, it’s also important to not work. Destress in ways that are relaxing to you. Cook a new recipe, bake your favorite treat, go for a run, read a good book, watch some tv, get outdoors. A job will eventually happen, but balance in life is important too. Best wishes with your job search!

– Sarah Keil, Instruction and Serials Librarian, Trevecca Nazarene University

 

What do you think readers?

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Filed under Further Questions

Quit whining on social media.

Market day, Killarney 2This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Children’s Librarian
Technical Services
Reference Librarian

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Appropriate credentials, qualifications and/or experience

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Director is given access to all applications. The first applicants that get weeded are those that don’t meet all of the hiring requirements.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Misspellings and/or inaccuracies on resume, the CV or cover letter.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Quit whining on social media. Seriously, I read posts on various sites and listservs and see the same people whining over and over again (in public groups, no less!) about how they can’t find and/or keep a job, they hate their boss, hate their coworkers, etc. Keep that sort of stuff for closed groups, private pages, etc. In my mind, if any of those names crossed my desk, I would immediately disregard their applications. Instead, use social media and the internet to promote yourself! Put your best foot forward so to speak. We all have days that we hate our boss, coworkers, the general public but save those type of conversations and/or rant sessions for friends. Not 10,000 other librarians. Just my honest opinion.

I want to hire someone who is

Passionate

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No. It is preferred but not required.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Librarianship is a changing profession. While our roles are ever-evolving, they are not any less important than before. Our primary objective is to provide access to information–the methods are just different and some of the titles reflect that change.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

If you like a job site, keep applying

Market day, KillarneyThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

branch librarians, children’s librarians.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area in the Western US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Suited for the job, by temperament and interests, not just interested in being employed (which I certainly sympathize with, but need to find someone who will like what they do, fit in, and stay a reasonable amount of time in the position). Some indication in work experience or background that indicates that they can lead and supervise, as librarians in our rural county are all supervisors or managers in some way, either of people or programs or both.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

All applications are screened by HR for qualifications. The ones that meet qualifications are given numerical scores based on how well they meet them and are ranked on a list. The department receives the first 8-12 names on the list. If we interview and don’t find a good fit in the first batch, we can request the next set of names on the list.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

We interview everyone who comes to us from HR, unless we have interviewed them before and know they will not be a good fit in our organization. Applicants are disqualified before they get to us (i.e., do not make it onto the list we see) if they do not meet qualifications as spelled out in the job description and/or if their applications are incomplete.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ Other: No – we are not allowed to.

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Answer the questions. Don’t bullshit – we can tell. Remember that an interview is a two-way street for determining a good fit. If you like a job site, keep applying. Sometimes I meet a great candidate in one set of interviews, but they don’t get that particular job … but I’m hoping they will apply for a different job, which I know they’d be perfect for. In those situations, I will often give them a personal call after the interview to let them know they didn’t get the job but that I hope they will reapply the next time the position is posted and/or I hope they will reapply if they see a job posting for xxx. And I usually call them when another position opens to let them know it’s been posted.

I want to hire someone who is

professional

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 5-6

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ Other: It increased, then decreased during the Great Recession

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Other: 2 positions were temporarily reduced to 35 hours per week. Have now been restored to FT.

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

General work experience, but not library experience. I was hired fresh out of library school 10 years ago with internships but no work experience in libraries.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

We connect people with information. There will always be a need for that service. Public libraries serve many roles in the community and those roles are still important. Our value is there – we just need to be continually communicating that value.

Do you have any other comments, for job hunters or about the survey?

It is hard to be looking for a job. Hirers know that. We have all been in your position and if someone is arrogant or disrespectful of that relationship, then you don’t want to work for them, anyway. It’s so important to remember that the interview process is a two-way street. We are looking for a good employee, but you should also be interviewing us to look for a good fit for you. That’s why it’s vital that you are prepared and informed about our organization and community and have good questions for us.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, Rural area, State of the Job Market 2015, Western US

Be passionate about the position or don’t apply.

Market scene. Women and men. 1922 2This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committe. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Children’s and Teen

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25-75

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Eager, positive view of customer service, willing to be flexible, creative, and energetic. Experience working with the public, especially children and families. Knowledge of children’s services in public libraries as well as stages of child development.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

The City Dept. of Human Resources gets applications online and checks they meet minimum qualifications then passes them on to library. No Committee.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Not having youth services experience and filling out application incorrectly.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Be passionate about the position or don’t apply.

I want to hire someone who is

exciting!

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: none

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: none

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Because there are so many applicants, it has become practice.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Other: If it doesn’t change it is

Why or why not?

We need to better educate students so they are equipped to handle the fast paced environment, technology, and human relations.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Northeastern US, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area

Be exhaustively complete in their application and exam

Paramaribo market scene. Women and men. 1922.This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

children’s librarians

This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an urban area in the Western US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ more than 200

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

17% passed the screening and HR exam. Many did not have an MLIS, or were invited to an exam and did not show.

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

This is run by our City personnel department, who screens applications for minimum qualifications, and invites candidates to an oral “exam” where librarians from other jurisdictions score them on “interview” style questions, measuring their “knowledge, skills, and ability” to do the basic job in a scoring matrix. Passing candidates are ranked. HR then submits to us 4 candidates for a position, with an additional 2 candidates for each extra position being interviewed for in the same pool, at a time for interview, without ranking information.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Lack of an MLIS or not passing the HR exam.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Be exhaustively complete in their application and exam

I want to hire someone who is

people-smart

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 200+

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 7 or more

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 2

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

There is no official requirement. In practice, it is *often* but *not always* one of several desirable qualities demonstrated by hirable candidates.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ Yes

Why or why not?

It’s shrinking and changing, and better change to stay alive.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Urban area, Western US

internships count as experience.

Push cart market -- New York (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference primarily.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Western US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

MLS degree and some public library experience

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Weeded by HR if don’t have an MLS.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

Not hirable as defined above

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Do background research on the library and the city. Be personable. Stress previous experience orally at interview. Don’t rely on someone reading your resume.

I want to hire someone who is

smart

How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: none

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ Other: none

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are fewer positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ Yes

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

Yes, official. But internships count as experience.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Our library is busier than ever and patrons rely on librarians to help with information overload, book recommendations, computer and e-book assistance.

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area, Western US