A Suit is Not Necessary

Official greeting by the State Librarian at Eagle Farm airport 1954

This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring committee at a library with 0-10 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Smart
Qualified for the position
Able to work with us

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

People who clearly are not qualified are never interviewed.

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

Can’t think of anything.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

Applicants should list all relevant experience completely and honestly. If there’s a good way to explain, say, a 2-year gap in employment, please do so.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Other

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, but keep it short and sweet

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ Other: file is better than embedded in the body of an email

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ No

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ I don’t care

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Answer the questions. “I don’t know” is better than giving us something that’s not the answer to the question asked.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

See above. Not answering the question. Try not to be too nervous – we’re nice! Coming not prepared – not doing any research on our library before the interview.

Has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

Not really

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Dress: nice, but a suit is not necessary. Spend time to research our library before you show up!

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

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