Illustrate Your Curiosity about My Library Instead of Your Desire to Get a Job.

Hyacinthe GarielThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

public service abilities
variety in job history
tech skills

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

inability to look me in the eye (interview)
cover letter not applicable to the position advertised

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

objectives
listing of personal qualities with no specific example of using them

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

why they want to work in a library

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ As many as it takes, but shorter is better

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ No

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

√ Both as an attachment and in the body of the email

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

Showing me he/she has researched our website and visited the library. If he/she has actually talked with any of our staff, even better.

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

Telling me what they think I want to hear; telling me about not following the rules at another workplace because she has a kinder heart than her workmates; not asking for clarification if the question seems unclear.

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

We are looking for a different kind of employee altogether: team player (I know that is terribly misused attribute!) with a creative streak who is able to multitask.

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

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if they illustrate your curiosity about my library instead of your desire to get a job.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Further Questions, Public

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