More Than Anything, Be Energetic

WPA Poster, Iowa, 1936-1939This anonymous interview is with a public librarian from a library with 100-200 staff members, who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring committee, human resources, and a director.


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

Energy and Enthusiasm
Knowledge about the job
Experience in specific areas of public librarians

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

No eye contact
Inability to answer a question directly–talks too much without addressing the question
Typos and addressed to someone outside our organization

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

Typos
Using incorrect names, organizations!
References that are out of date; also often lack professional contacts and list friends.

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

I’d like to know that they are staying current by taking additional classes or webinars/staff development.  Today, there is nothing worse than a librarian who got his/her MLS in the 1980s and who has not taken refresher classes particularly in technology.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

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?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ I don’t care

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

√ As an attachment only

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

Be well prepared by looking at my webpage, knowing more or less what the job entails, but more than anything, to be energetic.  I once had an interview with a very talented guy who sat the entire time with his head on his hand.
Eye contact, answering questions appropriately.

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

Overselling themselves.  Claims that are hard to substantiate.

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

We are more selective.  I am looking for someone who will mesh well with the crew I have, will bring something new to the organization, and who can demonstrate effectiveness.

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

Put your best foot forward, but make sure that person shows up for work on day one.

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, Original Survey, Public

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