Initiative, Taking the Lead in Something, Organizing a Group, or Starting Something New

Kevan Wackett and Mr Derek Clarke, 1981This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee, for a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

Really good communication skills
Evidence of ability to learn on your own (esp. technologies)
Initiative, taking the lead in something, organizing a group, or starting something new.

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

Not addressing the key requirements for the position in the resume or cover letter.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Other: depends on the job – entry level one page, for management 2 is OK

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: Our HR system dictates

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ No

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 able to talk about skills you have and how you might use them in the new position.

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

Too brief in their answers. Be able to give examples or share experiences relevant to the topic of the question.

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


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

Do as much background research on the employer/job as you can.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

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