This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager at a library with 10-50 staff members.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?
1. Customer service/front-line experience (doesn’t have to be in a library)
2. Personality – outgoing, friendly, smiling, pleasant. I want someone that I think I will enjoy working with; and someone who I think will fit in with the rest of the staff
3. Someone who is not pretentious. Too many librarians think being a librarian means they won’t have to shelve books, or clean up spills, or other “menial” jobs. I want someone who understands that we work together as a team, and being well-educated does not make you better than the next person.
Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?
Cover letters and resumes with no details (e.g., resumes that are nothing but a list of employer-title-dates). Weak conversation skills in the interview.
What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?
Cover letters that are clearly meant for a different job or that demonstrate the applicant has no idea where they are sending their resume. Typos.
Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?
I want to know about the actual things they did at their jobs; not inflated, important-sounding job descriptions that probably don’t really have anything to do with what the person actually did. I want to know special projects, programs, things that got them recognition.
How many pages should a cover letter be?
√ Only one!
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?
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?
Smile and be pleasant. Ask questions that show me you have an understanding of the community, and the job for which you are interviewing.
What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?
Being too nervous. Not being able to give developed answers to common interview questions.