What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?
Previous experience (does NOT have to be library experience, but something related to customer service, books, kids, technology…)
Positive attitude, friendly demeanor (you deal with a lot of difficult people in this job, and you always have to have a smile on your face)
Willingness/ability to learn new things (this is hard to suss out, but totally necessary to the job)
Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?
MLS with no relevant experience. Why did you go to library school. I ask you. (Same for people with eighty million degrees in random fields.)
Also, the stink of desperation. Please stop calling. I got your resume.
What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?
I’m tired of NOT seeing cover letters. If you’ve spent the last twenty years in grocery store management, you’re gonna need to explain why you suddenly want to work in a public library.
Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?
Honestly I’d love it if people had some kind of online portfolio or blog or something. It’s nice to have some evidence that you’re “creative and motivated” other than your say-so.
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?
√ Other: I don’t care, as long as it’s not pointless
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?
Be easy to get along with. We have a very collaborative department, and if you seem difficult, I’m not going to hire you.
What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?
Derailing the conversation
Giving really brief or trite answers
Badmouthing previous employers (ALL THE TIME. This is a small field, guys, I probably know and like your old boss.)