People Have to be Able to Fit in Well with the Whole Team, Not Just Their Supervisor

Library, c.1981This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager at a library with 0-10 staff members.

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

1. Track record of performance excellence related to the skills needed for the position
2. Emotional stability and maturity: works well with others
3. Strong customer service orientation

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

1.  Not a team player
2.  Lack of basic apptitudes for the job, such as a lack of attention to detail
3.  Non-professional behavior and/or appearance
4. Lacks strong service orientation
5. Has anger management issues
6. Conflict avoidant or passive/aggressive types: need to be able to initiate and work with issues with people in a healthy way.

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

Cover letters that are not customized to the position for which they apply.

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

We require a CV, so it is pretty thorough.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, I want to look at every accomplishment

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?

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

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

Be poised, unflappable, confident, and transparent.  Be able to give concrete examples from past performance as to how they are a good fit for our institution as well as for the specific job.

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

Unprepared for the interview.  Have not prepared good responses to typical interview questions.
Act nervous rather than relaxed and confident.
No thank you letter following the interview.

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

The candidate has separate interviews with the library director, their potential supervisor, and also has a group interview with the entire library team (8).  Each library team member fills out a questionaire, giving their feedback about the candidate. The hiring decision is a group process rather than just one or 2 persons making the hiring decision.  People have to be able to fit in well with the whole team, not just their supervisor.

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

Be yourself (not what you think your prospective employer wants you to be) and be emotionally honest about strengths and weaknesses.  If you are hiding key elements about yourself that will impact the workplace, it will later come out anyway. It is in the best interest of both parties to try to see that there is a good fit for the position, since the consequences of a poor hiring choice end up being painful for all.


Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

2 responses to “People Have to be Able to Fit in Well with the Whole Team, Not Just Their Supervisor

  1. There’s nothing like someone complaining about lack of attention to detail in a sentence with a misspelled word.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.