Find a Trusted Mentor that You Can do Practice Interviews with to Get Real Feedback

Mitchell Library, opening ceremony, 8th March, 1910, by unknown photographerThis anonymous interview is with public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 50-100 staff members.

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

1) Emotional intelligence (self-awareness, kindness, humor)
2) Customer Service Orientation
3) Engagement– with the profession, with the world.  Awake, and participating in life.

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

Badmouthing a former boss.  I’m amazed at how many people do this.  Or badmouthing anyone for that matter.  If you’re badmouthing someone in an interview I will assume there will come a time when you are badmouthing me, or a colleague, or the library.  No hire!

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

Objectives.  No more objectives.  I assume your objective is to get a job.  Extra loss of points for saying your objective is to be a children’s librarian when you’re applying for an adult services job.

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

No, not as a rule

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?

√ No

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?

Sense of humor, eye contact, kindness, self-awareness (ability to speak intelligently and honestly about strengths and weaknesses)

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

See: badmouthing boss
Dressing sloppily
Interrupting, not listening

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

It hasn’t changed very much.

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

Find a trusted mentor that you can do practice interviews with to get real feedback.  Be open to what you hear.  Never send out a resume cover letter without having someone proofread it for grammar and style.


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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Adult Services, Original Survey, Public, Youth Services

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