Monthly Archives: July 2012

Be Sincere, Concise; Present Yourself Well, Be Nice

New York Public Library Building in the New-York Tribune, 1908This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of hiring committees, for a library with 10-50 staff members.



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

1. Did s/he meet the qualifications in the job description?
2. Did s/he seem willing and able to deal with multiple duties.
3. Was the candidate comfortable with the interview process, with the library and with the community?

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

Fancy paper. Fancy lettering. Trite phrases about the library community. every paper/article/ etc. they have written, coauthored or read.

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

Some personal library experience not related to working in one.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

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?

√ I don’t care

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 sincere;
concise;
present yourself well;
be nice.

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

Talking too much.

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

Too many applicants to not enough applicants to too many applicants to not enough applicants…

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

There are really good libraries and library jobs in places that are not big cities. Consider small rural areas. You might be surprised.

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

I Work in Business. Don’t Immediately Call Me By My First Name When I’m Your Possible Boss.

Geraldine Fain Browses in the Free LibraryThis anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a special library with 0-10 staff members.

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

1) Relevant experience in the industry (healthcare) — do not apply if you have only worked in an art museum. Please.

2) how GOOD is your resume? This is you #1 way to sell yourself to me initially. Is it flashy or staid? Is everything spelled right (Dialog versus Dialogue). Does it explain clearly yet succinctly what exactly you did without crappy management speak that tells me nothing?

3) Etiquette: I work in business. Don’t immediately call me by my first name when I’m your possible boss or say “ta-ta” on the phone.

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

RESUME: how GOOD is your resume? This is you #1 way to sell yourself to me initially. Is it flashy or staid? Is everything spelled right (Dialog versus Dialogue). Does it explain clearly yet succinctly what exactly you did without crappy management speak that tells me nothing?

If you cannot provide me with a solid resume free of spelling errors and formatting issues, how reliable will you be as a candidate who says “detailed focused.”

And is it a blank generic resume that you blast everyone with all the time? Take a few moments to tailor it to the job. If you really want the job, take 5 minutes. Trust me, we’ll know.

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

Management speak. Cut the crap about “dovetailing” and “value-added.” Great. WHAT was the value add? Tell me exactly what is it is and how you did it. And make it applicable for the job at hand.

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

What systems/database do they know that are applicable to the job they are applying to get? Skip Microsoft — what about a library software, perhaps InMagic or Dialog or Nexis or an IMS Health product.

So many blank resumes these days.

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?

√ .pdf

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?

Know the company. what we do, who we do it for. Read the damn website. Show you have some sort of interest. At least know the industry that we work in (it’s just one, it ain’t hard to figure out).

If you show you know who we are, that you took the time to check us out, that goes a long way into showing that you are willing to make an effort.

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

1) addressing me by my first name without permission

2) dressing in casual clothes such as jeans. Really, people.

3) asking me “So, what does this company do again?”

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

More phone screens up front to eliminate the people who are not really suitable. And man, that’s a lot.

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

An Applicant’s Library School GPA is Not All That Useful

Library, West Point, N.Y., ca. 1860 - ca. 1865

This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

1. Interest in our specific position at our specific institution.
2. A sense that the candidate sees how she/he would fit into the position, library, and institution.
3. Enthusiasm.

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

A cover letter that is clearly a template with our institution name fit in will push an application lower in the pile.

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

Cover letters that are resumes with full sentences are boring.  We read resumes.

An applicant’s library school GPA is not all that useful.

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

I want to know WHY someone is interested in THIS job at THIS place.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

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?

√ I don’t care

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?

Ask some good questions, be prepared to talk about your experiences good and bad, and what has, or will, make you a good librarian.

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

Trying too hard, not being prepared for questions that ask a candidate to talk about a “failure” and how it helped them.

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

Hiring has not changed substantively.  We routinely do phone interviews now and we have not always in the past.

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

Be yourself, take time to write a new letter for each job, or at least add content that shows the hiring committee you understand the job and the institution and want to be there.

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

Further Questions: Turning the Tables

This week I wanted to turn the tables a bit.  I asked people who hire librarians:
We all know that candidates have loads of questions for people who hire.  But do you have the same kinds of questions for candidates?  Do you wonder what they’re thinking about your job announcements, for example, or are you uncertain about the clothes you should wear to interview someone?  What questions would you ask of job hunters?
I’m sure that asking applicants (and ideally also people who decided NOT to apply!) what they thought of the job vacancy advertisement would yield some very interesting insights.  What sorts of things put people off?  I’m sure some would be obvious things like the salary level or location, but what about the type of organisation? What preconceptions do job hunters have about particular organisations? How about the job title, or something in the description of the duties?  How about where the advert was placed – does it make a difference whether they saw a print advert or an online one, or one on the organisation’s own website (which included a fuller job description) compared to one on a job board?
Asking about the impressions applicants got of the organisation and its culture, as well as their perceptions of the people they met, would also be interesting.  As a recruitment agent I’ve asked many candidates for feedback on employers they’ve just met, and sometimes they do get put off by the way they’ve been interviewed, the answers they received to questions they’ve asked, the appearance of the building (or part of the building) where they were interviewed, or by the commute to reach it.
Sometimes employers ‘sex up’ their job advert (or the verbal description they give to recruitment agents) in the hope of attracting more, or better quality, applicants, but this can backfire when they arrive for interview and find out the job is more mundane than expected – I’ve had several candidates get to 2nd or 3rd interview stage with clients and then pull out of the process, or reject offers, because of this.
– Nicola Franklin, Director, The Library Career Centre Ltd.
I always ask as one of the last questions at the end of an interview – no matter what position I am trying to fill – “If you were interviewing me for this position, what question would you ask?”

The responses are always enlightening, sometimes humorous, sometimes thought-provoking, and sometimes hit below the belt…

A children’s librarian candidate (who was hired): “Do you really like children or are you just looking for a job?”

A general librarian candidate (who obviously wasn’t hired): “Do you think you could live and find something to do in this crummy little town?”

A janitor (who was hired): “Is the building always this dirty?”

As you can see sometimes the questions fall into the “reverse interview” and sometimes just asking general info, but I seem to get much more information about the person with that question than with the general, “Is there anything you wish to ask me about this job or this library?”

– Dusty Snipes Grès, Director, Ohoopee Regional Library System

Have you taken beginning and advanced cataloguing?Did you have a cataloguing practicum for field work?

What experience have you had cataloguing?

What languages can you catalogue?

What computer skills have you?

What are AACR2, RDA, LCRI, LCPS, LCSH, LCGFT, LCC,
NLM, MeSh, DCC, Amicus, MARC21, MARCEdit, MARCReport?

– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging
Paula Hammet
Where do you look for job ads and position announcements?  Which job boards do you check? Do you look at SLIS alumni job lists? For academic libraries, do you check the Chronicle for Higher Education? Inside Higher Ed? Educause? Do you check publication job listings, such as CRL News? How about professional organizations?
– Paula Hammett, Librarian at Sonoma State University
Laurie PhillipsDinners! We try so carefully to choose places where the food and service will be great. But we know that upscale restaurants can be a little intimidating for our candidates who aren’t foodies in a foodie city. Also, do they feel pressured about drinking? How can we put a candidate at ease at dinner? It’s part of their interview and a great way to get to know them and we want them to be comfortable.
– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you like to comment, you’re in luck! Commenting is available to you for no extra charge.

**Edited 08/03/2012  to add in answers from Paula Hammett and Laurie Phillips

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Filed under Further Questions, Other Organization or Library Type, Public

Who You Are Shines Through

NYFCL Norris WingThis anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager in a Special Library with 0-10 staff members.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

Self-confident

Tech savvy

Authentic (who you are shines through)

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

Not really.  We like to give everyone a chance.  HOWEVER, if there are lots of applicants, I do look at professional experience.  And I know that’s tough for beginning librarians.

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

I’m tired of “officialese”, pretentious writing.  Just say it in plain language.  Give examples of how you meet qualifications, don’t just say you’re good at something.

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

Humor…anecdotes…real-life examples…stories.

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?

√ I don’t care

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 real.  Be yourself.  Be human.  Let me know who you are.

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

Being nervous doesn’t help.  But that’s not an easy one to remedy.

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

I think there’s more emphasis on team building, whether or not the candidate will get along well with the other staff members.

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

I Can’t Tell You How Many People Use the Phrase, “I am Uniquely Qualified.”

Nevins Memorial Library First Librarians c. 1900This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

It depends on the level for which we’re hiring and it depends on the position. Generally, for entry level public service, I look for employees who are clearly compassionate and generous because those are the people to whom our patrons return. Also important are employees who are willing to take direction.

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

It’s a pet peeve, but I hate bulleted lists in a cover letter. I ask for a cover letter to see how you write, how you express yourself, and how your personality comes through. If I want to see a bulleted list, I’ll look to your resume.

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

Don’t write a cover letter where it’s clear that you can simply cut out one position & organization and paste in another position & organization. It’s really easy to see when that’s been done. Also, I can’t tell you how many people use the phrase, “I am uniquely qualified.” It has gotten very old very quickly.  Also, speak to the position. If the position description doesn’t state that we’re looking someone to take on reference hours or leadership responsibilities then you shouldn’t bring up more than once (if that) that you are willing take on those duties. You need to be responding for the position we’ve said that we need and not the position that you want.

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

Personality. Yes, you need to explain how your experiences and passions fit the position, but I also want a sense of you.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ As many as it takes, but shorter is better

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ Other: Really, I have no preference, but with the .docs you can sometimes see the history of a document and that might give out a bit more information than you intended.

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ Other: If you have a general goal, sure, put that in, but saying that your goal is a position in my organization means nothing to anyone.

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

Be friendly, smile, listen and speak to my questions. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions of your own.

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

They don’t interview for the position. Instead, they interview for the position that they would like to have.

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

Don’t be afraid to let your personality show. Chances are, if an organization doesn’t hire you because of that, you wouldn’t have wanted to work there anyway.

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

Oh for the Love of Pete, Know What a Boolean Search Is and Explain It Correctly

WACs with the Army-LibrarianThis anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a member of a hiring committee and Supervisor at a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

Have they done what we’re asking for, or at least have experience in the same area?

Can they communicate clearly?

Do they know their stuff or are willing to learn their stuff?

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

Oh for the love of pete, know what a Boolean search is and explain it correctly.

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

I am tired of people saying they have experience in XYZ in their cover letters, but not backing that up in the application or the resume.  Yes, you say you have that experience, but what do I know?   If you do, say so in the resume/application portion, preferably both if possible.

Also, too much personal information is a bad thing.  I don’t want to know about your brother’s cousin’s ex-wife’s sister.

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

I wish they would tailor their cover letters and resumes to the positions they are applying to.  Yeah, it’s time consuming, but even just a bit of tailoring (highlighting skills that are directly relevant to the position) is a good thing and will make you stand out.

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?

√ Yes

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 personable. Talk about what makes you happy and excited to be a librarian, and how it relates to the job.

Also, if they take you out to lunch, be nice to the wait staff.  I use this on dates and job interviews, and it has never failed.  If you’re nice to the people who are serving you your food, you’ll probably be nice to the circ staff, and any other support or paraprofessionals.

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

Being interested in only books and showing little to no interest in technology in an academic library.  There’s so much going on, why would you limit yourself to just the printed texts upstairs?

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

Don’t put cutesy quotations on your documents or make your stationary obnoxious.  Yes, I know you want to use the state flag as the backdrop of your cover letter, but it isn’t appreciated.

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

Do Not Call Repeatedly Asking About an Interview.

Thomas James, LibrarianThis anonymous interview is with an Academic  Librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.


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

Outgoing personality
Appropriate credentials

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

Bad grammar

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

Abbreviations with no clue about the meaning

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

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?

√ In the body of the email only

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

Willlingness to work nights and/or weekends if necessary

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

Inability to carry on a conversation.
Yes or no answers with no elaboration.

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

We get many more applicants.

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

Do not call repeatedly asking about an interview.

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

Make it Easy for Hiring Committees to Find Your Online Materials. Link to Your Professional Social Networks, Blogs, Sites, Projects, Etc.

Library Appeal , 1973This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at a library with 10-50 staff members.

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

Able to communicate effectively.
Can show that he/she really wants the job at hand (motivation and enthusiasm).
Has the right skills and experience for the job.

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

No cover letter.
Cover letter has the wrong job title on it.
Cover letter doesn’t explain why the candidate wants the job.

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

I’m tired of candidates telling us they are right for the job (in the cover letter) and not providing evidence or details to back up the statement.
I wish candidates would go into more detail about one specific job/accomplishment/endeavor/etc. that addresses the top job requirements. As a writing teacher would say, “Don’t tell, show.” Don’t just state that you have experience as a fill-in-the-blank librarian (I can get that from your resume). In your cover letter you should provide specific examples of the work you did and explain how that work has given you the experience and skills for the job.

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

Make it easy for hiring committees to find your online materials. Link to your professional social networks, blogs, sites, projects, etc.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Two is ok, but no more

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ As many as it takes, as long as it is relevant and current.

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ .pdf

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?

Ask questions about the job, the library, the work environment. Show that you enjoy being there and that you will fit in

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

Not asking questions, or making statements that presume he/she will get the job (being overly confident).

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

One fairly recent change is that we are required to contact the references before the candidates come in for the interview. Some candidates are not aware that many places now do this.

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

Try not to vent your frustrations in public forums. Make sure you have a professional online presence. And, when you are offered an interview, make sure that you do your homework: find out all you can about the library, the people who work there, the job/role, the geographic area, and the larger institution and be able to talk about all of it during the interview. You need to make sure it is a right fit for you as well.

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

Further Questions: What Should Candidates Wear?

This week we will finally address the question that plagues interviewees everywhere, “should I wear a suit?”  I really know very little about clothes, so I asked Jill from Librarian Hire Fashion to collaborate with me on this one.  Jill found six great example outfits (I’ve linked the photos to Jill’s sources. Please be sure to click through and check them out):

womens suit

PHOTO A.
By Flickr user Victor1558

Womens relaxed/creative

PHOTO C.
by Sally McGraw of already pretty
Click the photo for a close-up of the shoes!

Womens business casual

PHOTO B.
by Susan of Une femme d’un certain age
Click the photo for more beautiful jackets!

Mens Relaxed/Creative

PHOTO D.
by Flickr user Lucius Kwok

Mens Suit

PHOTO E.
By Flickr user Kazamatsuri

Men business casual

PHOTO F.
by Peter Lappin of Male Pattern Boldness
(He made those pants himself!
Click the photo to see!)

Then we asked people who hire librarians:

Which outfit is most appropriate to wear to an interview with your organization?  Why or why not?  Please pick one for women and one for men.  Bonus question:  Can you share any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits?

I would say that it is better to dress over-smart than risk being under dressed, so I would advise candidates to go for A (for women) and E (for men).  Even if the normal daywear for an organisation is ‘smart casual’ or ‘hip’ it will probably be expected for interviewees to make an effort for an interview.

While working as a recruitment consultant over a 20 year period, I’ve had people turn up for registration interviews in all sorts of outfits – including keeping their coat on (on one occasion with the hood up) throughout the meeting, wearing torn jeans and trainers, and wearing flip flops and BIG jewellery/make-up.  I’ve also had some rather out-there hair styles and some funny smells during that time, ranging from BO to cigarette smoke to strong alcohol breath!

I always give interviewees with an outlandish dress sense or poor personal hygiene some gentle advice on improving their appearance for a ‘real’ job interview – and how they take this has an impact on whether I feel confident to put them forward to my clients in future.

– Nicola Franklin, Director, The Library Career Centre Ltd.

Emilie SmartThis decision for me is more a matter of my taste than appropriateness.  All 6 pictures worked as attire for interviewing at our library.  Here’s my take on all of them…
Picture A for ladies is the least successful interview attire for our library system.  We’re a public library system with a slightly casual dress code and outfit A is a little too “business” and comes off as least approachable.  It IS entirely appropriate for an interview, though, and I would never note it as inappropriate in a real interview situation.  If I were interviewing each of the 3 female candidates, I would not be off-put by any of the outfits — all 3 look pulled together.   Outfit B is an age-appropriate look.  She looks like she’d be great in Reference or Teen Services.   Outfit C has the suit idea going but is stylish too — this person looks capable and approachable.  It’s also my personal favorite, but I’m about that age…
Outfit D works the least well for me in the men’s choices.  What’s with the “scarf as necktie” concept?  Not inappropriate so much as dorky (again, that’s just my taste speaking).  Maybe if he was interviewing for a Teen Services spot…  The problem is that I noticed the scarf, not the overall look, and the vision is not going away.  The other two guys are fine — real neckties are always a safe choice for men — and I’m glad that the guy without the jacket had on long sleeves (again, that is about my taste rather than “appropriateness”).
Advice?  If possible, visit the library beforehand to see what the staff is wearing.  If everyone is in suits, make sure to wear one in the interview (outfits A or E).  If they are in uniforms (i.e., branded golf shirts and khakis) or business casual, you can probably wear outfits B,C,D,F and be OK.  Remember it is always better to err on the side of caution in an interview situation.  When in doubt, suit up!
– Emilie Smart, Division Coordinator of Reference Services & Computer Services at East Baton Rouge Parish Library
Face to face interviews are rare for us, but in a university setting outfits A and E would indicate that the person takes the interview seriously.  The worst I have experienced is a prospect showing up with a bunch of political buttons, even though I agreed with the positions taken.
– J. McRee (Mac) Elrod, Special Libraries Catalouging
Terry Ann LawlerI think all of those outfits are appropriate for our Assistant Librarian positions.  I would lean more towards A for women and D for men Librarian positions.  It never hurts to be the most professionally dressed and I, myself have been dinged for not looking professional enough, when I once forwent the suit jacket.  I will not do that again in the future.

Here are some outfits I’ve actually seen in professional level interviews and found wildly inappropriate:
  • 6 inch heels with a skin tight leopard dress, with a keyhole at the cleavage
  • cargo shorts and flip-flops (on a man)
  • jeans with holes in them
  • jeans with a halter top and belly button showing
  • paint splattered pants and a torn shirt
  • an undershirt only – with sweat stains
  • old, dirty Birkenstocks (both men and women)
  • clouds and clouds of cologne or perfume (YES, this really IS offensive!  skip it!)
  • a cell phone buzzing in the pants or purse the whole time
  • mountains of jewelry.  one woman had 2-3 rings on every finger and at least 15 bracelets per wrist as well as 15-20 necklaces and 5 earrings in each ear.  The clacking was very distracting.  Also, all the bright shiny things are so easy to focus on and lose your train of thought….what was she talking about?
I get it if you have foot issues or you have limited funds for a wardrobe, lots of us do.  However, be creative and work your way around your issues.  Hit up a thrift store for a nice blazer, wear long-ish pants to hide ugly shoes, ask your friends what they think and what you can borrow.  And never, ever, ever wear flip-flops to an interview.  If I think you don’t even take the interview seriously enough to dress nicely, why would I think you are going to take the job seriously?
– Terry Lawler, Assistant Manager and Children’s Librarian, Palo Verde Branch, Phoenix Public Library

For women: A

For men: E

I once interviewed a man who came in in a thick anorak [note: in America, we might be more likely to call an anorak a windbreaker], wouldn’t take it off, smelled, faced the wall and not me, and wouldn’t let go of a tatty plastic bag full of papers he was carrying.

– Sue Hill, Managing Director, Sue Hill Recruitment

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

A great big thank you to the people who took the photos we used, especially the bloggers: Susan at Une femme d’une certain âge, Sally McGraw at already pretty, and Peter and his pants at Male Pattern Boldness.

Thank you from me to Jill at Librarian Hire Fashion for being a great partner in this post!

This long list of thanks would not be complete without we say: Thank YOU for reading!  Give us your snaps or snipes, by using the comment feature below.

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