Have Opinions But Understand Other People Do as Well

http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/387Photograph of Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library Josef C. James, 19713936187/This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a member of a hiring committee at a library with 0-10 staff members.

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

Passion, adaptability, creativity.

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

Application packet: Inattention to detail, more than 2 page resumes/cover letters. Interview: inappropriate attire, being unprepared for the presentation (for an academic position), trash talking prior employers.

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

Objective statement, personal philosophy of librarianship, “why this job is perfect for me” (rather than “why I’m the perfect candidate for the institution), generic cover letters not tailored to the position/institution.

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

Some sense of their personality, but that’s more applicable to the cover letter.

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ As many as it takes, but shorter is better

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?

√ .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?

Be prepared, be interested in the work, know something about the institution. Convey your passion for the work the job will have you doing, be personable, have opinions but understand other people do as well. Be flexible and willing to learn from others.

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

Being unprepared. Answering “I don’t know” to questions with which interviewees have no direct experience instead of applying previous life experiences to come up with possible answers. Babbling (typically due to nerves) and losing track of where they were going with an answer. Not having any questions when giving the chance to ask interviewers (or only asking about pay/benefits, etc.).

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

My experiences are based on previous employer. Current employer hasn’t had any openings since I joined.

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

We know you’re nervous, but don’t let it destroy you — stay focused; we *really* want you to be The One who will end the search so that we can get back to work. If you make it to the in-person interview stage, understand that we liked your potential and if we don’t select you for the job, hold on to that knowledge and let it boost your self-confidence for the next job.

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

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