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 50-100 staff members.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?
Specific, relevant experience, flexibility and enthusiasm for the profession
Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?
Spelling or grammatical or punctuation errors in documents, resume and/or cover letter that is not written specifically for the job, lackluster demeanor during interview, badmouthing a former employer or boss and not following application instructions. Also not recommended: pestering the hiring manager with multiple phone calls or emails.
What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?
Objectives, especially when they say that the applicant is interested in the job he/she is applying for. I already know that! A profile or summary is a better way to start the resume.
Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?
Specific information relative to the job and why the applicant would excel in the job. Convince me!
How many pages should a cover letter be?
√ Only one!
How many pages should a resume/CV be?
√ Other: No more than two for a resume, a CV can be much longer.
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?
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?
Show me that you have given thought as to how you would perform in the job, or I will think you are applying to anything and everything. Show me that you have a passion for what you do. Participation in professional activities and organizations – not just membership – shows a commitment to the profession. Teaching or instruction or public speaking skills and experience are always a plus.
What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?
Assuming that they can bluff their way through without doing their homework about the employer and the job. Expecting to be offered a position fresh out of school that requires years of experience.
How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?
There is a much greater number of applicants for each opening, but many don’t even meet minimum requirements. Even with a high number of applicants, it can be difficult to find someone who meets all the requirements and is a good fit.
Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?
Entitlement can hurt you when you are job hunting and after you get hired. You are not entitled to anything. Blaming and negative-ing and complaining can also hurt you professionally In order to succeed you will have to work hard, constantly, for the rest of your career. Build your network, do everything you cannot to burn bridges. Selfish behavior will eventually catch up with you. Don’t expect to get a job and stay there for years and years, let along the rest of your career – that’s just not the way things work anymore.