Know Stuff About Me and the Library.

Egyptologist and Librarian Hans Ostenfeld Lange and his wife Joanna


This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee at an organization with more than 200 staff members.

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

personality, flexibility, brains

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

Not too many – I’d rather look at the whole package – but a completely generic cover letter that refers to my library as “your firm,” etc. is pretty bad.

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

Dangling participles. “Very” and “extremely.” Mixing tenses.

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, I want to look at every accomplishment

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?

Have a sense of humor. Know stuff about me and the library.

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

Being defensive. Using acronyms or shortened names of schools/libraries/etc. that I’ve never heard of.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Original Survey, Public

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