I Would Love to Move Away From a “Checklist” Hiring Process

Willy Dähnhardt

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 100-200 staff members.

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

It depends on the job description. We have required qualifications. If the candidate does not have those qualifications, they will not be considered.

I would love to move away from a “checklist” hiring process, but our HR Director won’t loosen control to give more emphasis to candidate traits.

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

Application packets:

Typos, spelling mistakes, not indicating how they’re qualified for the position


not answering questions, when it’s evident that they haven’t prepared for the interview

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

Statements that emphasize that they really want to live in the job’s geographic area. Although geography plays an important role in work/life happiness, your love of xyz city has no place in a cover letter.

Lists of responsibilities, but little evidence of accomplishments.

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

More emphasis on outcomes

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?

√ Other: Definately not!

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?

-Answer questions
-Don’t embellish or exaggerate

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

-Not answering questions
-Not showing “a vision” for the position
-Taking credit for the work of others

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


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

While there are some obvious rules (e.g. don’t lie on your resume), there is a wide range of conflicting advice out there for library job-seekers. Figure out the “rules” for your particular area by talking to as many people as possible.

Leave a comment

Filed under 100-200 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.