They Integrate What They Learn Early on in the Interview as They Progress

Folger Shakespeare Library, ca. 1932-1950, from the collection of Cornell University



This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee.This person works at a library with 50-100 staff members.

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

Positive attitude
Paying attention – do they integrate what they learn early on in the interview as they progress through the various steps?
Thoughtful, honest answers

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

No, but I get very annoyed when someone doesn’t address ALL of the job requirements from the posting in the cover letter or CV.

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

Objective statements. You want a job, I know, that’s why you’re applying.

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

Something pertaining to the more abstract ideas in the job posting (if I ask for someone who deals well with change, give me an explicit example).

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?

√ We don’t accept email applications

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

Ask lots of good questions, make sure you address the full question, be honest. And show a little of your humor!

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

Not being comfortable with the choices they make – if you want to use Prezi for your presentation, make sure it’s seamless. Or powerpoint, for that matter. And giving different answers to different groups based on what you think we want to hear – we DO talk to each other.

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

We have become much less brutal, and tried to turn the interview into a learning experience for everyone.

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

Please be sure that you are qualified for a job before you apply – even if you’re not experienced, talk about how your experience will help you do the job. THAT is what I want!

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Original Survey

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