This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking for an entry level position in an archives. This new grad/entry level applicant has the following internship/volunteering experience.
Volunteer to help get the Chinatown Lantern up and running (I helped to select and implement the organization scheme and input the Lantern’s collection info into LibraryThing, which will serve as their online catalog until they can purchase a dedicated software system).
Intern at New England Historic Genealogy Society (processed a manuscript collection).
Intern at the North End Historical Society (jack of all trades & having a great time)
This job hunter is in a city/town in the Northeastern US, and is not willing to move.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Opportunity for advancement within the organization or peer organizations
The employer’s willingness and desire to invest in training/professional development
Colleagues who genuinely respect each other and who like to work together
Where do you look for open positions?
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Yes, and it’s a red flag when it’s not
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
1 day per application
Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?
When would you like employers to contact you?
√ To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me
How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?
Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?
√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Offer a workplace environment that is engaging and invest in training and professional development for all employees (both for the good of the employer and for the good of the profession). The employees of this type of organization will ensure that the employer’s qualities are known throughout their network, which will attract quality candidates.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Create a good management strategy before a position opens up (so that the employer is not left scrambling to fill the position). Decide beforehand how to filter the applicants down to a manageable few, and communicate to all candidates at every stage of the application process to let them know if they have advanced to the next stage or if they are free to focus on their other applications.
Silence from a potential employer is the worst thing. Silence followed by an out-of-the-blue call for an interview is not good, either; this would make me question that employer’s organization and ability to handle complex projects. I may not want to work for an employer that demonstrates such poor communication skills and lack of respect for potential employees. It poisons the well, so to speak; later in my career I may remember an employer as “the one that didn’t call me back” and my poor impression of the employer may affect possible collaborations with them throughout my career.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
Being on top of your game and luck. There are so many of us now that even going on an interview when you’re not feeling well could make or break you!
Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?
City/town and Urban area seem to be redundant. What do you mean by listing both? This might create noise when you compile your survey responses.
This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!