This anonymous interview is with a school librarian who works at a library with 10-50 staff members. This librarian has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?
Sense of Humor
Thirst for knowledge to continue learning
Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?
No I treat everyone fairly and give them the benefit of doubt.
What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?
Keep them simple, relevant, state actual projects you worked on, and put down all experience. I hired a girl who worked in a convenience store. I figured if she could manage busy morning customers she could handle a school library.
Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?
Make it personal, memorable, different if you can. I like photos – if I see many CVs and facilitate many interviews I sometimes forget the face. Add a quote, great opening line, or show me you did your research – why do you want to work here or for me?
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?
√ 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?
√ Both as an attachment and in the body of the email
What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?
Be yourself, laugh, be honest, and tell me why you want to work here, what you hope to gain, how you can add to the current program, share your strengths and weaknesses, etc.
What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?
They try to be someone other then themselves. They try to hard. Just relax, be friendly, be conversational – things will be easier on both of us 😉
How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?
We do much via Skype and email. Not always able to meet in person (which I prefer).
Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?
Volunteer, hustle, do not give up, try/try/and try again. PERSEVERANCE, flexibility, the ability to move for a job and possibly start at the bottom will open endless doors!
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