To not respond either way after an interview is rude and quite painful for the job seeker

Col. Cody & Prince of MonacoThis 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 more than 18 months. This person is looking in Academic libraries, Archives, and Special libraries, at the following levels: Entry level and Requiring at least two years of experience. This new grad/entry level applicant has internship/volunteering experience:

Interned with a government collection and a non-profit. Have done a lot of volunteer work in digital library software development.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US, and may be willing to move but it

Depends on Salary/Benefits

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

An intellectual challenge
Collaborative and open rather than hierarchical work environment
Advancement opportunities

Where do you look for open positions?

AALL Career Center
Job boards of institutions I’m specifically interested in

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?

I usually spend several days analyzing a posting to determine how exactly I fit the position and crafting a cover letter. My usual tactic is trying to make myself seem like the exact person the employer needs to solve this hole in the staffing needs.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

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?

√ Phone for good news, email for bad news

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

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Be honest and upfront about expectations.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Communicate. To not respond either way after an interview is rude and quite painful for the job seeker. This also means being clear with job seekers about what you need from them and are looking for in an employee.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I honestly don’t know. I’m still struggling to figure that out.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

I think what you’re doing is fascinating work and a great service to all librarians.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!


Filed under City/town, Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US

2 responses to “To not respond either way after an interview is rude and quite painful for the job seeker

  1. maria silverman

    This is exactly what I am encountering. It is rare to receive a reply to my applications (just to let me know they received it). I just had an interview on December 1st. The last words said to me as I left were, “I’ll be in touch soon”. That was 3 weeks ago and I never heard another word. Even after sending a thank you email for the chance to interview, I was not responded to. It is stressed in library school about proper protocol in applying for jobs and it is expected, by potential employers, that any presentation of resumes, cover letters and in person interviews are of the highest quality possible. Even though library students are taught this and spend hours just trying to find the exact words to convey what they have to offer, most times there is no response at all or hardly acknowledged. It gives potential librarians a feeling of hopelessness. It feels like a one way street of etiquette. The thing is as far as when a resume and cover letter is sent to an employer, it would be so simple for them to place an automatic response which will be sent to the sender. I know this because even on my little eportfolio I included an auto response to any emails sent to my website. It is so easily done but most just don’t bother.

    • jb

      Though it may feel like it from the candidate’s perspective, (I know I’ve been there) three weeks is really not a long time. Remember the people you interviewed with have other jobs to do. They are not 100% dedicated to filling this job. Additionally there may be other candidates being interviewed at the same time. In my place of employment (academic library) it’s customary not to contact anyone until all candidates have been interviewed, references checked, an offer made and accepted. This process alone can take weeks or months if it’s hard to get a hold of folks. This is also a tough time of year with holidays or vacations and the people you interviewed with may be dealing with end of year processes that take precedence over everything as well. I agree with your point though on an automatic response to an initial application. That should be standard but once you’ve interviewed you do need to be patient. I would suggest sending an email to check in on the status of the position after the holidays when people are recharged and refocused. If you still get no response then you can take that as a red flag about the organization.

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