Monthly Archives: March 2014

An individual’s attire, when appropriate, will not distract from the substance of the interview

Hiromi dressed up for her interview! by Flickr user nata2This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in a Urban area in the Northeastern US 

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ False

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Nose Ring (nostril)
√ Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

An individual’s attire, when appropriate, will not distract from the substance of the interview. Most important is that the candidate does not appear sloppy or unkempt-dirty, torn clothes, anything that might violate appearance guidelines.

What This Library Wears 

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Flip flops
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Name tags

Do you have any other comments?

Check the pantyhose question. I’m not sure that the second answer goes with the question.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: Hiromi dressed up for her interview! by Flickr user nata2

Leave a comment

Filed under 200+ staff members, Northeastern US, Public, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Take a broad approach and learn about all the different aspects of a library

N.S.W Primary Schools' Rugby Leauge Football Team v Queensland Brisbane, 1932This anonymous interview is with an librarian from an art and design college, who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Reference/patron services, image, cataloger/tech services, director

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an urban area in the Northeastern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

2

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Reference librarians lack basic cataloging skills and catalogers lack basic reference skills. Both of these skill sets complement the other and make better reference and catalog librarians.

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Specific software systems, how-to skills that are specific to each library

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Internship or practicum
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

You never know what you will do as a librarian, so take a broad approach and learn about all the different aspects of a library. Also get a really good foundation in library and information theory. You can learn the tasks once you’re here. I want you to know why we do thing things we do.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Right now I am wearing grey skinny jeans, blue shirt and black blazer with flats

New Do for the Job Interview by Flickr user angelgrrl73This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Rural area in the Southern US  

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ I don’t care

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

t-shirts, tennis shoes, jeans, religious/fraternity/political buttons

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It gives me a sense of their personality.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

I dress in my every day library appropriate clothes, right now I am wearing grey skinny jeans, blue shirt and black blazer with flats. I would feel okay conducting an interview in this outfit. But I typically hire only people working in the young adult dept of a public library.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Flip flops
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Name tags

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: 

1 Comment

Filed under Public, Rural area, Southern US, What Should Candidates Wear?

Chemistry

The hunt for the Governor gang of bushrangers. A posse of mounted police, aboriginal trackers and district volunteers.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 in public and special libraries, at the following levels: supervisory, department head, and branch manager.

This job hunter is in a rural area in the Southern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

salary, location, responsibilities

Where do you look for open positions?

ala joblist, inalj, lisjobs, library job postings on internet

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?

adjust cover letter and resume to position. about 30 minutes or so

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?

√ Email

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?

be real about the position

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

don’t invite 50 people to the interview….

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

luck, timing, chemistry

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Rural area, Southern US

All staff should wear name tags, in my opinion, but it’s not mandated.

job interview by flickr user Kino PraxisThis anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an Urban area in the Midwestern US

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ I do not know and/or care

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

 √ I don’t care

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Other: Doesn’t matter. After the greeting, they are sitting, so we might not even notice.

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.

Too casual – t-shirt and shorts. I would perceive a woman wearing a low cut blouse as trying to use sex appeal to get the job (I’m female, by the way). Anything that is distracting around the face – noticeable tattoos, big, noisy, earrings, facial jewelry, such as tongue or cheek piercings would negatively influence my perception of them, even if they interviewed well. But it might be my age (47) and general conservative attitude towards dress.

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

I don’t recall it ever influencing our committee’s decisions.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I can’t recall anyone ever wearing anything so unusual that we discussed it when making a hiring decision.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Same as my normal work attire – dress pants and nice blouse or sweater.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Other: No dress code, but it’s coming.

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

√ Name tags
√ Other: All staff should wear name tags, in my opinion, but it’s not mandated.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

Photo: job interview by flickr user Kino Praxis

1 Comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

I’m also finding that new graduates are not patient and fail to understand the of nuances of working with colleagues of different generations.

Keene High School (old) Graduating Class of 1875, Keene, New HampshireThis anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Subject and instruction librarians

This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an urban area in the Midwestern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

3

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Vocabulary Design
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Project Management
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Web Design/Usability
√ Metadata
√ Digital Collections
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Instruction
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Portfolio/ePortfolio
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

I am not sure if it is not covered in library school, but I am finding that new graduates do not fully possess skills needed for interpersonal relations. They may have knowledge of group work, but not group dynamics. I’m also finding that new graduates are not patient and fail to understand the of nuances of working with colleagues of different generations.

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ Yes–I value skills gained through a student job more highly

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

I am not sure if this is an expectation, however many new hires need to learn how to teach, as I am a unit head for instruction librarians.

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Conference presentation
√ Student organization involvement
√ Professional organization involvement
√ Teaching assistant/Other instructional experience

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

To be well versed in the “politics” of work and to have those soft skills developed.

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshall from Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Urban area, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School

Finding the right match for you and the employer

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F12-2This 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 six months to a year. This person is looking in academic and special libraries and non libraries, at the following levels: requiring at least two years of experience and branch manager.

This job hunter is in a city/town in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.

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

interesting work, location, salary

Where do you look for open positions?

Twitter, LinkedIn, listservs, libraryjobpostings.orgs, AALL, SLA Text Here

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) Update resume if necessary
2) Write a customized cover letter

Usually takes 30″ for each application.

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

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Email

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

finding the right match for you and the employer

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

keep up the good work ladies!

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US

Don’t overlook me for a paraprofessional position even if I have an MLS. If I’m applying for the job it means I want it.

HUNTING TRIPThis 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 archives, public libraries, and museums, at the following levels: entry level.

This job hunter is in a suburban area in the Midwestern US.

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

Must be full-time and have benefits (health insurance, mostly)
Even though I have my MLS, it doesn’t have to be a professional level job
I want a work environment where ideas can be freely shared

Where do you look for open positions?

Local library districts’ websites, Indeed.com

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other: Yes, but it’s not a dealbreaker if it isn’t

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ 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
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

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

As far as I know, they don’t need to do anything different. I would like them to give those of us without a lot of experience a chance. We could be great candidates too.

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

Let us know if we haven’t been chosen for an interview. Some places do, most don’t. Don’t overlook me for a paraprofessional position even if I have an MLS. If I’m applying for the job it means I want it. Stop asking for such extremely specific job requirements; you’re probably missing out on a lot of great potential candidates by doing that.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing the right people. Having lots of experience. Being extremely outgoing.

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

Text Here

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Suburban area

Be honest…put everything on the table

PhC42.Bx17.Hunting.F13This 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 in academic, archives, public, school, and special libraries, at the following levels: entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Youth Services Intern at a Public Library – 4 months; Reference Intern at an Academic Library – 4 months; Volunteer at a Museum Library – 4 months; Volunteer at a Special Library – 4 months

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Northeastern US and is not willing to move.

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

– professional development opportunities,
– comfortable work environment,
– stability

Where do you look for open positions?

– LinkedIn
– INALJ
– METRO library council job board
– SUNY at Albany’s IST-Jobs list serv
– SLA NY-NJ job blog
– Indeed, SimplyHired, etc.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

depends on what is required. i’d say about 45 minutes on average.

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

√ Yes

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?

√ Email

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 should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

be honest…put everything on the table. be more responsive….i know that employers have a lot to look through but keeping us candidates informed would be extremely helpful. i have applied to jobs not heard anything from them (not even an letter application receipt) and then two or three months later after i have moved on…they contact me.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

persistence, experience, asking good questions, AND LUCK (being at the right place at the right time)

Are you hunting for a new LIS job? Take the survey! http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibJOBHUNTERsurvey

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Urban area

Why get a degree in something that you’ll give away for free?

Public Schools Athletic League (LOC)This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Clerks, reference librarians, circ assistants

This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a city/town in the Midwestern US.

Do library schools teach candidates the job skills you are looking for in potential hires?

√ Depends on the school/Depends on the candidate

Should library students focus on learning theory or gaining practical skills? (Where 1 means Theory, 5 means practice, and 3 means both equally)

4

What coursework do you think all (or most) MLS/MLIS holders should take, regardless of focus?

√ Cataloging
√ Budgeting/Accounting
√ Library Management
√ Collection Management
√ Programming (Events)
√ Digital Collections
√ Archives
√ History of Books/Libraries
√ Research Methods
√ Reference
√ Readers’ Advisory
√ Information Behavior
√ Services to Special Populations
√ Outreach
√ Marketing
√ Soft Skills (e.g. Communication, Interpersonal Relations)
√ Field Work/Internships

Do you find that there are skills that are commonly lacking in MLS/MLIS holders? If so, which ones?

Experience, mostly. A degree without any experience is almost useless.

When deciding who to hire out of a pool of candidates, do you value skills gained through coursework and skills gained through practice differently?

√ No preference–as long as they have the skill, I don’t care how they got it

Which skills (or types of skills) do you expect a new hire to learn on the job (as opposed to at library school)?

Policies specific to our library, our LIS (if different than most libraries or complicated), programming specific to our demographic, how to deal with “regulars”

Which of the following experiences should library students have upon graduating?

√ Library work experience
√ Student organization involvement

Which library schools give candidates an edge (you prefer candidates from these schools)?

Wayne State University

What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their time in library school?

Get experience! And I don’t mean volunteering. I know that there are many schools of thought on this, but why get a degree in something that you’ll give away for free? Get a job as a page/shelver or circ assistant or computer class teacher, anything!

This survey was coauthored by Brianna Marshallfrom Hack Library School. Interested in progressive blogging, by, for, and about library students? Check it out!

Special Note: From December 6, 2013 to October 24, 2014, the ALA will accept comments on the Draft revised Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. More information about the process of changing these standards is here. If you have opinions about what people should be learning in library school, here’s a way that you can influence change.

Do you hire librarians? Tell us, “What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School?”: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibschoolsurvey

1 Comment

Filed under 0-10 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, What Should Potential Hires Learn in Library School