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 a year to 18 months. This person is looking in archives as well as academic, public, and special libraries, at the entry level. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:
I had a positive experience during my internship, but I couldn’t help but feel like a slave every day that I was there. I had always refused to work for free, but I have learned that it is expected of people in this field, which is disgusting. I feel like Librarianship is some kind of secret society, and you have to jump through so many hoops to even get your foot in the door. It’s disheartening, really.
This job hunter is in an urban area, in the Midwestern US and is willing to move anywhere.
What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?
Money, Health Insurance, and Money.
Where do you look for open positions?
Listservs, I Need a Library Job daily digest, Indeed, Craigslist
Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?
√ Only for certain kinds of employers
What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?
I create a custom cover letter for each job, which can take up to an hour if I am really serious about the job. If I have to fill out an application in addition to sending the resume, that’s another hour.
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?
√ Other:I believe it is professional courtesy to contact a potential employee at every step of the process, but this belief is not shared this day in age.
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
What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?
Give a full description of the skills that are needed and what the job entails. I recently went on an interview knowing absolutely nothing about the place that I was working for, as they had provided no information, and their website was very cryptic. Even when I asked during the interview about what went on there, the answer was very confusing and unclear. I was then asked, “Why do you want to work here?” during the interview. It was ridiculous.
What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?
Stop asking canned questions at interviews. You’re going to get nothing but canned answers and a bunch of lies. If you are looking for an employee that is insincere and robotic, then print off a sample of “10 questions to ask at an interview” from Google and go at it. It’s a major red flag for me when I get drilled with silly questions, and a sign that there might be problems in that environment if they can’t be bothered to even have a conversation with potential employees.
What do you think is the secret to getting hired?
In America? A willingness to display a false enthusiasm while being a servant, and accepting low pay.
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!