More engaging interviews (more of a conversation than an examination)

Hunting party, probably Christchurch district, [ca 1915]This anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for six months to a year a year. This person is looking in public libraries, at the following levels: entry level, requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

Volunteered for 1 year in grad school. Worked as a paraprofessional for 1.5 years post-MLS.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Southern US, and is willing to move 


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

1. Job duties match my interests and goals
2. Location
3. Progressive and engaged library system

Where do you look for open positions?, ALA Joblist,, library system websites

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?

Research system with open position, prepare resume and cover letter, apply. Spend a few days.

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

Post positions widely. Be clear about hiring timelines.

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

Communicate more. Be clearer about what their priorities are in hiring a candidate. Better interview questions and more engaging interviews (more of a conversation than an examination).

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Knowing someone in the system who can help you get an interview. Interviewing well.

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!

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

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

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