This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring committee.
This person works at a public library with 100-200 staff members.
What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?
1) Diversity of work experience both within libraries and outside of the profession
2) Embraces continuous learning
3) Drive and ambition
Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?
Not tailoring a resume to address the specific skills or experience described in the job posting
Only asking basic questions at the end of the interview: What’s your timeline? What is the benefits package? This is the candidates opportunity to interview the organization, please put some thought into the questions.
What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?
I like to help people.
I love…..books, technology just fill in the blank
I am innovative.
Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?
I wish more candidates would include their experience outside of libraries. It gives me a better picture of the candidate. It may also demonstrate important skills and knowledge that I would miss just considering their library experience.
How many pages should a cover letter be?
√ Two is ok, but no more
How many pages should a resume/CV be?
√ It depends on the position
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?
√ I don’t care
If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?
√ As an attachment only
What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?
Be as much of your everyday self as you can. Don’t try to tone it down or rev it up just to get the job. If I hire you based upon who you portrayed, then we will both be disappointed if that is not the real you.
What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?
Not stopping to think about the questions being asked. It’s okay to ask for clarification. Better to do this than to appear like you have not addressed the question.
How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?
Yes. The interview processes that I’m involved in will usually include some exercise to demonstrate a candidate’s familiarity with a specific skill, or process.
Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?
Learn as much as you can about the library and position. Demonstrate that knowledge in the interview in a way that shows that you did your homework.
For some context, take a look at the most recently published summary of responses to this survey.
If you’re someone who has participated in hiring library workers, take this survey and share your viewpoint.