This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:
√ Academic Library
Title: Dean & Director
Titles hired include: All of the library faculty and staff in our university library
Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:
√ Library Administration
√ The position’s supervisor
Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?
√ Online application
√ Cover letter
√ Supplemental Questions
√ Other: DEI Statement
Does your organization use automated application screening?
Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:
Depends if it is faculty or staff. We have search committees, DEI expectations, training and meetings before the job description can be approved by HR. We have a very strong procedure to ensure that we are fair and accommodating to all applicants.
Faculty run the faculty search, but the dean makes the final decision (provost must give approval)
Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?
They had a strong sense of self and understood the value they would bring to the workplace. An openness to experience and to joining an academic environment. An understanding of our student-centric campus ethos.
Do you have any instant dealbreakers?
Yes! You can be the smartest person in the room but if you have a low EQ and can’t work with others the hire will not be successful.
One must come with a well formulated concept of self in regards to DEI work and evidence of support/knowledge for our campus population. As a majority under-represented campus, we require a DEI lens/mindset.
If your priority is to work 100% at home. We allow telecommuting, but we are a F2F campus and that requires equal focus on site.
Negative angry-twitter postings. We ALL feel a lot, your level of maturity is reflected in the library-twitter world you inhabit. You do not have to say everything you think. It is called being a grown up
What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?
what their career goals are. I consider growing people my responsibility and knowing what people want re: knowledge acquisition would be useful
How many pages should each of these documents be?
Cover Letter: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant
Resume: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant
CV: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant
What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?
They don’t consider their fit with the campus. Do your homework.
Sell what you bring to us.
Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?
We have. Practice a solid presentation. Two years into COVID/online work there is NO EXCUSE for a lousy presentation. Make sure the lighting is good, sound, your entire face! I just had an interview for an instruction position and one candidate only had 1/3 of her face visible.
Bring the energy – it is more difficult for us to get to know you. Show interest and excitement.
How can candidates looking to transition from paraprofessional work, from non-library work, or between library types convince you that their experience is relevant? Or do you have other advice for folks in this kind of situation?
Connect the dots. I hired a Home Depot manager who strongly connected her skills to running a service desk. She’s awesome
When does your organization *first* mention salary information?
√ Other: we finally got our campus to share. As a state institution, there is one solid number. But it is uneven.
What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?
All search committees have training and overview by the Inclusive Excellence office. HR and the Dean looks to highlight and be aware of all diversities.
1) pre-search mtg
2) mid-way through mtg
3) post-work mtg
We have standard questions and a strong process that enforces an open mind and process
We have rubrics so that we are rating the same skills
We have changed our minimum standards of requirements
We try to present a diverse search committee, as much as possible
What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?
What DEI work are we engaged in?
What is the strategic plan and how is it incorporated into regular work? It is great to have values and goals, but are they important enough to accomplish!
What new, exciting projects is the library involved in?
What part of the world are you in?
√ Western US
What’s your region like?
Is your workplace remote/virtual?
√ Some of the time and/or in some positions
How many staff members are at your organization?
Is there anything else you’d like to say, either to job hunters or to me, the survey author?
Have hope, empower yourself, align your priorities/goals with the institution. There are many good jobs and some bad ones. Be picky even when it feels like you can’t be.
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