This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:
√ Other: State Library
Title: Library Development Director
Titles hired include: Youth Services Consultant
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
√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)
√ More than one round of interviews
Does your organization use automated application screening?
Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:
The agency director, with input from the department head, writes a job description for the desired position. (If it’s an existing position, the department head may just need to edit/review.) The HR manager posts it to various sites and monitors applications. Once the deadline is past and a sufficient number of candidates have applied, the department head reviews them with the help of HR and the agency director. First round interviews are sometimes online, due to COVID or if the candidate is too far to travel. They usually include the department head and HR manager. They frequently involve a short presentation related to the job, as well as some scenario based questions. Second round interviews are in person, with the agency director involved, and may also include a demonstration. HR then extends an offer to the desired candidate.
Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?
Good presentation skills, ability to problem-solve, obvious knowledge of their field of expertise and our agency’s role
Do you have any instant dealbreakers?
Pushy or rude, glaring errors in the writing sample questions, hasn’t reviewed our agency website and info to see what we do; bad references
What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?
It’s sometimes hard to see their judgment/diplomacy when dealing with difficult situations. We need candidates who have good judgment and can be trusted to represent the agency when not under direct supervision.
How many pages should each of these documents be?
Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more
Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more
CV: √ We don’t ask for this
What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?
Too vague with answers, not specific enough examples of relevant work; not reading the job description (our work isn’t directly with library patrons)
Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?
Yes – know your technology and also don’t be flustered if something goes wrong, have a backup plan. Have a nice background and no distractions.
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?
Emphasize skill sets related to your knowledge base. I may not need someone who can catalog materials, but could use someone who can work with databases and sort or categorize data. If you can put together a storytime or manage a summer reading program, those are project management and program development skills. I want to see problem-solving, communication skills, ability to facilitate meetings or host programs, and enough technology skills to make the job go smoothly.
When does your organization *first* mention salary information?
√ It’s part of the job ad
What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?
Our HR tries to promote job openings to HBCUs and other diverse audiences, but we primarily hire degreed librarians and the degree is still out of reach for many.
What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?
Ask what we hope to accomplish in the position. What major projects are coming up or in progress, or what aspects we want to develop. They need to know that our patrons are the library staff and that we don’t work directly with patrons.
What part of the world are you in?
√ Southeastern US
What’s your region like?
√ Other: statewide; a lot of rural with some suburban and urban
Is your workplace remote/virtual?
√ Other: working on work-from-home options
How many staff members are at your organization?
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