Their ability to perform searches rather than talk about searching

Photograph of the Librarian’s Conference, July 1, 1950.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Special Library

Title: Librarian

Titles hired include: Librarians (research), Library Technicians

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ Library Administration 

Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?

√ Online application

√ Resume 

√ References 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:

Develop position description for approval by senior company officer and by HR; ad posted; HR screens out resumes; library reviews remaining resumes; HR screens selected candidates; library interviews those who pass screening and makes selection; HR checks references for selected candidate; HR extends offer

Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?

Skill set; ability/interest in various library services; thoughtful responses; could help library grow services

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Long, rambling answers; not responding to question asked; unable to offer examples of how they performed/handled work in past positions; critical of past work environment; critical of junior employees; no research into the organization before the interview

What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?

Their ability to perform searches rather than talk about searching

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One!  

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?

Focus on their past position rather than their fit for advertised position

Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?

Yes – treat as a regular in-person interview even though alone – there are others in the conversation.

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?

Demonstrate relevant experience such as present examples of transferable skills that illustrate they understand the position requirements

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ Other: Desired salary is a question in the HR screening interview and the HR rep can provide the salary range

What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?

Expands advertising sources to attract more diverse pool of applicants

What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?

What does success look like

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Other: Mid-Atlantic 

What’s your region like?

√ Other: small-medium city

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Other: hybrid

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+ 

Is there anything else you’d like to say, either to job hunters or to me, the survey author? 

To job hunters – explain skills and abilities with examples of actual work

Author’s note: Hey, thanks for reading! If you like reading, why not try commenting or sharing? Or are you somebody who hires Library, Archives or other LIS workers? Please consider giving your own opinion by filling out the survey here.

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Filed under 1 A Return to Hiring Librarians Survey, 200+ staff members, Special

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