If the role doesn’t have a detailed and up to date position description then be very cautious

Mrs. Joan T. Phillips, reference librarian, inputs data into a computer at Fairchild Library, Air University. The university offers formal training in many areas of military studies to officers and senior non-commissioned officers in the Air Force. National Archives

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Academic Library 

Title: Manager

Titles hired include: Library 0fficer, librarian, senior librarian 

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ Library Administration

√ A Committee or panel 

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

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ CV

√ References

√ Proof of degree

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

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

Raise requisition through human capital management system, two layers of approval, advertisement published, responses come in, I shortlist as hiring manager, organise interviews, run interviews, write selection report, do reference checks, make offer

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

They were prepared for interview and had relevant qualifications 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Not responding to selection criteria

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One!  

Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more 

CV: √ Two is ok, but no more

What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?

Not answering the question

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


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?

Create a mapping document – map your experience and skills to the job, know your weaknesses and how to remedy them 

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?

Gender balance on panel, must abide by discrimination legislation and policies 

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

They should ask about culture, expectations, what we would change about the organisation

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Australia/New Zealand 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 51-100

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

If the role doesn’t have a detailed and up to date position description then be very cautious 

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, 50-100 staff members, Academic, Australia/New Zealand

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