because we serve an online university, the ability to connect virtually is critically important

Port Richmond, Librarian at table with children. NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Academic Library 

Title: Sr. Manager, Learning Support

Titles hired include: Distance Education Librarian, Digital Media Librarian

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ A Committee or panel 

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

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ References 

√ More than one round of interviews 

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ No 

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

Initial applicant screening by HR, followed by phone interview with supervisor (me), followed by panel interview, followed by selection through panel review/discussion

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

Clear passion coming through in the responses, very genuine. 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Evidence of not having a service-oriented mentality 

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

How much they truly care about serving students to the best of their ability 

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more

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

Coming off overly confident or cocky 

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

Yes, because we serve an online university, the ability to connect virtually is critically important. Show the same level of interest and engagement you would in an in-person interview. Watch your body language the same way as well. 

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?

Having experience in customer service goes a long way, particularly if you can share anecdotes about going above and beyond to serve. 

When does your organization *first* mention salary information?

√ It’s part of the information provided at the interview 

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

Review the application packets before looking at the candidate’s name. 

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

Answer here

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Western US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban

√ Suburban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Always 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+

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, Academic, Suburban area, Urban area, Western US

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