This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:
√ Public Library
Title: Executive Director
Titles hired include: Assistant Director, Archives Librarian, Cultural Engagement Coordinator, Library Assistant, Programming & Outreach Librarian
Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:
√ Library Administration
√ The position’s supervisor
√ A Committee or panel
√ Employees at the position’s same level (on a panel or otherwise)
Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?
√ Online application
√ Cover letter
√ Oral Exam/Structured interview
Does your organization use automated application screening?
Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:
Applications are submitted via online application, with resume’s and cover letters being emailed to myself, Executive Director. Hiring panel comprised of myself, positions supervisors, and sometimes peers review and rate applicants. Hiring Panel conducts interviews, often via zoom. Top candidates have references checked, before offer is made.
Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?
Excellent hiring packet, including application, cover letter and resume. Good communication throughout process, but not overburdening.
Do you have any instant dealbreakers?
incomplete application, too informal cover letter (like less than a paragraph total), with no greeting or closing.
What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?
why they want to move to our community, we usually ask, but few if any have an answer. The ones that do stand out.
How many pages should each of these documents be?
Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more
Resume: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant
CV: √ We don’t ask for this
What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?
not knowing anything about the community they applied to work in.
Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?
We do almost all supervisory level via virtual platform. Have a non-distracting background, and expect a few hiccups, despite good internet connections, sometimes we miss things and may ask you to repeat, it’s ok to ask us to repeat 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?
Focus on transferrable skills, if you are good at working with people, in a variety of settings, tell us! We need people who are adaptable and willing to learn!
When does your organization *first* mention salary information?
√ It’s part of the job ad
What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?
I like it when they ask questions related to research they’ve done about our organization, or what the immediate need it for the position. Those come off better than immediately asking about benefits, which are listed in the job ad.
What part of the world are you in?
√ Midwestern US
What’s your region like?
Is your workplace remote/virtual?
√ Never or not anymore
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?
Please consider whether you are willing/able to move before you apply. Nothing is more frustrating than finding an amazing candidate, and then they realize moving is not feasible once we’ve made the offer.
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.