This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:
√ Public Library
Title: District Consultant Librarian
Titles hired include: Director; Youth Services District Consultant
Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:
√ Library Administration
√ The position’s supervisor
√ A Committee or panel
√ Other: Library Board
Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?
√ Online application
√ Cover letter
√ Supplemental Questions
√ 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:
I assist public libraries and their boards in my district on the hiring of library directors and other personnel. I also assist the district administrator in hiring positions for the district, such as the YS district consultant
Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?
passion, job knowledge, knowledge of library and area they were interviewing for (they did their research)
Do you have any instant dealbreakers?
misspellings on resumes, condescending attitude toward interview team, bad talking/dissing previous employers
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?
not doing their homework to know about the organization and its role in the community it serves
Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?
yes; I always say somewhere toward the beginning of the interview that it’s the most awkward conversation anyone ever has, made worse by zoom/teams/etc. We’re all nervous and out of element, so relax as much as you can
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?
show (not tell – words can be extremely descriptive) how their experience translates. If they’re going for their degree, show (see above) how the background in the theory of our profession grounds them for the real world applications of that theory.
I am a big proponent of ML(I)S degrees but completely understand how they don’t really prepare you for real library work. Therefore, practical experience of many kinds (customer service is a big plus) can and does translate well into libraryland.
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?
working on this. we recently raised minimum wages to $15 hour and our state allows for provisional hiring for 45 days while waiting for clearances.
What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?
culture, a day in the life of the position, outreach, biggest challenges facing the org, biggest opportunities (basically a SWOT analysis)
What part of the world are you in?
√ Northeastern US
What’s your region like?
Is your workplace remote/virtual?
√ Some of the time and/or in some positions
How many staff members are at your organization?
√ Other: across 20 different independent libraries there are over 300 people employed
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