Whether or not they are prone to gossiping or lying

Sixth Archivist of the United States Robert Warner Standing in Front of the American Flag and the Cake While Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Archives, 1984. National Archives.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Archives

√ Public Library 

Title: Archives Unit Manager

Titles hired include: Senior Librarian-Digital Archivist; Senior Librarian-Archivist; Librarian 

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ HR

√ 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

√ Resume

√ References

√ Proof of degree

√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)

Does your organization use automated application screening? 

√ Yes

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

Job is posted on city jobs website, with a closing date. Applications are accepted up to the closing date. Algorithms sort applicants by qualified/unqualified. City HR selects candidates they think best meet the criteria and send those to the hiring manager. Hiring manager reviews applications and selects candidates for interviews—usually 3-6, depending on the number of qualified applicants. All Interviews are scheduled on one day. Hiring panel conducts interviews, then meets to discuss candidates and compile scores. Hiring manager notifies their supervisor and HR of the decision, checks references. Approval to make an offer is given. Offer is made, the candidate either accepts, declines, or makes a counter-offer. 

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

Good experience, independent thinker, self-starter. 

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Attitude (especially negativity), telling stories about themselves and previous behavior that indicate a lack of compassion, lack of comprehension of the small community we are in, lack of respect for others

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

Whether or not they are prone to gossiping or lying. The real reason they are seeking the job. 

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One! 

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 researching the hiring organization prior to the interview. 

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

Lighting, quiet environment without distractions, use a virtual background or pick a clean, uncluttered space. 

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?

Illustrate competencies that apply to both professions. 

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?

Selection of a diverse panel (racial, gender, and job classification)

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

Who our customers are, level of business, “other duties” examples. What their day might look like. What is the culture at the organization? 

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Southwestern US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban

√ Suburban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Other: Rarely. Requires case-by-case approval from my supervisor for my direct reports to work from home. Only in unusual circumstances. 

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 200+ staff members, Archives, Public, Southwestern US, Suburban area, Urban area

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