I don’t think job hunters need to do anything extra.

Interior of the Chatham Square Branch of the New York Public Library. NYPL Digital Collections.

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Academic Library 

Title: Director of Discovery and Delivery

Titles hired include: Software engineer, ILS Service Manager, Data Analyst, Systems Analyst, Director of Collections, Finance Manager

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ The position’s supervisor

√ 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:

Very bureaucratic process involving the library division and hiring manager, our HR liaison, and multiple people in HR reviewing, vetting, and pushing the process forward (e.g. only they can post the position on certain hiring sites, writing an offer letter, etc.). Internally, we typically phone screen applicants first, then do two rounds of interviews.

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

She had all the experience we requested, even everything marked “preferred.” She was easy going in the interview and asked excellent questions of us.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

Unable/unwilling to work on a PST standard workday timetable. Also, extreme ego/cockiness–will not mesh well with the team.

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

Their ability to work in an ongoing, stable team environment.

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Only One!  

Resume: √ Two is ok, but no more  

CV: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant  

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

They don’t take the opportunity at the end of the interview to ask us questions.

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

We do. I don’t think of it as that different. I don’t think job hunters need to do anything extra.

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?

Pull what you’ve done that is connected, even slightly, to the new institution’s mission and goals.

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?

We have done blind hiring (everything redacted) until the final interviews. We are encouraged to take diversity into consideration in our hiring decisions. I think people still consider candidates for “fit” which is biased in its very nature. 

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 know the org structure, mission and vision, the work being done by the team they’re going to be working with.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Western US 

What’s your region like?

√ Other: We’re a digital library so we cover all the UCs in the state of California, so many different environments.

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Always 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 51-100  

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, Western US

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