If you’re over qualified explain why you’re still interested.

Donnell Library. Three librarians around table. NYPL Digital Collections

This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:

√ Public Library 

Title: Library manager

Titles hired include: Senior librarian, reference librarian, archivist, archives assistant 

Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:

√ The position’s supervisor 

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

√ Online application

√ Cover letter

√ Resume

√ References

√ Supplemental Questions

√ Written Exam

√ Oral Exam/Structured interview

√ 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:

The supervisor arranges a panel who screens applicants and conducts interviews. The structure depends on the position and the size of the pool.

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

They clearly understood the position, took time to learn about the organization and succinctly communicated why they were an ideal fit for the position.

Do you have any instant dealbreakers?

No cover letter or a letter that doesn’t connect with the position we’re recruiting.

How many pages should each of these documents be?

Cover Letter: √ Two is ok, but no more 

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?

Talking around a question rather than answering it.

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

We do. Make sure your audio and lighting are good and pay attention to what’s in your background.

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?

You should draw those lines in your cover letter and again during the interview.

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 seek to have diverse viewpoints represented on our hiring panel.

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

I appreciate when they ask about challenges and opportunities at our institution and what kind of a culture we have.

Additional Demographics

What part of the world are you in?

√ Western US 

What’s your region like?

√ Urban 

Is your workplace remote/virtual?

√ Some of the time and/or in some positions 

How many staff members are at your organization?

√ 201+

Is there anything else you’d like to say, either to job hunters or to me, the survey author? 

Please read the job ad. Make sure you’re qualified. If you’re over qualified explain why you’re still interested.

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, Public, Urban area, Western US

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