It’s incredibly rewarding that AG has been helpful to these important contributions!
How is archives job hunting different now versus ten years ago?
This field has been steadily moving toward seeking those with skills in digital curation, projects, and collections, and those who are looking to work in the GLAM fields would be well-served to pick up skills in those areas. With the pandemic, there has been a big shift to remote work in all sectors, and that includes the archives field. Although most positions are still in-person, there are a lot more remote-only positions as well as hybrid schedule options – and I think with digital projects that hybrid/remote work is even more achievable.
√ 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
√ More than one round of interviews
√ A whole day of interviews
√ Other: Presentation, some positions may be a half day of interviews
Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:
Applications get narrowed by HR, hiring committee decides who gets phone interviews and conducts these interviews, committee decides who comes for in person (or virtual) final round interviews, candidates meet with committee, stakeholders, peers and/or reportees, higher library admins, and may give presentation to the entire libraries. A casual lunch is usually part of the interview day, but feedback isn’t given for that session. Assessment forms go to anyone that participated in the interview or viewed presentation. Committee assesses feedback and makes recommendation. Ultimately committee chair makes the decision on who to recommend (committee chair tends to be the person that will be reported to) which has to get approved by the library director. I have served as a hiring committee member or stakeholder in searches.
Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?
They had been actively involved with professional development through volunteering on committees, despite being relatively new to the field.
How many pages should each of these documents be?
Resume: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant
CV: √ As many as it takes, but keep it reasonable and relevant
What is the most common mistake that people make in an interview?
Not thinking about EDI even though it is in the job description. (Or having too narrow a view of diversity)
Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?
Yes. When giving a presentation, be aware of how you look when delivering it. (Please don’t be obviously reading from the screen, when it is easy to do it surreptitiously.) Understand the platform, test it out beforehand if possible.
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?
I think by tailoring how you describe these positions to play up the relevant experience. If you understand what is relevant and show it, it helps.
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?
Generally we try to have feedback forms that quantify how well a candidate does as compared with the job requirements. We also are encouraged to read an article on bias before starting reviews. We also try to give every candidate the same experience, from questions to schedules. Some decisions are very much up to the opinions of a small few. Phone screens are subject to the greatest bias.
What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?
Questions that show interest in the position or are aimed at better understanding expectations.