This anonymous interview is with someone who hires for a:
√ Public Library
Title: Library Manager
Titles hired include: Public Services Assistant, Youth Services Assistant
Who makes hiring decisions at your organization:
√ The position’s supervisor
√ Other: The position’s supervisor and one other manager in the hiring department
Which of the following does your organization regularly require of candidates?
√ Online application
√ Oral Exam/Structured interview
√ Demonstration (teaching, storytime, etc)
Does your organization use automated application screening?
Briefly describe the hiring process at your organization and your role in it:
HR screens applicants based solely on their qualifications matching. Those that are qualified are passed on to the hiring manager who decides who to interview. I am the hiring manager at my branch.
Think about the last candidate who really wowed you, on paper, in an interview, or otherwise. Why were they so impressive?
Before we opened, I saw him on the steps engaging in casual conversation with the homeless men who were waiting to come inside and warm up. It was a good indication that he had the right attitude for this library and its clientele.
Do you have any instant dealbreakers?
Failing the alphabetization test. I let that slide once and regretted it.
What do you wish you could know about candidates that isn’t generally revealed in the hiring process?
Honestly? I wish I could know if the job was a stopgap or stepping stone, or if they really were ok with working for such low pay. (I don’t control the pay rate.)
How many pages should each of these documents be?
Cover Letter: √ We don’t ask for this
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?
I’m tired of hearing vague claims about how much candidates value the library. If they are really a library user or advocate, I want them to tell me something that demonstrates that. If they aren’t, that’s okay! Tell me something else that shows me that they’re a kind, helpful, socially aware, critically-thinking and/or tech savvy human that is interested in learning how awesome the library is.
Do you conduct virtual interviews? What do job hunters need to know about shining in this setting?
Yes. Candidates seem to grasp what’s needed virtual interviews.
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?
Since I hire paraprofessionals rather than librarians, I can’t answer this.
When does your organization *first* mention salary information?
√ It’s part of the information provided at the interview
What does your organization do to reduce bias in hiring? What are the contexts in which discrimination still exists in this process?
Nothing, as far as I know.
What questions should candidates ask you? What is important for them to know about your organization and the position you are hiring for?
I just like questions that show they have given the position some thought. It’s important for them to know that they need patience and that not everybody is nice to you at the library. It’s a customer service job.
What part of the world are you in?
√ Midwestern US
What’s your region like?
Is your workplace remote/virtual?
√ Never or not anymore
How many staff members are at your organization?
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