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Interviewing from Both Sides of the Table. My Experiences. Have been a librarian for 26 years Have sat on both sides of the table At ALA placement center And on many other occasions Have had a strong interest in interviewing for more than 20 years. The Institution. The Institution.

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Interviewing from Both Sides of the Table

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Interviewing from both sides of the table

Interviewingfrom Both Sides of the Table

My experiences

My Experiences

  • Have been a librarian for 26 years

  • Have sat on both sides of the table

    • At ALA placement center

    • And on many other occasions

  • Have had a strong interest in interviewing for more than 20 years

The institution

The Institution

The institution1

The Institution

  • Get your process together

  • Think about the interview…

    • Who you want the candidates to meet

    • Who you want to be part of the interviews

    • What you want the candidates to do

    • What questions you want answered

    • What questions you will ask of references

Get your process together

Get Your Process Together

  • Think about the arrangements…

    • Travel

    • Accommodations

    • Meals

    • City information/tour

Get your process together1

Get Your Process Together

  • Develop your timeline…

    • Place ad

    • First cut of the resumes

    • Telephone interviews

    • Googling your candidates

    • In-person interviews

    • Check references

    • Extend offer

    • Send rejection letters

Exercise 1

Exercise 1

Can’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Remember you and your institution are being interviewed as well

Remember You and Your Institution are being Interviewed as Well

Most importantly

Most Importantly…

  • Know the job you are filling before placing the ad

    • Start with the job

    • Revise the job description

    • Then write the job ad

The pool of candidates

The Pool of Candidates

  • At any given time, there is a set of librarians looking for jobs

  • They range from casual browsers to serious job hunters

The pool of candidates1

The Pool of Candidates

Potential Pool of candidates

Pool of candidates viewing your ad

Pool responding to your ad

Pool you want

Not to scale.

Job vs job ad

Job vs. Job Ad

  • These need to be as close as possible to get the best match

Job vs job ad1

Job vs. Job Ad

  • When there is a disconnect…

  • You get the wrong applicants

Exercise 2

Exercise 2

Writing a job ad

Elements of a good job ad

Elements of a Good Job Ad

  • Highlights from the job description

  • Skills, experience and education

  • Job conditions

  • Information about the organization

  • Information about the place

  • Salary – minimum, range

  • Make sure everything is stated clearly

What attracts deters a candidate



The job

Skills, experience and education


Job conditions






Skills, experience and education


Job conditions




What Attracts/Deters a Candidate

Exercise 3

Exercise 3

First Impressions

Initial judgment

Initial Judgment

  • We all make them, so embrace them

  • Jot a quick note that reflects your initial judgment of the candidate

  • Set it aside, and start with a blank slate.

  • Interview, take notes and record new impression

  • Did your initial judgment impact your final judgment?

The candidate

The Candidate

First impressions

First Impressions

  • They are important

  • Dress nice and look neat

  • Watch your body language

    • Make eye contact

    • Give a good handshake

  • Be confident, not arrogant

  • Be yourself, but be your best self

Before you make a first impression prepare

Before You Make a First Impression – Prepare

  • Before you apply

    • Create resume

    • Develop cover letter

    • Check references

  • Before you interview

    • Gather information and study the institution

    • Develop and practice answering questions

    • Create questions to ask interviewers

Exercise 4

Exercise 4

Eating in Front of Others

Be prepared it s not really a lunch break

Be Prepared - It’s Not Really a Lunch Break

  • Don’t order first

  • Don’t pick the most expensive thing because it’s free!

  • Don’t order anything messy

  • Don’t forget you’re still being interviewed

Develop practice questions

Develop & Practice Questions

  • Work with a list of generic questions

  • Think of other, job/organization specific questions

  • Write answers to the questions

  • Practice answering them orally with a partner

  • Videotape yourself and watch it

  • Expect the unexpected

Creating questions to ask

Creating Questions to Ask

  • Use your research to develop specific questions to ask the institution during your interview

    • Institution related questions: I read that you tried…How did that work out? Job related questions: How much original cataloging do you do?

  • Listen to what’s being said, take notes and develop more questions

  • Work your questions into the interview

Phone interview

Phone Interview

  • Have research laid out

  • Have their web pages open

  • Have your practice questions and answer at hand

  • Write down names, titles

  • Have the questions to ask ready to go

  • Write down answers you receive

  • Remember they can’t see you

In person interview

In-person Interview

  • Bring portfolio with notepad, pen and pocket

  • Put most important research & information in the pocket

  • Write down other information that won’t fit

  • Write down questions you wish to ask

  • Listen, take notes, develop new questions & refer to your notes/questions

Exercise 5

Exercise 5

Time to answer a question

Answering questions

Answering Questions

  • Answer the question being asked

  • Don’t talk too much

  • Don’t say too little

  • Work in your knowledge of their organization

  • Believe in your answers

Interviewing the institution

Interviewing the Institution

  • You are interviewing them

  • Make sure it’s a job you want

    • Ask questions about the job, etc.

  • Make sure these are people you want to work with

You want to be remembered for your answers personality

You Want to Be Remembered for Your Answers & Personality…

Weighing an offer

Weighing an Offer

  • Salary

  • Benefits

  • Location

  • Environment

  • Job

  • Have all your questions been answered?

Summing up from both sides of the table

Summing Up from Both Sides of the Table

  • Prepare!

  • Success starts with a solid foundation

  • You are selling yourself or your organization

Congratulations on a successful job candidate search

Congratulations on a Successful Job/Candidate Search!

Questions please

Questions, please

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