ALA 2011 Interview Better
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ALA 2011 Interview Better

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PowerPoint slides from session presented during ALA 2011, sponsored by ALA JobList Placement Center, by Megan Hodge, Nicole Spoor and Teresa Doherty.

PowerPoint slides from session presented during ALA 2011, sponsored by ALA JobList Placement Center, by Megan Hodge, Nicole Spoor and Teresa Doherty.

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  • TERESAWelcome!Confirmation of session title, how long the session will be (will end at 1:15 in order to allow time for next session to be set up), that desserts are available, so feel free to get up and take advantage of that (a little something for your registration fee).
  • NICOLETeresa-Head of Circulation & Information Services and Access LibrarianUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2008Megan-Assistant Branch ManagerNicole-Information Resources Librarian
  • TERESA
  • NICOLE430 respondentsJust over 70% were from academic libraries (305)Almost 30% were from public libraries (125)
  • NICOLE Interview preparation should take just as much or more time than creating a resume or cover letter.Practice interview questions.Other important qualities are enthusiasm, flexibility and adaptabilityYou want the library to be the right fit for you, so you can be successful in the position
  • MEGANTop 3 responsesStudy website, learn databases (if possible), general policies, staff and their positions, history may be importantFacebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.-Information about library and institutions from website, ask people, books-Mission-often on website, don’t be afraid to ask employeesOther things you should know: demographics (46), area/neighborhood information (43), familiarity with programs/services offered (40)Many of the reported factors can be found on the library’s website.Question: How can you go above and beyond when trying to find out information about an institution?
  • MEGANWhat an elevator speech is? Why is an elevator speech important?Take one or two volunteers to share their speech.
  • MEGANActivity: There are many books and Web sites that have lists of common interview questions. These are great. There are some new questions hiring committees are asking because of the recession, though, so how would you prepare for these?:What is your ability to adapt since “position fluidity” and “workload creep” are now common?How would you deal with minimal resources?What is your true interest in/commitment to the position, considering (a) you are overqualified or (b) vacated positions are often going unfilled and we may not be able to replace you?
  • MEGAN

ALA 2011 Interview Better ALA 2011 Interview Better Presentation Transcript

  • Inside An Interview: Understanding What Hiring Committees Want
    ALA JobLIST Placement Center
    Sunday, June 26, 2011  
    12:00pm-1:30pm
    #interviewbetter
  • About This Presentation
    • Topic and Scope
    • Poll Everywhere
    • Housekeeping Issues
    #interviewbetter
  • Who We Are
    Teresa Doherty,
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Megan Hodge,
    Chesterfield County Public Library
    Nicole Spoor,
    Hampton University
    #interviewbetter
  • Now tell us a little about you!
    #interviewbetter
  • Survey
    Disseminated through multiple listservs
    Qualifications to Participate
    Academic or Public Library Staff
    Participated on hiring committee for entry-level librarian since 2008
    430 respondents
    70% academic, 30% public
    #interviewbetter
  • Literature Review
    Applicants spend a lot of time creating resumes and cover letter, but little time preparing for an interview
    Practice, Practice, Practice
    Attitude and Personality are more important than skills, education or experiences
    Don’t forget to interview the library
    #interviewbetter
  • What should you know before an interview?
    Be familiar with the library’s website and social media pages (143 respondents)
    Know about the institution and library (84 respondents)
    Learn library’s mission and strategic plan (65 respondents)
    #interviewbetter
  • What kind of experience is important?
    89.3%-at least moderately important to have ANY type of library experience in ANY type of library
    88.8%- at least moderately important to have experience in the same type of library as you are applying to
    85.2%-at least moderately important to have experience specifically related to the position
    #interviewbetter
  • What are some of the things hiring committees look for in a candidate?
    Personality and attitude were important or very important to 98% of the respondents
    Institutional fit was important or very important to 95.3% of the respondents
    Education was important or very important to 89.5% of the respondents
    #interviewbetter
  • What competencies are most important to a hiring committee?
    Communication skills (73.7%) and customer service skills (76.7%) deemed very important.
    Familiarity with library technology was third most important competency (32.4%)
    #interviewbetter
  • What character traits are most important to hiring committees?
    Intelligence (176 respondents)
    Enthusiasm (170 respondents)
    Cooperativeness (140 respondents)
    #interviewbetter
  • Break!
    What is your “elevator speech”?
    #interviewbetter
  • Has the economy affected hiring in libraries?
    Over 75% of respondents said that they had seen an increase in the number of applicants
    Most respondents (80.8%) did not change the number of applicants called in for interviews
    “We have a stronger base from which to choose, but only interview the best of the best.”
    #interviewbetter
  • Do hiring committees require presentations?
    55.5% said yes
    15.5 % said only for positions with instructional responsibilities
    How are presentations evaluated?
    Using rubrics and other survey instruments
    By hiring committee, but may include others
    Looking for communication skills and organization
    #interviewbetter
  • How to be Impressive!
    Ask lots of relevant questions (19)
    Show passion and excitement for THIS job (14)
    Give a great presentation (11)
    Have a portfolio of great work (9)
    #interviewbetter
  • Advice for Newbie Librarians
    Be enthusiastic (75 respondents)
    Connect your experience/skills to the position (65 respondents)
    Gain experience through volunteering or internships (65 respondents)
    Showcase technology skills (45 respondents)
    #interviewbetter
  • Respondents Comments
    • “Put your best foot forward,” because “personality plays a bigger role than most people think.”
    • “We are trying to find somebody who is a good fit for our library.”
    • “I think that brand new librarians can be the person to beat. They bring a fresh energy and viewpoint.”
    • “Many of the hires I have been involved in during the past 12 years have been new grads, who brought energy and new ideas to the library. I cannot imagine not hiring new grads!”
    • “I feel lucky to already have a job, because some of the candidates we get are so smart and creative I don’t think I would be able to compete against them!”
    #interviewbetter
  • Academic library interview process
    Timeline
    Screening and search committees
    Site visit
    Etiquette counts
    #interviewbetter
  • It’s a marathon, not a sprint
    September: position is advertised
    November: deadline for applications
    March: candidate visits
    April: offer made
    May: welcome aboard!
    #interviewbetter
  • What does the screening committee do?
    to identify candidates
    to perform background checks
    to summarize strengths and weaknesses of the candidates for interviewing and hiring decisions by the University Librarian and appropriate Associate University Librarian.
    (VCU Libraries Faculty Recruitment manual)
    #interviewbetter
  • Screening vs. search committee
    A screening committee’s job is to screen out the applicants to get a strong set of candidates to interview. It makes recommendations to those who can make decisions about hiring.
    A search committee does all that, and can also make the hiring decision.
    #interviewbetter
  • Candidate visit to an academic library
    “The purpose of the interview is to both solicit information from the candidate and to provide the candidate an opportunity to assess his or her interest in the VCU Libraries.”
    (VCU Libraries Faculty Recruitment manual)
    #interviewbetter
  • Sample Itinerary: the day before the full-day interview
    4:00: pick up at airport, drive to hotel
    5:30: pick up at hotel
    6:00: dinner with library representatives (may be division head, department heads or colleagues)
    #interviewbetter
  • Sample Itinerary: morning
    8:30: pick up at hotel
    9:00: meet with screening committee
    9:30: meet with librarians and staff from your department
    10:15: break
    10:30: presentation to library staff
    11:15: meet with faculty
    #interviewbetter
  • Sample Itinerary: afternoon
    12:00: lunch with department heads
    1:30: tour of the library
    2:15: meet with library administrators
    3:00: meet with screening committee
    3:30: meet with University Librarian
    4:00: return to hotel or drive to airport
    #interviewbetter
  • What hasn’t changed
    Dress up
    Be polite
    Defend every item on your resume
    Do your homework
    Send ‘thank you’ notes
    #interviewbetter
  • What also hasn’t changed
    The importance of cover letters
    Make it specific to the job you are applying for
    Make sure names are spelled correctly
    Make sure everything is spelled correctly
    #interviewbetter
  • Even more that hasn’t changed
    Prepare those you ask for references
    Share your current resume, cover letter and position announcement
    Give them ammunition for the reference call
    projects you worked on for/with them
    anecdotes about your interactions
    positive comments by patrons, co-workers
    #interviewbetter
  • What has changed #1
    Review your social media presence
    Change your Facebook privacy settings to limit access
    Create a professional email address (stella.smith@gmail.com NOT sexy_librarian2be@gmail.com)
    Be aware of listserv etiquette
    #interviewbetter
  • What has changed #2
    Brush up on your presentation skills
    Don’t create victims of “death by PowerPoint”
    Speak to the audience, not to the projection screen
    Spell-check!
    #interviewbetter
  • What has changed #3
    When Skyping, keep the cat out of the room
    See what your camera sees
    Choose a professional background
    Dress for an emergency (head to toe)
    #interviewbetter
  • Suggestions from screening committee chairs
    Google yourself and be prepared to explain what you find
    Ask questions of each group you meet
    Act as though you are on stage at all times during the visit
    #interviewbetter
  • Tough Interview Questions
    1. What is your greatest weakness?
    2. Why do you want to work in THIS library?
    3. How would you enforce a policy which you do not agree with?
    4. Why did you leave your previous position?
    #interviewbetter
  • Additional Resources
    • Ask a Manager blog: http://www.askamanager.org/
    • Career Q&A with the Info Career People: http://www.lisjobs.com/careerqa_blog/
    • Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? by Ellen Gordon Reeves
    • The Librarian's Career Guidebook by Priscilla K. Shontz
    • Resume Writing And Interviewing Techniques That Work!: A How-to-do-it Manual for Librarians by Robert R. Newlen
    #interviewbetter
  • Any questions?
    If you would like to view this slideshow, visit slideshare.com
    thanks,
    Megan, Nicole, and Teresa
    #interviewbetter