This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a rural area of the Southern US. This librarian has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee.
What Candidates Should Wear
Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?
√ Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism
An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:
√ Counts as a suit
Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.
If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?
√ Other: yes, unless it’s very hot – and the skirt isn’t very short!
Women should wear make-up to an interview:
√ Other: unless you’re very young and very attractive, you’re going to look ungroomed without it!
Is there anything a candidate might wear that would cause them to be instantly out of the running? If you have any funny stories about horrifying interview outfits, we’d love to hear them.
women: very short skirts, revealing tops, sneakers (unless they’ve got serious foot problems)
men: frazzled shirt/pants, no tie, polo shirt
Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?
a woman can get away with a nice dress if it’s work appropriate – but it’s hard to pull off.
Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?
√ Yes, the higher the position, the more formal I expect the candidate to dress
Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Other: I’d tend to avoid bracelets – they get in the way and can make noise
Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:
√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)
The way a candidate dresses should:
√ Show personality
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
The candidate has to look well put together, as though they’ve given some thought to the occasion. Better to be overdressed than underdressed. Same with hair. If someone looks sloppy in their appearance, it signals to me they’ll be sloppy about their work – or that they just don’t care if they get the job.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
usually a suit, or nice skirt/sweater or dress
On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:
What’s the dress code at your library/organization?
√ Business casual
Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? Please check all that apply
√ Other: business casual except for Fridays
Librarians at your organization wear: Please check all that apply
√ Name tags
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!