Stats and Graphs: 235 Responses on What Candidates Should Wear

I hope you’ve been enjoying reading the individual responses!  I know we’ve had some controversial ones, which just confirms my understanding that pantyhose is serious business.

We’ve had some more responses from non-academic libraries, but academic librarians do remain the majority respondents.  I hope to be able to break out responses from public librarians for you soon.

I also want to add my standard disclaimer that I’m using Google forms, and the charts it generates cut off some of the answer choices.  It takes me a while to do a post like this, and even longer to make it prettier in Excel, so I’ll ask you to please just excuse how sloppy it looks.  This is a labor of love, and I’m a busy lady.

And now the

RESULTS!

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism   43   18%
Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)   127
  54%
Probably not (but it’s ok if the candidate does wear one)   35   15%
No way! It shows a lack of understanding about my library and/or the nature of librarianship   2   1%
I don’t care   12   5%
Other   16   7%

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

Counts as a suit   173
  74%
Is totally different   22   9%
I do not know and/or care   28   12%
Other   12   5%

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

True   94   40%
False   65   28%
I don’t care   43   18%
Other   33   14%

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

Never, pantyhose is for my grandmother   10   4%
No, but it’s not a dealbreaker   78   33%
Either pantyhose or tights. Bare legs are inappropriate   47   20%
Yes, true professionals always wear pantyhose   11   5%
Other   89   38%

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

Always   11   5%
I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top   102
  43%
I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts   99   42%
Never   0   0%
Other   23   10%

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   181
  77%
No   37   16%
I don’t care   9   4%
Other   8   3%

Which jewelry may candidates wear:

Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring   172
  74%
A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings   168   73%
All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on   41   18%
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings   131   57%
Nose Ring (nostril)   80   35%
Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing   56   24%
Earrings   181   78%
Multiple Ear Piercings   131   57%
Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)   48   21%
Other   77   33%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink   123
  52%
Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)   84   36%
Other   28   12%

The way a candidate dresses should:

Show personality   56   24%
Be fairly neutral   96   41%
I don’t really care how a candidate dresses   26   11%
Other   57   24%

What the Library Wears

On a scale of  1 to 5, where one is too dressed up for your workplace, khakis and a polo shirt are:

1 -
Too dressed up for my workplace
1   0%
2   4   2%
3   169
  72%
4   36   15%
5 -
Too casual for my workplace
14   6%

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

Business formal   8   3%
Business casual   138
  59%
Casual   48   20%
I don’t even know what any of that means   2   1%
Other   39   17%

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code?

Jeans   64   29%
Flip flops   108   49%
Visible Tattoos   27   12%
Short skirts/shorts   89   40%
Tank tops   94   43%
Logos/band insignia/slogans   76   34%
Sneakers/trainers   35   16%
N/A: We wear what we want!   47   21%
Other   128   58%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

Librarians at your organization wear:

Name tags   96   61%
Badges   41   26%
Uniforms   1   1%
Shirt, waistcoat/vest, or other single piece of clothing issued by the library   5   3%
Other   55   35%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

Demographics

What type of institution do you hire for?

Academic Library   129
  55%
Public Library   76   32%
School Library   0   0%
Special Library   12   5%
Archives   9   4%
Other   9   4%

Where are you?

Northeastern US   61   26%
Midwestern US   64   27%
Southern US   56   24%
Western US   33   14%
Canada   9   4%
UK   5   2%
Australia/New Zealand   1   0%
Other   6   3%

Where are you?

Urban area   73   31%
Suburban area   56   24%
City/town   72   31%
Rural area   30   13%
Other   4   2%

How many staff members are at your library?

0-10   57   24%
10-50   112
  48%
50-100   30   13%
100-200   20   9%
200+   14   6%

Are you a librarian?

Yes   212
  90%
No   6   3%
It’s complicated   17   7%

Are you now or have you ever been:

a hiring manager 168   72%
a member of a hiring or search committee 197   85%
human resources 8   3%
Other 6   3%
People may select more than one checkbox, so percentages may add up to more than 100%.

If you have questions, comments or concerns, we’d love to hear them. You can either comment below, or email hiringlibrariansATgmail.

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4 Comments

Filed under Stats and Graphs, What Should Candidates Wear?

4 responses to “Stats and Graphs: 235 Responses on What Candidates Should Wear

  1. Pingback: Dressing the part | the indie librarian

  2. Graphs! This I understand. 9.9 If only I were still looking for a library job.

  3. traditionalcollector

    I would have loved these graphs when I was job searching. I had absolutely no idea what to wear, and then when I investigated options, I realized I had no understanding of business clothing terminology.

  4. Pingback: Stats and Graphs: 246 Responses on What Candidates Should Wear | Hiring Librarians

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