This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works in an urban area of the Western United States, at a library with 200+ staff members.
What Candidates Should Wear
Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?
√ Other: I don’t care if they show up in a suit, but they definitely should not be dressed casually.
An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:
√ I do not know and/or care
Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.
√ Other: I think it’s okay in the summer as long as the candidate is carrying a suit jacket and otherwise dressed appropriately.
If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?
√ Either pantyhose or tights. Bare legs are inappropriate
Women should wear make-up to an interview:
√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts
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.
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)
√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Other: depends on person, position, reason, and how people in the hiring institution dress
Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:
√ All of them, even pink
The way a candidate dresses should:
√ Other: Show personality, but in a toned-down way
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
Probably the least important factor. The substance (knowledge of subject area) and style (e.g., show of confidence) on display at interviews and during the presentation count much, much more.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
Depends on the weather. I don’t like suits — they aren’t me — but I like skirts and dresses. I always wear tights and nice shoes.
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?
√ Other: we don’t have one
Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? Please check all that apply
√ N/A: We wear what we want!
Librarians at your organization wear: Please check all that apply
√ Other: none of the above, although we’ve requested some kind of tag or badge that identifies us as librarians
Do you have any other comments?
In this economy, and with library jobs so scarce, I wouldn’t advise a job candidate to take chances with an out-of-the-ordinary wardrobe. Instead, dazzle with your knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, and forward-looking approach to the job.
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: sippakorn on FreeDigitalPhotos.net