This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 100-200 staff members, in an urban area of the Midwestern US.
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?
√ Either pantyhose or tights. Bare legs are inappropriate
Women should wear make-up to an interview:
√ I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top
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.
Cropped or bare midriff shirts, flannel anything, no fishnets or thigh high boots; no sports team clothing, sweats, or anything that could be considered workout gear. No flip flops. No strapless.
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
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Nose Ring (nostril)
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:
√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)
The way a candidate dresses should:
√ Be fairly neutral
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
It’s not often part of the committee’s discussion, but first impressions do affect make a difference, even if they’re never verbalized. If you show that you made an effort to think about the interview by dressing sharp, it shows you want the job and not just showing up. You don’t need an expensive suit–borrow or buy from thrift/vintage as long as it fits well and it’s clean.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
Formally-probably not my best suit, but also make an effort!
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)
√ N/A: We wear what we want!
Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)
√ Other: I wish we had name tags
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: fliss interview outfit by flickr user mygothlaundry