This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a City/town in the Midwestern US
What Candidates Should Wear
Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?
√ Probably, yes (but it’s ok if the candidate wears something a little less formal)
An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:
√ Is totally different
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?
√ Never, pantyhose is for my grandmother
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.
We discriminate against student workers with multiple/non-traditional facial piercings because it would make our academic environment less welcoming for visitors and our conservative campus. If we ever had a staff apply with multiple piercings, the same would probably apply. It’s just not professional.
Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?
A modern (feminine cut for ladies) suit with the school colors somehow incorporated always helps us picture you here, because you’ll be wearing a lot of our school colors. Something classic like navy, gray or black is nice with updated accessories if they don’t go with a suit. No thing too loud, shiny or “jingly” so I’m distracted by it, instead of listening to you during the presentation.
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
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?
Can I see you blending in with our faculty and staff? You don’t have to be the same black crow as everyone else, but for goodness’ sake, you better at least look like a bird and not stand out like a cat! We want you on our team, which means wearing our “uniform,” not being the mascot and drawing too much attention! You can have the best qualifications in the world, but until the profession-wide library uniform matches that of a rock n roll concert, keep your piercings and t-shirts for the weekend.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
A simple but well-cut suit, feminine blouse and low heels.
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)
√ Short skirts/shorts
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!
Photo: Interview Socks by Flickr user Angie Andriot