This anonymous interview is with a Public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a city/town in the Western US.
What Candidates Should Wear
Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?
√ I don’t care
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?
√ No, but it’s not a dealbreaker
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.
a range of attire is appropriate for any position, and given the wide range of positions available in the library, a wider array may be seen at an interview. however, any clothing that is torn, frayed, or too relaxed (e.g., a t-shirt, tennis shoes or flip flops) shows the candidate is not committed to making a good impression.
Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?
most of us in my organization aren’t overly visual: we will be turned off by someone who looks like they aren’t put together, but as long as colors don’t clash and bits are all covered, it isn’t going to be the outfit that sways us.
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:
√ All of them, even pink
The way a candidate dresses should:
√ Show personality
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
maybe this is silly, but i think of interview dress like dressing for a first date… maybe not in what specific items are chosen, but in the reason behind those items. candidates want to make a good impression. they want to convey that they are clean and take care of themselves and their things. they want to show a little bit of personality to help us both anticipate they kind of person they are and the kind of worker they’ll be, and to help us remember them. candidates should also dress in a way that feels appropriate for them; if a candidate never ever wears skirts, but wears one to the interview, she will be more uncomfortable and less sure of herself, and that will affect her performance. i wouldn’t hire one person over another because one person wore a blazer while the other wore a sweater.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
actually, very much like i dressed for my own interview: dark skirt, button-down shirt (just about the only time i wear button-downs, actually), jacket, heels. i hardly ever wear jewelry because of allergies, but i might wear earrings to an interview.
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?
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)
√ Name tags
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: New Do for the Job Interview by Flickr user angelgrrl73