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 10-50 staff members in an Urban area 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:
√ 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?
√ Other: Either way-doubt I’d notice
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.
Since only a few select candidates are ever invited to an in-person interview, we expect them to be professionally dressed. I doubt anyone would be eliminated from the pool based on outfit alone, but t-shirts, jeans, visible tattoos, multiple piercings, etc would not go over well.
Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?
Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)
√ 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?
Although we are a somewhat casual workplace, we also have a somewhat conservative culture. We would expect someone to have obviously made an effort to look professional, and fashion outside the mainstream would probably attract negative attention.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
I would not necessarily wear a suit to conduct an interview, but depending on the season I might. I’d never be more casual than business casual.
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!
√ Other: No official dress code, but we tend to be conservative.
Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: Christmas Party/Interview Outfit by Flickr user Graham Ballantyne