If You Give the Impression You Can Afford a Jacket, Why Not Wear One?

This anonymous interview is with a librarian from a city/town in the UK who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee at a Special library with o-10 staff members.

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.

√ Other: On a hot day, short sleeves, but not bare arms, are acceptable

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.

Well-spoken, well-educated candidates who just haven’t bothered. It implies that they think they’re too good to make an effort. And, I hate to say it, but if you give the impression you can afford a jacket, why not wear one?

Also, dressing creatively for an interview with a conservative organisation will make the interviewer think you’ll be bored and stifled by their corporate culture, no matter how impressive your answers.

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)

√ Other: Depends on how it is worn and type of job (client facing in a conservative industry, vs marketing role)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It indicates their attitude: how seriously they take the role. Even if they weren’t expected to dress up at work, I would think they weren’t bothered if they didn’t make an effort for the interview.

What This Library Wears

How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?

Suit or at least jacket and skirt.

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 formal

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? Please check all that apply

√ Jeans
√ Flip flops
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans
√ Sneakers/trainers

Do you have any other comments?

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, City/town, Special, UK, What Should Candidates Wear?

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