I Think You Can Show Personality and Be Neutral at the Same Time.

Business Woman Smiling

This anonymous interview is with an Academic Librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee.  This person works in a city/town in the Southern US, at a library with 10-50 staff members.  Or more precisely, 4 librarians and 14 staff + librarians.

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:

√ Is totally different

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ Other: Yes, unless it’s too warm in the building. Start with a suit jacket, and remove it if necessary.

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

√ Other: yes, 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

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)
√ Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Other: I think you can show personality and be neutral at the same time.

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

it’s secondary, but if we NOTICE what a candidate is wearing, it’s probably out of the ordinary, and might raise a flag.

What This Library Wears

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

in standard work clothes, which in my library is usually khakis or dressier. But we still expect our professional candidates to wear suits. (We do not have the same expectations for staff positions.)

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?

√ I don’t even know what any of that means

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!

Do you have any other comments?

there’s a big difference between 10 and 50 staff members! We have 4 librarians and 14 staff + librarians.

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

Photo: imagerymajestic on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Leave a comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Southern US, What Should Candidates Wear?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.