This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works in a rural area of the Northeastern US, at a library with 10-50 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:
√ Other: Is totally different, but also totally acceptable.
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: As a pantyhose hater, I leave this one to personal preference and don’t judge.
Women should wear make-up to an interview:
√ I don’t care what’s on the face, it’s what’s in the brain that counts
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.
Completely overly casual is a definite no. For ladies no spaghetti straps or belly shirts. For dudes…wear a belt. No t-shirts with logos, etc.
Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?
Male candidate dressed very well in trousers, a button down sweater and woven shirt. Business casual, but completely interview appropriate for the level of position being hired.
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
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:
√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)
The way a candidate dresses should:
√ Show personality
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
I have never been part of a search where it did, but someone dressed entirely unprofessionally with no regard for the institution (it is a pretty conservative place and openly so) would be a huge red flag.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
As I would normally for work…business casual, but generally closer to the business side. I’m more likely to wear heels than flats, dress pants than khakis, etc.
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
√ Flip flops
√ Visible Tattoos
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: Stockimages on FreeDigitalPhotos.net