It Never Interfered or Distracted From the Interview

business man with hands in pockets by Ambro on FreeDigitalPhotos



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 0-10 staff members in a suburban area of 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:

√ I do not know and/or care

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

√ I don’t care

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

√ Other: irrelevant

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.

breasts overly exposed

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

librarian w/ 10 years of experience arrived in a long dress w/ a flowing scarf—it was a surprise to me, but she pulled it off—keeping the scarf away from her face—it never interfered or distracted from the interview

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: irrelevant to me

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Other: be clean & not distract from the conversation

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

very little

What This Library Wears

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

slacks w/ blazer

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?

√ Casual

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!

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

Photo: Ambro on


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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Suburban area, Western US, What Should Candidates Wear?

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