In Summer Skirt and Sandals Minus Hose is Fine

New Years


This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee.  This librarian works in a rural area of the Northeastern US, at a library with 50-100 staff members.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Other: nicely dressed – but doesn’t need to be as formal as a suit

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

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

√ False

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

√ Other: depends on the time of year. In summer skirt and sandals minus hose is fine.

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.

In my view jeans, a bandanna top with bare midriff for a woman, tee-shirt for a guy are out of bounds.

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

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ I don’t care

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:

√ Other: neatly with a show towards professionalism – so somewhat dressy. For a guy that means a shirt and tie, for a woman skirt, blouse, sweater, dress, good slacks – depends on the time of year.

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It would only affect the decision if the person wore totally informal clothing – and dressed as many of our students dress in dirty torn jeans and tee-shirts.

What This Library Wears

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

Pretty much as I always do for work.

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!

Librarians at your organization wear: Please check all that apply

√ Other: whatever we want, although we do tend to dress up more than the students.

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

Photo: “Let’s spend Christmas and New Year’s this way! And not in a hospital!”, 1941 – 1945, World War II Posters, compiled 1942 – 1945, Created By:: Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services. (03/09/1943 – 09/15/1945) via Flickr commons

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Rural area, What Should Candidates Wear?

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