This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works in a city/town in the Midwestern 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:
√ Counts as a suit
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?
√ 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.
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
√ 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:
√ Be fairly neutral
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
If the candidate is obviously more competent, qualified, and/or has a more friendly demeanor than other candidates, appearance doesn’t matter. If candidates otherwise seem fairly matched, attire may sway opinion. A professional appearance – regardless of suit/jewelry/hair color/etc – is a must. Note: it is possible to integrate personality into a professional, mostly neutral outfit!
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
On the dressier side of normal work attire. For example, jeans are ok in my workplace, but for interview days, I try to wear professional/dress pants.
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?
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
√ Name tags
Do you have any other comments?
It would be interesting to see how responses to this survey break down by age.
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: ready to go by Flickr user apes_abroad