Our Library Has Extreme Temperatures, So Taking a Jacket Off is A-OK

87/365 by Flickr user Lauren Powell-SmothersThis 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 50-100 staff members in an Urban area in the Northeastern US 

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.

√ Other: sleeves are good, but our library has extreme temperatures, so taking a jacket off is a-ok

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

√ Either pantyhose or tights. Bare legs are innappropriate

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.

looking sloppy. we are pretty casual, but you should always dress up for an interview. i am a clothes horse, but i don’t care if it’s stylish. i *do* care if you look neat and like a professional.

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

√ No

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: all of these, kind of (Show personality, Be fairly neutral, I don’t really care how a candidate dresses)

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

it doesn’t, as long as they look professional. and about my above answers – none of these things bother me, but i can’t speak for others in my organization. also, we’re an academic library, so we’re probably a little looser than other places.

What This Library Wears

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

nice shirt, trousers or skirt. no jeans or t-shirts, which i do wear on days when i am not teaching or interacting with students and faculty.

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
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans

Do you have any other comments?

i am very interested in seeing results!

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

Photo: 87/365 by Flickr user Lauren Powell-Smothers via Creative Commons License

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

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