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 at a library with 10-50 staff members in a 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.
If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?
√ Other:depends on the weather and the candidate’s age and style
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.
No, wish I did have a story to tell! Appropriate business attire is fine. Anything else would not be acceptable.
Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?
No, all recent candidates were dressed appropriately. We are an academic institution, so suits are not expected and would probably be intimidating to students.
Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?
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:
√ Be fairly neutral
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
Attention to detail counts, so a little makeup and overall appropriate grooming counts. Cigarettes would be a deal breaker for me.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
Business casual; probably a skirt and nice top.
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?
√ Other:no formal policy, but business casual is probably correct.
Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)
√ Other:everyone seems to dress appropriately, thank god.
Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)
√ Other:wearing IDs is optional. We tried name badges, but that didn’t last long.
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: Reflections of myself – 022_365 by Flickr user Adam Jarmon Brown