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 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?
√ Other:Academic/Legal/Corporate—yes. Public/K-12—no.
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.
Strong perfume is not a deal breaker but all other things being equal it could be.
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:Depends on the type of library
Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:
√ Other:Depends on the library
The way a candidate dresses should:
√ Other: Depends on the library
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
The clothing must be appropriate for the specific library environment where the interview is taking place–no one shoe fits all. Typically, a candidate would be able to get by in conservative dress however if the opening is at an art school then a conservative dress would probably count against. I look at the person from the perspective of how they will be viewed by the patron/client. Will our patrons be comfortable asking this person questions.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
Academic–black suit. Public–dressy skirt/top. My first interview at public I wore my “black suit” and it was overkill. The clothes always make a difference in how you feel at the interview.
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 formal
Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)
√ Flip flops
√ Visible Tattoos
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans
Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)
√ Name tags
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: Trying too hard by Flickr user kmiller799