If the Problem the Search Committee Has is with Your Clothing, Maybe You Don’t Want to Work There

Job Interview by Flickr user dichromatic winsonThis anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager. This librarian works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an Urban area in the Southern 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.

I don’t care

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

Other: This might be handled differently depending on where the interview is located. In the south, in the summer (and many of the other seasons), bare legs are 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.

shorts or jeans wouldn’t be appropriate and would probably make a search committee think twice about hiring someone.

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
All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on
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:

I don’t really care how a candidate dresses

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

If the candidate seems uncomfortable in their clothing, that might show. I suppose it’s really about the candidate being himself/herself versus who they think the search committee wants to see. If a candidate wears a suit, has no piercings and natural hair color during the interview but shows up on the first day of work wearing cutoffs and has purple hair and piercings, that would be jarring for the people who just hired the candidate. It’s best to stay close to your personality when dressing for an interview.

If the problem the search committee has is with your clothing, maybe you don’t want to work there.

What This Library Wears

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

i dress a bit more formally than i typically do. i’ll wear a dress or a blazer for sure.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

1 2 3 4 5

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

Other: i’m not sure we have a dress code.

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code?

Other: while there’s not a written dress code, per se, men have been asked to wear shirts with collars. shorts are frowned upon except on very hot summer days.

Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)

Name tags

Do you have any other comments?

Can you work some Tim Gunn into the survey?? 🙂

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

Photo: Job Interview by Flickr user dichromatic winson

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

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