Business Casual (the Washable Version)

more mass by Flickr user hmmlargeartThis anonymous interview is with a Public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Rural area in the Midwestern 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?

Either pantyhose or tights. Bare legs are inappropriate

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 flip flops, No ill fitting clothes, nothing short, low cut or tight, and nothing that makes you look like you just stepped off a college campus

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
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

if a candidate cannot make a good choice with what to wear to an interview how can I trust any of their other decisions?

What This Library Wears

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

I dress how I normally would for work in business casual (the washable version)

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?

Flip flops
Short skirts/shorts
Tank tops
Logos/band insignia/slogans

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

Name tags

Do you have any other comments?

Please add comments about resumes and reading job adds – oddly enough some applicants still do not understand that you must do exactly what the add says to get the job.

This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: more mass by Flickr user hmmlargeart


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Filed under Academic, What Should Candidates Wear?

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