We All Know it is About People First so Dress is Secondary

Interview Improv Room by Flickr user  Milwaukee JobCampThis 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 Suburban 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?

No, but it’s not a dealbreaker

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.

An outfit that is too revealing. The look should be professional.
there are too many crazy patrons to entice into bad behavior that then has to be dealt with.

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
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
Multiple Ear Piercings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Other:Be professional

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It is important but how they feel about dealing with the public is the most important thing. I have asked candidates if they like people and some have jumped and exclaimed PEOPLE?! or their body language clearly said they were about books not people. We all know it is about people first so dress is secondary.

What This Library Wears

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

In a suit or trousers and blazer. Professionally.

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 dress code, they are a legal sticky wicket especially with the union.

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

Short skirts/shorts
Logos/band insignia/slogans
Other: Any restrictions are for the pages

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

Other: jeans, capris, skirts, slacks, dresses

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

Photo: Interview Improv Room by Flickr user  Milwaukee JobCamp


1 Comment

Filed under 10-50 staff members, Northeastern US, Public, Southern US, What Should Candidates Wear?

One response to “We All Know it is About People First so Dress is Secondary

  1. Does the use of the word “entice” in this response bother anyone else?


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