Jewelry can get in the way, if not be outright dangerous

Hiromi dressed up for her interview! by Flickr user nata2This 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 50-100 staff members in a  Rural area in the Northeastern US .

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

Bare arms are inappropriate in an interview, even in the summer.

√ False

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

√ Other: as long as they look professional it’s a matter of personal choice

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

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: Personal preference is fine but too much shows that they don’t take into account some of the work an archivist does–jewelry can get in the way, if not be outright dangerous

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?

The only influence it would have is how well the candidate truly understands the variety of tasks and environments in which an archivist works on any given day. Donors, administrators, students, collection transfers, working in the stacks or loading dock, etc.

What This Library Wears

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

Fairly conservatively but accounting for the weather and environment (will I need to walk for a mile between meetings).

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 casual

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code? (Please check all that apply)

√ Flip flops
√ Other: Flip flops, climate controlled stacks and heavy boxes are not conducive to brief clothing

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

√ Name tags

Do you have any other comments?

There wasn’t enough gradation between formal dress and very casual. An interview tends to be formal but the work environment much less so–depending on who you will be interacting with over the course of the day. There also wasn’t much allowance in the questions for those who work the reference desk, those working with the collections, field archivists, and those who do it all–frequently on the same day.

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

Photo: Hiromi dressed up for her interview! by Flickr user nata2 via Creative Commons License

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

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