This 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 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.
After hiring, the former candidate usually never appears so formally attired again; we are a fairly informal place. Shorts and a tee-shirt, unwashed hair would be completely inappropriate and disrespectful.
Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?
Suit with a blouse, looked very cool; took jacket off during public presentation.
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:
√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)
The way a candidate dresses should:
√ Show personality
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
Helps to know whether or not student assistants, whom they will hire and train, will be able to relate to them.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
Skirt, blouse, sweater; business casual.
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? (Please check all that apply)
√ Tank tops
√ Other: Students wear all of the above, tho’ we want to encourage more professionalism
Do you have any other comments?
Good mix of gender neutral, as well as gender specific questions.
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: EB at August Job Fair 15 by Flickr user EVAN BAYH via Creative Commons License