I have to think of our library user base who just might have an issue with trying to interact with a staff member who may seem “distracting” or “unprofessional.

Interview Socks by Flickr user Angie AndriotThis anonymous interview is with a special librarian who has been a hiring manager. This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a City/town in the Midwestern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Probably not (but it’s ok if the candidate does wear one)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

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

√ True

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. 

Footwear – if they can be worn on the beach, they should NOT be worn to an interview!

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)

√ 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:

√ Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I like to see someone who is dressed like they’re ready to work. Look clean, neat and show some of your personality. While I personally, don’t mind pink hair, piercings and tattoos, I have to think of our library user base who just might have an issue with trying to interact with a staff member who may seem “distracting” or “unprofessional.” I myself have 5 tattoos, none of which were seen my first few years at my current library. Over time, once people grew to know me and learned about my skills and professionalism, some of the tattoos started to be shown. Now, as Head Librarian, they will all be shown on an unusually hot day. BUT, they will still never appear in front of Trustees, Donors, etc…Be yourself, but you have to be realistic too!

What This Library Wears

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

Business casual.

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

3

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)

√ N/A: We wear what we want!

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

√ Other: Lanyard IDs

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

Photo: Interview Socks by Flickr user Angie Andriot

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, City/town, Midwestern US, Special, What Should Candidates Wear?

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