This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in the Western US. S/he says
We are a county library system which covers rural, suburban and urban
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.
√ Other: In our area the temps can get well up into the 110’s–here I would say short sleeves would be ok depending on what they are paired with.
If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?
√ Other: depends on the fashion in your locale. See above regarding temps in the 100’s
Women should wear make-up to an interview:
√ Other: Once again it depends on the person–I have rosacea, I would always wear makeup, but if you are 25 and have beautiful skin why would you need to?
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
The way a candidate dresses should:
√ Other: A & B above as appropriate for the position.
How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?
Yes, I would expect a different level from a department head than from a library aide, youthful librarian vs someone who had been in the discipline for 20 + years.
What This Library Wears
How do you dress when you are going to conduct an interview?
I prefer to dress more formally. It helps me to set the tone of the interview.
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
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans
√ Other: We can wear jeans on casual Fridays. We have a formal dress code–it is slightly different for library aides than for other staff.
Librarians at your organization wear: (Please check all that apply)
√ Name tags
This survey was co-authored by Jill of Librarian Hire Fashion – submit your interview outfit to her blog!
Photo: Men’s Suit By Flickr user Kazamatsuri