Some people just don’t project a professional image, no matter what they wear. Those are the people I likely don’t hire.

Interview outfit by Flickr user everyplaceThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This librarian works at a library with 50-100 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.

√ I don’t care

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.

I want applicants to wear work attire to an interview. Whatever is appropriate for a workday is a appropriate. Jeans or shorts are a dealbreaker.

Do you expect different levels of formality of dress, depending on the position you’re hiring for?

√ No

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
√ Nose Ring (nostril)
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Natural colors (black, brown, red, blonde, gray)

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Piercings and/or non-natural hair colors would cause me to make a judgement about the person, probably.

Some people just don’t project a professional image, no matter what they wear. Those are the people I likely don’t hire.

What This Library Wears

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

I generally would wear one of my nicer work outifts. I do not own a suit, and I almost always wear pants, so likely pants and a dressy top.

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)

√ Jeans
√ Flip flops
√ Visible Tattoos
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans

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

√ Badges

Do you have any other comments?

Age of the responder may have been helpful. I know that my organization has dress code issues due to the advancing age of some of the employees/managers.

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

Photo:  Interview outfit by Flickr user everyplace


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Filed under 50-100 staff members, Midwestern US, Public, What Should Candidates Wear?

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