Snow or ski coat not removed before interview

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 100-200 staff members in an Urban area in the Western 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.

√ False

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, as long as it’s not over-the-top

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.

This wouldn’t eliminate them completely but would greatly affect my perception of them as a potential employee-sweat suits, dirty or ripped clothing, flip flops, non dressy shorts, swim wear, work uniform from another job, tops that bare midriffs, pants with underwear showing, extremely low cut top or overly revealing (like the tanks guys wear sometimes), snow or ski coat not removed before interview, some hats and anything t-shirt with words on it.

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
√ All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Nose Ring (nostril)
√ Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)

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 candidate should dress to reflect the organization that is hiring them. So in an urban setting like my library, I may be more liberal on some things. In a more conservative organization, the nose ring and non-standard piercings may need to be left off for the day.

What This Library Wears

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

Suit or separates with dress shoes or boots. Panyhose or tights depending on the weather. Minimum make up, foundation, blush, and lip gloss at least.

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?

√ Casual

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

√ Flip flops

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

√ Badges

Do you have any other comments?

The khakis and white shirt is so 1990s and generic. Funny question.

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

Photo: removed


Filed under 100-200 staff members, Public, Urban area, Western US, What Should Candidates Wear?

6 responses to “Snow or ski coat not removed before interview

  1. This photo is my selfie. It was credited but used without permission. Please remove from your post.


  2. Never mind, it was under Creative Commons. Sorry, my bad.


    • I went ahead and removed it – sorry if it wasn’t used in a way you were happy with.


      • That was kind of you, thank you.

        I was curious about the headline you applied… In the picture in question, I was wearing a sleeveless blouse, not a coat.


      • In all of these posts, which are responses to a survey about what librarians should wear to job interviews, the headline and the photo generally have no particular relation.
        The headline is always a quote from the survey response, and the photos are all just what I found on Flickr using a search like “job interview” and narrowing for Creative Commons License.
        The photos illustrate the breadth of what different people wear to interviews, but are kind of tangential.


      • Ah, gotcha.

        If you’d like to still use the picture, you still can, since you used it before I changed the license.

        Someone else used another from the same day, but I was making a funny face. It was very strange.


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