If someone really dressed down, I’d have a hard time considering them seriously

Interview Outfit #1 by Flickr user MaryEllenCGThis 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 50-100 staff members in an Urban area in the Midwestern 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?

Other: I don’t care either way

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.

If someone really dressed down, I’d have a hard time considering them seriously. However, I once had a colleague (of an older generation) reflect that she didn’t think one particular candidate was dressed formally enough, even though she was wearing a smart black skirt suit – because the suit had some interesting details in the jacket (too fancy, I suppose).

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


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
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?

Minimally. However, it does affect my initial judgments of a person – someone who pays attention to their clothing (it doesn’t have to be fashionable or expensive, just neat and intentional) will always have an edge up for me, as they will be representing the library (and thus me), and I want them to put a positive face forward.

What This Library Wears

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

I have always worn either a suit or a professional type dress with stockings and pumps.

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?

Other, We don’t have one – the expectation is business casual, but many people wear casual clothing:

Are there any specific items of clothing, etc. that are forbidden by your dress code?

N/A: We wear what we want!

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!


Leave a comment

Filed under 50-100 staff members, Academic, Midwestern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.