Some understanding that they may be exposed to a dirty environment shows an understanding of the profession

Interview Outfit #1 by Flickr user MaryEllenCGThis 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 Southern 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:

I do not know and/or care

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

Other: Seriously outfit dependent, but as a rule would not be a wise idea.

If a woman wears a skirt to an interview, should she also wear pantyhose?

Other: Outfit dependent, but candidates should also learn about the dress code of the organization and lean to the way it expects employees to dress.

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

I don’t care, as long as it’s not over-the-top

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)

Other: whatever it is, it should be understated

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?

As long as the candidate’s attire is reasonable, what someone chooses to wear doesn’t impact our hiring decisions all that much. Archivists tend to deal with materials that can be dirty or deteriorating that can irreparably harm clothing. While candidates shouldn’t come in ripped jeans and t-shirts, some understanding that they may be exposed to a dirty environment shows an understanding of the profession.

What This Library Wears

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

Slightly nicer than the business casual dress code that is typical of our institution. Usually a skirt and nicer blouse, but flats rather than heels.

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?

Flip flops
Tank tops
Logos/band insignia/slogans
Other: Sneakers are allowed for health reasons

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

Name tags
Other: employees have to wear either name tags or employee badges

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

Photo: Interview Outfit #1 by Flickr user MaryEllenCG


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

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