Clothing reflects the individual as well as the professionalism of the team.

New Do for the Job Interview by Flickr user  angelgrrl73This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian did not specify their library type, but it has 0-10 staff members  and is in a Suburban area in the Northeastern 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.

Inappropriate clothing includes anything that shows the “BMB” – breasts,midriff, bottom – too low cut, too short. Torn jeans/pants, Flipflops, summer beachware are a no/no.

Professional looking means clean and neat. If you are overdressed that is OK, because you can always dress down. But if you are already dressed down there is nowhere else to go.

Can you share any stories about how a candidate nailed the proper interview outfit, especially if your organization does not expect suits?

Clean, neat. If men have long hair, tie it back. (same with women – so it is not in their face and a distraction while talking.) Clothing reflects the individual, an individual personallity and there are broad spectrums that are exceptiable. Individuals need to be certain that they are not crossing the line in either direction. If you are expected to wear a suit everyday for work and a suit is not you, perhaps the position is not for you.

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

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Background: We have a small team, deal with references inquiries as well as research. Clothing reflects the individual as well as the professionalism of the team.

What This Library Wears

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

Professional dress (not a suit, no stockings)

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

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

Photo: New Do for the Job Interview by Flickr user  angelgrrl73

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Northeastern US, Suburban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

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