Category Archives: What Should Candidates Wear?

As a female I wish I could wear Doc Martens to interviews

Note: This is the last of the “What Should Candidates Wear?” survey responses!  Unlike all the other Hiring Librarians surveys, this survey has been closed.  We may re-open it again with revisions.  See: The Pantyhose Standard and Related Sunday Ranting, as well as Counting Readers: Hiring Librarians 2013 Blog Stats for discussion of the problematic nature of this survey, and the decision to close it.

ready for my job interview by Flickr user fuzzcatThis anonymous interview is with someone who works at an Academic library and who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. When asked, “Are you a librarian?” this person chose the response, “It’s complicated.” This person works at a library with 50-100 staff members in an Urban area in the Northeastern US  

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

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

√ True

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

√ Other: yes, 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.

Sneakers. We actually had a candidate who came to their interview wearing shoes similar to Converse. One candidate, a male, wore Doc Martens and a coordinating jacket and trousers; I personally applauded rather than looked down on his shoe choice, mostly because as a female I wish I could wear Doc Martens to interviews – much more comfortable.

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)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ 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:

√ Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I do take into account not so much what a candidate wears but how well put together and professional they look. I know that it can be hard to find an affordable suit that’s not just navy or black, so I appreciate when a candidate is able to find something that has some stylish flair or at least a vivid color (for example, a skirt with contrast stitching or piping, or a gentleman’s tie in a great color with an eye-catching geometric pattern). It’s important that the candidate feel comfortable in the clothes they have on, as that will impact the overall impression they give during an interview. It’s also important that the suit fit well, and not be too tight or too big. And comfortable shoes (is that an oxymoron) are critical; our candidates are on their feet quite a bit and, when time allows, their interview includes a campus tour.

What This Library Wears

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

I do try to dress more professionally when conducting an interview. I won’t wear a suit, but I will at least wear a nice blouse and pencil skirt and accessorize with some jewelry.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

2

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Business formal

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

√ Flip flops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans

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!

Photo: ready for my job interview by Flickr user fuzzcat

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

A well-groomed, natural appearance is best.

2006 - Eli - interviewing at desk - (by Eli) 163193843_7d2d203184_o by Flickr user Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos  (ClintJCL)This anonymous interview is with an Academic librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a Rural area in the Northeastern US

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Counts as a suit

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

√ True

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

√ Either pantyhose or tights. Bare legs are inappropriate

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ Other: A well-groomed, natural appearance is best. Makeup, if used, should be lightly applied.

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.

Flip flops.

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
√ Other: No jewelry or conservative earrings, a single necklace or bracelet, and ring

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

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

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Be fairly neutral

What This Library Wears

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

4

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?

√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops

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!

Photo: 2006 – Eli – interviewing at desk – (by Eli) 163193843_7d2d203184_o by Flickr user Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos  (ClintJCL)

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Rural area, What Should Candidates Wear?

For a teen librarian position, the hair colour would not play a role

Pre-Interview by Flickr user Elliott P.This anonymous interview is with someone who did not answer if the question that asked if they’d been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and/or human resources. When asked, “Are you a librarian?” this person chose the response, “it’s complicated.” This person works at a public library with 0-10 200+ staff members in an Urban area in Canada  

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:

√ I do not know and/or care

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

√ True

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

√ Either pantyhose or tights. Bare legs are inappropriate

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

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)

√ All of the simple necklaces, bracelets, and rings he or she can load on

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?

Yes, if that candidate, for example, sports a hair colour reminiscent of birds in the rainforest and is applying for a library manager’s position, I would have some apprehension in hiring this person for this particular position. However, if this same individual applied for a teen librarian position, the hair colour would not play a role — in fact, the unusual look might be an advantage.

What This Library Wears

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

I would wear a tailored suit.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

What’s the dress code at your library/organization?

√ Other: none exists

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

√ N/A: We wear what we want!

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

√ Badges

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

Photo: Pre-Interview by Flickr user Elliott P.

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Canada, Public, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

If she cared about how she presented herself to the public, she would have at least worn some makeup.

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 10-50 staff members in an Urban area in the Southern US

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Yes, absolutely! It shows respect and professionalism

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?

Never, pantyhose is for my grandmother

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

Always

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.

Don’t show lots of cleavage.

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
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
Earrings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

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

The way a candidate dresses should:

Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

The only time I think I was really affected by a candidate’s appearance was when a female candidate had severe acne problems and was wearing absolutely no makeup. I thought if she cared about how she presented herself to the public, she would have at least worn some makeup.

What This Library Wears

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

Suit

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

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?

Flip flops
Tank tops
Logos/band insignia/slogans

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 10-50 staff members, Public, Southern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

Nude hose in the summer (but only because I don’t like my legs)

Beast of a Job Interview, after Walter Crane by Flickr user Mike LichtThis anonymous interview is with a Special librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in an Urban area in Canada

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:

Is totally different

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

True

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.

wrinkled clothing.

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
Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
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

What This Library Wears

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

Full suit. Skirt. Opaque hose in the winter; nude hose in the summer (but only because I don’t like my legs; bare legs are fine in the summer). neutral-coloured blouse or shell. Simple silver jewelry. Black pumps.

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

4

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?

Jeans
Flip flops
Short skirts/shorts
Sneakers/trainers

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

Photo: Beast of a Job Interview, after Walter Crane by Flickr user Mike Licht

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Canada, Special, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

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:

3

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?

Professional, but flair is okay

Hiromi dressed up for her interview! by Flickr user nata2This anonymous interview is with someone who works at an Academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. When asked, “are you a librarian?” this person chose the “It’s complicated” response. This person works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a City/town in the Southern 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.

√ Other: Depends…top should be career professional, not informal or inappropriate

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

√ Other: does not matter

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)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

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

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Other: professional, but flair is okay

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

If the interviewee is professional in attire, it will probably not be a factor in whether or not they are hired. However, if the interviewee wears completely unprofessional attire it will very likely affect their hire.

What This Library Wears

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

Would wear career pants, blouse, and jacket — not necessarily a coordinated, matchy “suit.”

On a scale of one (too dressed up for my workplace) to five (too casual), khakis and a polo shirt are:

3

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)

√ Short skirts/shorts

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

Photo: Hiromi dressed up for her interview! by Flickr user nata2

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Academic, City/town, Southern US, What Should Candidates Wear?