Category Archives: What Should Candidates Wear?

Formality is about seriousness, so that should be considered in any position one is applying for.

A job interview by Flickr user Pulpolux !!!This anonymous interview is with a librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at an archives with 0-10 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.

√ Other: For women it’s fine. For men, not.

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

√ Other: Makes no difference.

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ Other: They should do whatever they’re comfortable with to make sure they’re confident and prepared.

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.

Anything too revealing or distracting that would call attention away from the substance of the interview, or that would indicate to the potential employer that the candidate is not serious – even if they did not intend to convey this.

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

I got my job by nailing the interview in a suit on a 100 degree day in New Orleans when my interviewers were all in shorts and shirtsleeves. When I got there they told me that they had not expected that I would dress so formally, but I could tell that they knew I was serious and I feel like in some ways it gave me an edge in the interview. Things went very well and I was offered the job two days later.

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

√ Other: Formality is about seriousness, so that should be considered in any position one is applying for.

Which jewelry may candidates wear: (Please select all that are acceptable)

√ Other: Any of these are acceptable to me, but maybe not to other people.

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Other: Tasteful and appropriate, but not devoid of personality.

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It is secondary to their qualifications and ability to sell themselves for the position.

What This Library Wears

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

As I would dress in the workplace – business casual to business formal.

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: Business casual most days, business formal some days, and casual on Fridays.

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

√ Flip flops
√ Tank tops

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

Photo: A job interview by Flickr user Pulpolux !!!

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Filed under Archives, Northeastern US, Rural area, What Should Candidates Wear?

I would like to see the candidate fit in from the first interview

fliss interview outfit by flickr user mygothlaundryThis anonymous interview is with a Special librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 0-10 staff members in a City/town in Canada

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?

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.

Multiple face piercings should be left at home. Small discrete are allowable.

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
Earrings
Other: Nose stud small

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

We have a strict dress code and I would like to see the candidate fit in from the first interview.

What This Library Wears

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

Suit, conservative jewelry and hair

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

5

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?

Jeans
Flip flops
Visible Tattoos
Short skirts/shorts
Tank tops
Logos/band insignia/slogans
Sneakers/trainers

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

Photo: fliss interview outfit by flickr user mygothlaundry

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Canada, City/town, Special, What Should Candidates Wear?

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:

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

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

Name tags
Badges
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?

It can be the difference particularly in a close race

Bike to Work Day 2011 Outfit by Flickr user meonkeysThis anonymous interview is with 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 the Midwestern US.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

Other: It is okay to wear something else other than a suit as long as it looks dressy and/or professional. A guy should always wear a suit–no shorts and always a tie.

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?

Yes, true professionals always wear pantyhose

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.

Anything that can be construed as provocative…too short, too tight, to low, too showy, etc.

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

√  Earrings

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?

It can be the difference particularly in a close race. If there are two candidates who have great personalities and experience and credentials I would be more apt to pick the one who took the time and effort to dress up than one who dressed down. It shows to me that the person is truly interested in the job and can bend a little to dress up for something important.

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:

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?

Flip flops
Short skirts/shorts
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:

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

If we are truly going to encourage a diverse, non-discriminatory workplace, then we have to make allowances for personal expression with dress

Job interview by Flickr user ShaolinWorldwideThis anonymous interview is with someone who, when asked “are you a librarian?” chose the “It’s complicated” response.  This person has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person works at a semi-private museum library and archives with 0-10 staff members in a Suburban area in the mid-Atlantic.

What Candidates Should Wear

Should the candidate wear a suit to the interview?

√ I don’t care

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.

√ I don’t care

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

√ Other: It shouldn’t matter

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.

Clothing that poses a physical hazard to the work performed, torn or dirty clothing, clothing that is highly sexual, too tight or too revealing, or clothing that is advertising a brand or a political position.

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

√ I don’t care

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:

√ I don’t really care how a candidate dresses

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Interviewees should dress for the position they are seeking. If that job involves dirty, back-breaking labor, then I wouldn’t expect female candidates to show up in dresses any more than I would male candidates to show up in 3-piece suits.
Personally, I judge candidates based on their knowledge, skills, experiences, and their passion for the work, not on their personal appearance. Some individuals dress according to their religion, some might dress to reflect an artistic personality, while others will dress according to their income. If we are truly going to encourage a diverse, non-discriminatory workplace, then we have to make allowances for personal expression with dress, including for hairstyles, make-up, accessories or garb that may be out of the norm, especially if the dress code is listed as “casual”.

What This Library Wears

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

Neutral colors, usually all black, dress shirt and slacks, with a nice shoe. I have a nose ring, an eyebrow ring, gauged ears and tattoos in visible places, which I do not hide during the interview. I’ve learned the hard way that if someone is going to judge me based on my appearance, rather than on my work experience, talents, passions, and performance, then I’d rather not work for those kinds of people/ organizations anyway.

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)

√ N/A: We wear what we want!

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

√ Other: Whatever they want & a key card

Do you have any other comments?

The questions seem more geared toward what women and alternative-type people would wear.
Is there the same concern over someone showing up to an interview wearing the traditional garb of a hasidic jew, the headdress of a hindi sikh, the muslim woman’s hijab, a male’s sarong, dhoti, chola, caftan, kanga or lungi skirt, the traditional facial piercings still found in India, Persia and Thailand, the traditional ritual facial scarification patterns or tooth modifications of sub-Saharan African cultures, or the traditional tribal face tattoos of Polynesian islanders, as there is towards westerners with tattoos, body piercings, unusual hair styles or dress? If not, our attitudes about dress and appearance are very likely discriminatory.

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

Photo: Job interview by Flickr user ShaolinWorldwide

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Archives, Special, Suburban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

If only she had been as enthusiastic about the library job as she was about her clothes

job interview outfit by flickr user misterjtThis 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 10-50 staff members in a City/town 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.

I don’t care

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:

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.

There is nothing that would cause a candidate to be instantly out of the running, but appearance adds to the overall assessment of the candidate. One candidate with a lousy personality came dressed in brown canvas tennis shoes with bright neon socks – if only she had been as enthusiastic about the library job as she was about her clothes. Another was showing a lot of cleavage and was a person who liked to touch other people, which was too outgoing for our smaller town (in addition to other issues). (My response is based on my experiences holding interviews for professional positions.)

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

One interviewer, who ended up getting the job, was very nicely dressed in a black dress and gray sweater and had her nicely fixed in a bun. She looked and sounded very professional, not as though she had just come out of grad school (which she had). She obviously had been given advice on how to dress and had practiced interviewing. (My response is based on my experiences holding interviews for professional positions.)

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, doesn’t matter:

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Show personality
Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It is part of the overall package. If you dress a bit sloppily and then don’t appear to be very well organized during the interview, it confirms the initial impression of the clothes. Candidates who make an effort to dress well and have a neat appearance are serious about the job and appear to respect the process.

What This Library Wears

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

I wear business casual – blouse and slacks or a skirt.

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?

Other: we do not have a dress code.

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

Other: no dress code, but one policy requires a neat appearance.

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

Other: none of the above.

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

Photo: job interview outfit by flickr user misterjt

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

Tidy is important, fashion is not critical.

Going to an Interview {Outfit Post}This anonymous interview is with a Special librarian who has been a hiring manager. 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:

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?

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.

Tidy is important, fashion is not critical.

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
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

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?

Outward appearance, and the care taken with it, offers a hint at a candidates personality – and it should. It would be weird to interview Ms. Taupe and have hired Ms. plaid thigh highs and mini skirt. People should be themselves as much as possible. An interview is a chance for a candidate and an employer to size each other up – it isn’t a one way review. An ‘interview suit’ should also be something that is occasionally worn to work.

What This Library Wears

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

Suits

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

5

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

Other: ranges between business formal and business casual

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

Jeans
Flip flops
Short skirts/shorts
Tank tops
Logos/band insignia/slogans
Sneakers/trainers

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

Other: office attire-business casual

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

Photo:

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Filed under Academic, Canada, Special, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?