Category Archives: What Should Candidates Wear?

Hair Bows

Interview Outfit for Tomorrow by Flickr user SansPointThis 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 200+ 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.

True

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

Other: depends on the length and shoe.

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.

Hair bows.

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:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Differs depending on how much the position requires interaction with the public and what age group they are interacting with primarily.

What This Library Wears 

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?

Other: “look appropriate” and it’s up to the supervisors.:

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

Other: Name tags, when teaching or reference.

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

Photo: Interview Outfit for Tomorrow by Flickr user SansPoint

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Academic, City/town, Midwestern US, What Should Candidates Wear?

Dress for the job you hope to have one day

87/365 by Flickr user Lauren Powell-SmothersThis 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 0-10 staff members in a City/town area in the Midwestern 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:

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.

Show that you have done some homework—find out what is acceptable or the dress code where you will be. Dress for the job you hope to have one day….

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)

Extreme piercings or tattoos put me off:

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Reflect professionalism

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I like candidates who show some ambition and professionalism—looking your best is always good.

What This Library Wears

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

In a suit, minimum makeup, little or no jewelry.

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

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

Name tags
Badges

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

Photo: 87/365 by Flickr user Lauren Powell-Smothers

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Academic, City/town, Midwestern US, What Should Candidates Wear?

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.

False

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?

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
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:

3

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!

Photo:

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

Hair combed and doesn’t smell funny

This anonymous interview is with someone 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 an archives with 10-50 staff members in a Rural area in the Western 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.

√ Inappropriate during the day, but I would say fine for dinner-especially in the summer.

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

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?

My personal opinion is that suits are always a safe bet in this profession. However, it isn’t a deal breaker as long as the candidate looks professional and has a good overall personal hygiene (i.e. hair combed and doesn’t smell funny) 🙂

What This Library Wears

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

Typically business casual. This is the accepted dress in my institution and so I’m hoping the candidate realizes this should they get the job.

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?

√ Short skirts/shorts, no open toed shoes in the stacks and no jeans on the reference desk

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

Name tags, Name tags are not required but some people wear them:

Do you have any other comments?

Love the survey and the concept. This is one of those issues that never gets discussed but I personally find it very interesting- probably because I’m a clothes horse and interested in fashion.

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 10-50 staff members, What Should Candidates Wear?

Personality is great, as long as one’s personality isn’t “slovenly”

Christmas Party/Interview Outfit by Flickr user Graham BallantyneThis 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 10-50 staff members in an Urban 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 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.

No flip flops or sandals. Argh! Also, I don’t want to see anyone’s undergarments – waistbands or bra straps.

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
Large gauge ear jewelry (stretched ears)

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

All of them, even pink

The way a candidate dresses should:

Other: As long as they’re not sloppy, I don’t care. Personality is great as long as one’s personality isn’t “slovely”:

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I am open to different lifestyles, (sub)cultures, and expressions of one’s identity. However, I also want employees who are attentive to detail and self-aware. Along those lines, non-traditional costume is fine as long as it doesn’t evince a character that is oppositional to what I am seeking.

What This Library Wears

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

Slacks or skirt and knit top or button down shirt. Same as I always wear in office.

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?

No code.

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

Flip flops
Other: Dangling jewelry not allowed in archives.

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 10-50 staff members, Academic, Northeastern US, Urban area, What Should Candidates Wear?

I work in an area with a lot of men in power positions. If I dress down I can be assumed to be a secretary.

Outfit for interview by Flickr user Josh DelsmanThis 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 a Suburban 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.

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, 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.

Open-toed shoes. Anything too sloppy. Whatever they wear they need to appear confident and comfortable in it. Wearing a suit doesn’t work if it’s ill-fitting. People who put on a suit for the first time for an interview are easy to spot. It tells me that they care enough to do that, but also reveals that they may not have much experience with leadership or social situations.

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
Multiple Ear Piercings

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?

Clothing makes a statement about the person and what the person expects from the job.

What This Library Wears

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

I wear slacks, jacket and some type of feminine blouse – same thing I wear most days. I work in an area with a lot of men in power positions. If I dress down I can be assumed to be a secretary.

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

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

Badges

Do you have any other comments?

Ask about perfume / aftershave. Our team works in close quarters. If a candidate has a strong odor — good or bad — it’s a non-starter.

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

Photo: Outfit for interview by Flickr user Josh Delsman

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

Jeans are questionable, although it is possible to dress them up nicely.

8.36pm: Trying on potential job interview outfits by Flickr user webbyclareThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a member of a hiring or search committee. This librarian works at a library with 100-200 200+ 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:

√ I do not know and/or care

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?

√ Other: It doesn’t concern me one way or the other

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. 

Shorts, track suits, t-shirts with writing on them (although polos with emblems are OK), costumes. Jeans are questionable, although it is possible to dress them up nicely.

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
√ 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:

√ Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I found the “Show personality” vs. “fairly neutral” question puzzling. Anything a candidate wears shows personality. Sometimes it shows an “I’m wearing an interview uniform because I’m scared to death to not do something right” personality. Interviewing is about two things, what the candidate can do and who the candidate is, so clothing gives me insight into the latter.

What This Library Wears

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

Work clothes, which usually include dresses or skirts with blazers or cardigans. I usually only cover my toes and legs when the weather is cold. I wear simple jewelry, natural hair, and no makeup because of (surprise!) my personality. Sometimes the earrings in my single piercings are a little whimsical.

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? (Please check all that apply)

√ Other: We have a dress code, but we’re not anal about it.

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

√ Badges

Do you have any other comments?

You might want to ask about open-toed shoes, since you went the pantyhose direction.

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

Photo: 8.36pm Trying on potential job interview outfits by Flickr user webbyclare

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Filed under 100-200 staff members, City/town, Public, Southern US, What Should Candidates Wear?