Category Archives: 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?

I don’t want to start off with a problem that I would have to address immediately.

Bike to Work Day 2011 Outfit by Flickr user meonkeysThis 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 50-100 staff members in a City/town 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?

√ Yes, true professionals always wear pantyhose

Women should wear make-up to an interview:

√ Other: Some make up 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. 

Don’t wear flip flops or other shoes that would be work inappropriate for a library and do not wear athletic shoes.

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

√ Other: Everyone should dress as formally as possible. My sister always said dress for the job you want not the job you have (which for many of us is no job right now).

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:

√ Be fairly neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

If they do not dress appropriately for the interview it makes me seriously wonder what they would wear to work and what they consider work appropriate if hired and I don’t want to start off with a problem that I would have to address immediately.

What This Library Wears

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

Something a bit more formal than my usual work attire.

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)

√ Flip flops
√ Visible Tattoos
√ Tank tops
√ Logos/band insignia/slogans
√ Sneakers/trainers

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: Bike to Work Day 2011 Outfit by Flickr user meonkeys

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Filed under 50-100 staff members, City/town, Midwestern US, Public, What Should Candidates Wear?

I’m usually in a tie because I deal with donors

Interview outfit and desk by Flickr user TanaiseThis anonymous interview is with a non-librarian who works at a museum, who hires

I hire assistants and students who will work directly for me.

This person’s organization has 10-50 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?

√ Other: No suit for a male (but jacket & tie)

An outfit with a coordinated blazer and trousers:

√ Other: Not totally different, but 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?

√ Other: don’t care

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.

T-shirt, jeans, shorts, sandals, sneakers, sweats, short-shorts, mini-skirt

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

Examples:

Male – sport jacket (blazer), khakis or gray slacks, coordinated shirt & tie.

Female – suit or coordinated blazer & slacks/skirt. Simple dress would also be acceptable.

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
√ Earrings

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

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

The way a candidate dresses should:

√ Other: professional/neutral

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

It shows attention to detail, a willingness and ability to put their best foot forward and, perhaps as important, it doesn’t give an “its all about what I want” attitude.

What This Library Wears

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

I dress as I expect my potential boss would dress. In the museum/archives profession, I would never show up without a tie, but would almost always be over-dressed in a 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?

√ Business casual

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

√ Other: There are expectations depending on your position. I’m usually in a tie because I deal with donors – assistants are usually business casual/casual.

Do you have any other comments?

Some of the questions are unprofessionally worded. For example suits vs. jacket & tie are not “totally” different, but are more formal as opposed to less formal (but still not casual). Or panty hose are for my mom.

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

Photo: Interview outfit and desk by Flickr user Tanaise

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

Nose stud, not ring

JOB INTERVIEW .. by Flickr user mrbill78636This anonymous interview is with someone who works in an academic library, who chose the “it’s complicated” response when asked, “Are you a librarian?” This person has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a City/town 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.

√ Other: Only for women

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

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

√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Arty or more elaborate necklaces, bracelets, or rings
√ Eyebrow Ring, Monroe piercing, septum piercing, or other face piercing
√ Earrings
√ Multiple Ear Piercings
√ Other: Nose stud, not ring

Which hair colors are acceptable for candidates:

√ Other: Depends on position applied for.

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?

Depends on the position being applied for.

What This Library Wears

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

Coat, tie, slacks or 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?

√ Business casual

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

√ Flip flops
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops
√ Other: Torn clothes, visible cleavage, t-shirts, low riders.

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: JOB INTERVIEW .. by Flickr user mrbill78636

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

flip flops

Interview Clothes by Flickr user MalkyThis anonymous interview is with a Public librarian who has been a hiring manager. This librarian works at a library with 200+ staff members in an Urban area in the Western 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.

√ 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.

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
√ 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

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:

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)

√ Name tags
√ Badges
√ Shirt, waistcoat/vest, or other single piece of clothing issued by the library

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

Photo: Interview Clothes by Flickr user Malky

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Filed under 200+ staff members, Public, Urban area, Western US, What Should Candidates Wear?

The public, especially men will glom onto a woman who shows too much and it will cause problems.

Time to try on interview clothes by Flickr user Irregular ShedThis 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 0-10  staff members in an Urban 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.

√ I don’t care

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.

Anything that shows too much skin: skirt too short, “girls” hanging out, for guys I expect a jacket and slacks, preferably a tie. One interviewee wore a backwards baseball cap for a Page interview. Not a winning look.

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:

√ Show personality

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

Depends on the position. If I’m in a liberal urban location there’s more latitude with the face jewelry, hair color, etc. I am still turned off by showing too much skin, it indicates a lack of judgment in my opinion. The public, especially men will glom onto a woman who shows too much and it will cause problems.

What This Library Wears

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

jacket and tie

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)

√ Short skirts/shorts

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: Time to try on interview clothes by Flickr user Irregular Shed

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

Wear your clothes for a day BEFORE you interview in them

putting on my tuesday-go-to-interview clothers by Flickr user w.wabbitThis 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 a 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

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

√ Other: any and all of the above.

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)

√ Single, simple necklace, bracelet, and/or ring
√ A few simple necklaces, bracelets, and/or rings
√ Earrings

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?

How the candidate dresses indicates their level of understanding of the process they are involved in and their sophistication in interpersonal situations. Candidates should aim for the sweet spot in which their clothes do not get in the way of the really important stuff. Everything speaks. Including clothes, aim for a somewhat neutral but not dishonest statement. If you want to make a more overt statement (“I’m an aging hippy, proud of my thinning grey ponytail!” “My t-short and jeans mean I am a very very smart computer scientist/engineer” Expect to piss someone off and not get certain jobs.
Most important thing: wear your clothes for a day BEFORE you interview in them. Make sure they fit, you feel comfortable, can eat a meal in them, and the shoes will not kill you after a day of traipsing all over campus.

What This Library Wears

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

Jacket and tie.

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)

√ N/A: We wear what we want!

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

Photo: putting on my tuesday-go-to-interview clothers by Flickr user w.wabbit

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

Snow or ski coat not removed before interview

This 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 Western 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.

This wouldn’t eliminate them completely but would greatly affect my perception of them as a potential employee-sweat suits, dirty or ripped clothing, flip flops, non dressy shorts, swim wear, work uniform from another job, tops that bare midriffs, pants with underwear showing, extremely low cut top or overly revealing (like the tanks guys wear sometimes), snow or ski coat not removed before interview, some hats and anything t-shirt with words on it.

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?

The candidate should dress to reflect the organization that is hiring them. So in an urban setting like my library, I may be more liberal on some things. In a more conservative organization, the nose ring and non-standard piercings may need to be left off for the day.

What This Library Wears

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

Suit or separates with dress shoes or boots. Panyhose or tights depending on the weather. Minimum make up, foundation, blush, and lip gloss at least.

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)

√ Flip flops

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

√ Badges

Do you have any other comments?

The khakis and white shirt is so 1990s and generic. Funny question.

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

Photo: removed

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

We present a model to our students of what their future employers are looking for

The job interview - Oh, well. by Flickr user Big Fat RatThis 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 Urban area 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.

√ 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.

Biker shorts – tight clothing – trendy clothes geared to teens.

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

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?

They will need to fit into our environment, which requires a professional look so that we present a model to our students of what their future employers are looking for.

What This Library Wears

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

Business, professional

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
√ Short skirts/shorts
√ Tank tops

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: The job interview – Oh, well. by Flickr user Big Fat Rat

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

Less formal, but clean and well-fitting is better than more formal and ill-fitting or stained

Job Interview ! by Flickr user A.J. PhotoThis 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 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, 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: I’m going to totally show a bias here. I wouldn’t notice if a woman wore short sleeves in the summer. I would notice if a man did. I mean notice in a negative way. I’m male.

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

√ Other: I truly don’t care. Look at the whole outfit and decide if stockings would make it look better.

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.

I’m pretty relaxed about what people wear, as long as it would be appropriate to wear to work. A children’s librarian candidate wearing a cheerful, humorous outfit (especially if he or she works it into the interview) makes sense. A director candidate, not so much.

I have only one story of a completely inappropriate outfit. A male candidate called to ask me (I was the person who had called him to schedule the interview and was serving on the panel) what he should wear to the interview. I thought that was a great question and told him that, as it was summer, most candidates would probably wear a long sleeved shirt and khaki trousers or something like that, along with a tie. I suggested that he visit a couple of branches where there were several male employees if he wanted to see some examples. He did visit the branches; most of the men he saw were dressed just as I described. One (a circulation person) was wearing a polo shirt and khaki pants. The guy then came to the interview dressed in ratty jeans and a patched, short-sleeved shirt. Unbelievable.

If he had called to tell me, look my house just burned down and I have only these clothes, can I still interview, of course, that would have been fine and we would have completely overlooked the clothes. But he didn’t say a word about what he was wearing.

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

Less formal, but clean and well-fitting is better than more formal and ill-fitting or stained.

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
√ 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: At best, show personality and show how the applicant would form a part of the library work group

How does what a candidate wears affect your hiring decision?

I think the most important thing is for the candidate to be *comfortable* in the clothing. I don’t notice it too much unless the candidate is actively uncomfortable or if the clothing is completely inappropriate. If the candidate knows that the clothing is unusual, the candidate should mention it and explain a bit about the reason.

What This Library Wears

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

Quite formally: suit, starched shirt, tie, shined shoes. My logic is simple: if a candidate took the trouble to dress very formally, I don’t want the candidate to be concerned about the possibility of overdressing.

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)

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

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: Job Interview ! by Flickr user A.J. Photo

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