This 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.
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
√ 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:
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)
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