To suit or not to suit?
January 2, 2013 7:32 AM   Subscribe

What to wear to a non-librarian library interview?

I've done a little searching and found similar questions, but this is a slightly different situation. I have a job interview tomorrow morning for an admin asst.-type position at the nonprofit foundation that supports the local city library system. It's an office job and doesn't really involve anything "on the floor." My favorite suit doesn't quite fit right now (cue new year's resolution), and I wondered if it might be more appropriate anyway to wear tailored pants, a nice shirt, and a jacket/blazer. (Note: I'm a 30-something woman, and I'm also trying to not appear overqualified.)
posted by trillian to Work & Money (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That sounds formal enough for an interview, yet not so formal that you're trying too hard. Just right!
posted by xingcat at 7:36 AM on January 2, 2013

I don't work at a library, and haven't been inside one for a while, during normal working hours, so I don't know how admin library staff dress, but from what you described, I think your selection is pretty good.

I would think it's better to be a bit over-dressed than under-dressed, as long as you're not too over-dressed (i.e. you look like you're going to a wedding or to a nightclub).

Good luck with the interview!
posted by bitteroldman at 7:38 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

I work at an academic library (so a slightly different setting, but close) and your non-suit outfit sounds totally appropriate. I'd say the the level of dressy expected would be highest for top level administrators (usually librarians), then librarians, then staff (which sounds like the group your job would fall in). But as long as you look put together, a suit wouldnt be required. At least at my institution.
posted by pennypiper at 7:53 AM on January 2, 2013

I haven't worn a suit to an interview in years and years. (I've worked in software/paralegal type jobs in business-casual environments during that time.) I think you'll be fine with your current choices.
posted by Currer Belfry at 7:55 AM on January 2, 2013

Your non-suit outfit sounds perfect. It's much better to wear clothes that fit you well than to wear an awkward-fitting suit. Good luck!
posted by barnoley at 8:07 AM on January 2, 2013

our most recent admin hire wore a very nice skirt, shirt, and a silk cardigan to her interview. she was extremely well-qualified, but as librarians we joked that the cardigan was the deal-sealer. your outfit sounds perfect.
posted by marshmallow peep at 8:20 AM on January 2, 2013

As a paraprofessional in an academic library, your outfit sounds perfect. (I wore a dress, heels, and a cardigan to my interview, and fit right in.) Good luck!
posted by jetlagaddict at 9:00 AM on January 2, 2013

I work as a paraprofessional at a city library, and can echo everyone saying that your plan looks good.

Good luck!
posted by carsonb at 10:35 AM on January 2, 2013

Thanks to everyone!
posted by trillian at 12:22 PM on January 2, 2013

Yep, that outfit sounds perfect!
posted by sarcasticah at 4:53 PM on January 2, 2013

Well, the interview went great, and the outfit seemed just fine. The interviewers were both in business casual, so I fit right in. Thanks again!
posted by trillian at 9:37 AM on January 3, 2013

Second interview on Monday, yay!
posted by trillian at 8:20 AM on January 8, 2013

Excellent, good luck!
posted by carsonb at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2013

Thanks! Went great, and they said they'll decide this week!
posted by trillian at 6:03 AM on January 15, 2013

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