I have 7 piercings on my face, including one on my lip, one on my eyebrow and five on both of my ears. Should I take these off for the interview or leave them in?
Questions about piercings come up in many interviews, especially with recent graduates. They are also one of the most difficult questions to answer, because the true question is “Are you willing to risk the job in favor of your individuality?”
Basic Dress Code
Everyone knows how important dress code is to making a good first impression at a job interview. Employers like to see someone that not only dresses professional, but also someone that understands that it is important to make a good first impression. Even businesses with casual dress codes often value applicants that take the time to make themselves presentable, rather than simply throwing on their regular clothes without a second thought.
It is true that the corporate world does frown upon aesthetic expressions of individuality. They are less likely to hire someone with a tattoo. They often will not hire people with unusually colored hair (like blue or pink) or with unusual hair styles (like Mohawks). This is simply the nature of the corporate world.
Still, what to do with most of these problems is fairly simple:
- If you have dyed hair, simply dye it to a more natural color.
- If you have an unusual hairstyle, simply get it restyled to something more appropriate.
- If you have a tattoo, there is nothing you can do anyway, so let it be.
All of those are fairly simple answers. If you can do something about the problem you fix it. If you cannot, you do not. Simple.
The difficult decision has to do with piercings. Unlike tattoos, you can remove piercings, but in their place is going to be a small hole, and that hole will not go away. Any piercings that are not in your ear lobe risk leaving a negative impression. The business world is still very uptight, and is not always accepting of lip rings, nose rings, etc.
Still, the answer to whether or not you should take it out is not that simple. The way you present yourself in the interview is the way that employers are going to expect you to present yourself at the job. You cannot go to an interview without your piercings, get the job, and then show up on the first day loaded with visible, unconventional nose and lip piercings. The employers will immediately worry they made a mistake, and you will be on thin ice during the rest of your employment.
What it boils down to is a decision you need to make on your own. You can:
- Take out your piercings, but be advised that you will need to keep them out for as long as you are employed.
- Keep in your piercings knowing that they may prevent you from getting the job.
Which is the best option? It depends on you. If you keep the piercings in and they hire you, it is as though they are green lighting you to wear them every day at your leisure. On the other hand, your chances of getting a job are slimmer, and if you are desperate for work your piercings are a small price to pay for employment.
What you do at the job interview is up to you. Choose based on weighing the risks of your individuality with the risks of employment. If you do decide to go to a job interview with your piercings, it is a good idea to find the smallest and least attention seeking studs available to fill the holes. At the very least it will allow you to still wear the piercings without drawing too much attention to yourself.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Take out your piercings if you are willing to live without them.
- Leave in your piercings if your individuality is worth more than your employment. There is nothing wrong with feeling that way, as long as you understand the risks.
- Replace any piercings you leave in with studs that are less eye grabbing.
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