In a conversation with Katie Couric for a segment called Jobless in America on katiecouric.com, I was asked the “Nose Ring” question. “Can I wear my nose ring to the interview?” is a real question I’ve been asked by many job-seekers I counsel, which is why it became the title of my book.
Nose Rings Aside, The Issue Is Understanding Company Culture
It’s a great question because it’s really about how to present yourself professionally when you’re job-hunting. Whether you have a nose ring or not, the issue is understanding the culture of the company or organization to which you’re applying.
It’s Better To Be Too Conservative
As one panelist notes in this clip (below), when he wore a suit to an interview, he was told that it was too formal. I actually advise people always to err on the side of being too conservative and then let the employer tell you that’s the last time you’ll ever have to wear one if you end up working there. But, unless you’re applying to work in a mortuary, you don’t need to look like you’re going to a funeral!
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask About Dress Code
If you’re not sure what the dress code is if you’re applying, to, say, an arts organization, a small non-profit, or another office that you imagine may be a casual workplace, just ask when you’re setting up the interview.
To Thine Own Self Be True, But There Are Consequences
Some companies have dress codes that exclude body piercing, tattoos, and unnatural hair color (meaning blue or pink, not blonde from a bottle or covering the grey.) If you are sporting any of these and the company isn’t on board, you’ll have to make a decision. To thine own self be true, but there are consequences. It may come down to a choice between a job and your nose ring.