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Get over it! Tattoos and piercings, do they affect your interview prospects?

27 Jun 11 - 12:00AM  | General
By Paul Farrer

A colleague interviewed a guy the other day who had a hole in his ear the size of £2 coin, a tongue stud and tattoos on his arms and wrists (and probably elsewhere). If first impressions are key to interview success then people prejudices towards ‘body art’ need to change otherwise we may be supporting a form of discrimination. I have always suggested to people that they remove piercings and cover tattoos to help create a favourable first impression – but I think it’s time I got over it. Surely it matters as much as the colour of your hair, clothes and accent. The candidate with the ear, tongue and arm art is brilliant and our clients will be fighting over him – yet we still suggested he made some  amendments to help with first impressions – is this still relevant advice?
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Your suggestion was sound. First impressions do count. As a manager who has hired many staff with piercings I have found that the key to how I felt about them was based on how my customers would feel about them. For staff who had no customer facing roles I had little or no concern. For a staff member who would be in contact with my customers all day, depending on the industry presenting with piercings and tattoos would not be appropriate. Rightly or wrongly, I have also asked prospective staff members that if they were to accept the role on offer if the could agree to the condition of "no additional visible piercings or tattoos", giving them a full explanation of why. Ultimately it's about on job performance.
Posted by: Amajjika, Date 06 July 2011, 05:42 AM
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