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Style Files: Interview Etiquette & Nose Rings

There is something to be said about the ambiance of a classic corporate work place, but these days, when we spend 8+ hours together in the office, why be uptight and serious all the time when our society and culture is becoming increasingly progressive and open? The current generation is notoriously casual in attitude, as well as in appearance.  Tattoos, piercings and vibrant colored hair choices are all a normal aspects of life these days that might not seem so normal to the generations before us. 

The book Do I Wear my Nose Ring to the Interview? by Ellen Gordon Reeves has inspired debates on workplace etiquette around the country. Does one actually wear their nose ring to the interview? Should wearing a small accessory or not wearing it make or break someone’s chances for a job?  Though the book is a metaphor for the difficulties of finding a job, the question itself of whether or not one should wear your piercings is one to address. 

The choice comes down to the industry and the position you are interviewing for. In the fashion industry, a nose stud could be seen as no big deal because the office has a more laid back atmosphere. Additionally, piercings and tattoos are generally accepted and common nowadays, so there is a good chance someone in the office you are interviewing with has one! In a finance or corporate office, it is always better to play it safe and stick to a conservative apperance. If the stud is for cultural purposes, companies have been known to be far more accepting of them, but companies are also legally allowed to discriminate based on tattoos and piercings. 

Taylor Anderson, a Career Enhancing Life Skills (CELS) fellow has a slightly different view on the matter.  Taylor runs workshops and meets with students to discuss resumes, cover letters, and interview ettiquette.  She feels it is more a situational matter than a black and white issue. She feels, “It depends on what industry you are interviewing for. In some more relaxed environments or where bold fashion are accepted, I think it is okay to have a nose ring in. For most other industries, I would take it out and if you get the job, leave it out the first few days to test out the office atmosphere. For all jobs where you are dealing with clients and need to look professional, I would take it out.  You can always put it back in later, but it is always better to err on the side of caution.” 


Caroline is a Senior at Connecticut College, studying Psychology and Art. From childhood, her dream has been to work in the fashion industry. This past Summer Caroline was fashion intern at Marie Claire magazine and most recently worked for BCBG, her all time favorite brand, for fashion week. When she isn't busy, Caroline loves to make art, read, go on adventures with friends, shop and curl up in yoga pants and a cozy sweater. After graduation, Caroline plans to return to New York City and continue to follow her passion in the fashion industry. Follow Caroline on Instagram at @carodacosta or on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/sweetcarol1n3/boards/
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