So you think everyone has a keen appreciation for the multi-colored art you have displayed on your inner thigh or your forearm? It’s not like anyone would dare say a nasty comment about the word “Mother” tattooed on your hand? When it comes to art what do people know anyway. Judged or be judged? Not when it comes to your interview. Think again Picasso…
You may like what you wear, your piercings or the multitude of graffiti art proudly displayed on your body but chances are not everyone has your same level of appreciation or taste. So when it comes to “dressing” the part, how do you navigate the sterile waters of interview land when you are covered in tats way down to your toes? Knowing your audience no matter what job you are applying for means making sure you don’t give up your individuality for professionalism no matter how artfully you are decked out. When the world of tats and views collide here are a few things to remember.
- Do Your Homework: If you are thinking of applying for a position in a company where the culture resembles a laboratory, think about what you should wear to the interview before you show up all covered in ink. No one is asking you to change who you are or what defines you. But knowing that others may or may not have the same level of appreciation for your image might make it hard to break the barrier to entry when all you are trying to do is get a job. Hey, even Cher has to cover the ink for a part in a movie-so think of it as your audition.
- Keep It Simple: When in doubt about whom you are meeting or the work environment best advice is to keep it simple. This means save all the jewelry, chains, metal and accouterment for the clubs or your casual look and try to package your wear in something more main stream and toned down. No one wants to cramp your style but less is more when you don’t know who is on the other end of the interview judging you before they even look at your resume or portfolio. Be smart about your choices.
- Don’t Take It Personal: Keeping your demeanor as professional as possible during an interview speaks volumes to who you are as an individual and how well you present yourself to someone you just met. Not everyone will like you no matter how well you come across so no point in trying to manipulate the situation to your advantage. Being yourself means honoring who you are and what you stand for. Flaunting yourself no matter how minimal shows a lack of respect for the other person and makes people feel uneasy. Remember, not everyone has your taste level so don’t make someone feel bad because you are picking up a vibe that makes you feel uncomfortable. When in doubt remember it’s not personal it’s business.
You are your own person and you should not change for anyone. Choosing a company culture that embrace that philosophy will help you target a place where you want to work. Making sure you understand that not everyone is looking at you in the same way you see yourself helps you to anticipate how to act during an interview meeting. Becoming self-aware helps you manage first encounters and shows you are insightful. First impressions do count so make the most out of yours by dressing the part and knowing your lines.
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