Should You Cover Your Tattoos for Your Interview?

Should You Cover Your Tattoos for Your Interview?

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2017

You love your ink, and it has special meaning for you. It might have an entirely different meaning for a potential employer. Tattoos may seem more mainstream today than they did a few decades ago, but that doesn’t mean that you have the green light to show off your Greek symbol or fire-breathing dragon at your next job interview. If you have some tattoos and aren’t sure how to approach interviews from job postings, here are a few tips.

If you aren’t sure how to handle your tattoos with a job interview, do some research.

Consider the Industry and Job Postings You’re Pursuing

As you search job postings and find positions you’re interested in, research the companies thoroughly. You’ll not only want to find out if you’re a culture fit for the particular company but also decide what to do about covering tattoos for a job interview.

If you’re looking for a job in a more conservative field such as banking, healthcare, or insurance, it’s a safe bet that the company’s values will follow suit. On the other hand, a tech startup or a graphic design company probably values self-expression and innovation.

The best place to research a company’s culture is on their social media profiles. Scan the company’s Facebook and Twitter photos that depict groups of employees to get a feeling for culture and personality.

Cover Up Your Tattoo for the Interview

In most cases, your best course of action during an initial job interview is to cover up your tattoos. Among Millennials, about 70% of those who say they have tattoos indicate that their ink is hidden beneath their clothing. If you fall in this class, then this is a moot point.

If your tattoos are on your arms, wrist, or neck, take some simple measures to conceal them for this meeting so that the focus can remain on your skills and not your ink. Wear a full suit or use a concealer like Dermablend to cover small hand or neck tattoos.

When it comes to job interviews, it’s usually best to play it safe and cover them up.

Disclose Your Tattoo During the Interview if Appropriate

Let’s assume you decide to hide your tattoo for your job interview based on your research and a general desire to play it safe. This is probably the best choice, but you also don’t want to take a position that requires your suppressing a part of your personality. In these cases, you should consider mentioning your tattoo during the job interview.

If you’ll wear clothing at your new job that will expose your ink, mentioning this during an interview is a smart move. Simply let the interviewers know that you have tattoos and ask them about their company policy. This will avoid any future conflicts, show the employer that you are flexible, and demonstrate your integrity for being the one to bring up the issue.

Many people have tattoos and piercings today, particularly Millennials. There is a fine line between maintaining your sense of individuality and appeasing interviewers who may have more conservative values. As you search job postings, research company culture at the same time so that you can make the right choices regarding your tattoos at your job interview.

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