Tattoos in Job Interviews – Should I Hide Them?
Sporting ink in the workplace may not affect how you work, but it may, unfortunately, decrease your chances of landing a job in the first place.
Before we continue, no, we’re not saying this is or isn’t fair. After all, we believe that a person’s ability to perform the job in question is the priority. However, we’re here to help increase the chances of you succeeding in a job interview. Because of this, we’re going to explain how some employers feel about tattoos, why they feel like this, and what to do if you’re covered in ink when going to a job interview.
How Do Employers Feel About Tattoos?
There’s no definitive answer to this question – some employers like tattoos, some don’t, and some genuinely don’t care. However, it’s important to remember that, just because the interviewer may have tattoos, doesn’t mean you should roll up to the interview in a tank top, showing off your sweet ink.
Often it comes down to the type of business or role you’re applying for. Positions in which you’ll be meeting clients often prefer individuals to cover up any pre-existing tattoos you may have, as you’re representing the business when you do so.
Why Do Some Employers Dislike Tattoos?
Sometimes it’s personal taste, other times it’s because they think they look ‘unprofessional’. Again, this isn’t always the case, but it’s always best to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Over the last decade or so, tattoos have become more common. According to an article in The Guardian, around 47% of people born between 1984 and 2004 have at least one tattoo. Because of this, many business owners are changing their views on tattoos, seeing them as irrelevant to how well someone will perform in a specific job role. But that’s not to say that everyone has the same view.
Of course, some employers still see tattoos as a negative thing. Some business owners still consider tattoos to be unprofessional or ‘tacky-looking’ and will prioritise a candidate without tattoos on show over those that have them on their arms, hands, or neck. In a way, its understandable, as, if you’re client-facing, they may not want someone with tattoos representing their company. Now, we’re not saying this is right or wrong, we’re simply saying this is why some employers dislike them. Of course, there may be other more personal reasons as to why they dislike them, but this is one of the most common reasons.
Should I Cover My Tattoos During a Job Interview?
Our advice is to always cover your tattoos during a job interview. This is for the simple reason of letting your ability to perform in the position available shine above all else.
But what do we mean by this?
Understandably, you’re interviewing for the position because you believe you’re the best fit for it. You’re being interviewed for the position because somebody else also believes you could be the best person for the job. So, when you’re in this position, it’s best to let your abilities and experience shine through, showing the interviewer or business owner how good a fit you’d be for the business.
Of course, as we’ve stated previously, we understand that the presence of tattoos (or lack of) does not hinder your ability to perform in a specific role. However, when you’re sat in front of the person who is in charge of either taking you on or not, you want to impress them. In the same way that you wouldn’t start an interview by telling the interviewer that you didn’t have a great relationship with your last boss. After all, why would you? You’re there to show why you’re the best candidate for the position – tattoos shouldn’t play a part in this.
When Should I Tell an Employer About My Tattoos?
Bear in mind we’re not saying you should hide your tattoos indefinitely from your employer or the interviewer. So, when should you tell them about your ink?
Often, towards the end of an interview, the interviewer (or whoever is conducting the interview) asks if you have any questions or anything you want to ask. This is always a good time to ask about the policy on tattoos, as you’ve likely already given a good (or bad) impression a to how you’d suit the role. This is why our advice is to:
- Cover your tattoos for the interview.
- Show the interviewer why they cannot afford to not hire you.
This way, the presence of tattoos is less likely to hinder your chances of landing the role. Of course, there’s every chance that the business doesn’t care about your ink, and as long as you dress appropriately and perform well, won’t care either way. However, it’s always best to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
Can I Get Tattoos After I’ve Been Offered the Job?
There’s no clear-cut answer to this one. However, we can offer our advice once again.
Once you’re in a job, you can get a better feel for how the business and managers feel about tattoos. However, just because they might be OK about them, or have no particularly strong feelings either way, you’ll want to think twice before getting skull and crossbones tattooed on your face. If you’re unsure, it’s always worth speaking to your manager. The worst they can do is to say no, and you’re no worse off than you were before.
Of course, some employers will be absolutely fine with you either having or getting tattoos. Depending on the type of business, they may not care either way. And, as long as you get the job done, they won’t care how many or what tattoos you have, leaving you free as a bird to get more.
However, it’s important to note that, as we’ve highlighted in this blog, some employers and business owners dislike tattoos. So, although your current employer may not mind, it’s always important to consider your future when getting a tattoo. We hate to sound like your mother (mine as well), but at this point in time, getting tattoos, especially in hard to hide places like your neck or hand, will close some doors to you career-wise.
Thanks for reading! Although I can’t recommend which tattoo studios to go to, I can recommend that you check out some more of our blogs right here. Or, if you’re looking for work, check out our jobs page.