Sunday, November 9, 2008


Interviewer: Can you tell me more about your personal interests outside of work? Any hobbies?
Candidate: Hmm…I do read a lot, love running long distances in the morning, play basketball

Interviewers: Any other personal interests that come to mind?
Candidate: Hmm….Yes! I love Tattoos!

Interviewers: Tattoos???? (Totally surprised, amazed, and shocked, whatever!) Do you have any tattoos?
Candidate: Yes, I do

Interviewer: I suppose that was an honest answer, but this role requires ‘professionalism’ and ‘present-ability’. We’ll need to review your candidature and get back to you.
Candidate (Stunned!): But how does having tattoos make me less professional than others?

Not surprisingly this conversation did take place at an interview.

So many questions come to mind based on the above discussion:

- Firstly, do the candidates really need to reveal about their tattoos? Unless off course, explicitly asked for by the company or its clearly visible

- How does having a concealed (give some credit to the candidate’s intelligence!) tattoo affect performances?

- Why tattoos are considered a taboo while hiring candidates?

- Do the professional qualities of the candidate get overlooked, because, the tattoo-thing is misinterpreted to be ‘crude’, ‘rude’, even ‘rebellious’?

- The corporate culture of the employer does come into effect. Do you want be a part of it?

Sometimes even employees aren’t sure on the company ‘Policy’ regarding tattoos. I suppose in such cases it’s harder to determine if a displaying a tattoo is ok or not. Sure, employers from certain industries don’t have an issue with “Tattooed” candidates. Better to try and check before you invest your time interviewing with your prospective employer. However, use your discretion a little more effectively. Like determining if the job you are interviewing for requires you to conceal your tattoo. It’s easy to determine right?

Tattoos are a form of expression. You can have a tattoo and a successful career. Agreed!

- The HR Store