I came across an article that featured a question from a young lady who asked if her rights were violated because she felt she was being discriminated for her attire. She appeared at the interview wearing “low-rider pants” with a tongue ring.

When the interviewer inquired about the tongue ring, she explained that she made a poor decision getting the ring, but unfortunately, the ring has to stay in for two weeks so the hole would not close up. The interviewer asked if “that was still the style” and told her the company had a strict dress code policy. It was pretty clear she was not going to get the job.

The fact that there are more potential employees available than there are employers, it is imperative to present oneself in a way that communicates what the company is seeking in an employee. It is no longer enough to simply show up at a job interview; one must perform preliminary work prior to arrival. It is important to find out the dress policy.Job Interview  | Phenomenal Image

It is totally proper to inquire about the dress policy as you want to “fit” into that particular company’s dress culture. But it also allow you to decide whether the company’s dress policy is a good fit for you or is something you can adhere; saving you time and resources.

There could be some situations where you cannot get the information regarding the dress policy. Here are some basic suggestions for dressing for a job interview:

When in doubt, wear a suit

A classic suit in a dark neutral color such as navy or black is an acceptable article of clothing that spans across industries. You may show your personality by simply adding a splash of color with the handbag. If you prefer not to wear a suit, then a sheath with a blazer is also an appropriate alternative.

Keep accessories to a minimum

When interviewing, less is more. It is not a good idea to wear anything that would distract the interviewer. This includes covering tattoos, removing multiple earrings (ladies; men- no earrings), no noisy or bright, huge jewelry and yes, remove the tongue and nose ring.

Additionally, make sure that your nails are properly manicured and no bright colors to draw attention. Shoes should be polished (free of scuff marks) and the heels should not be run-down. A closed-toe shoe such a pump would be appropriate (no flip-flops, sandals or tennis shoes)


Avoid using a heavy-hand with your makeup for an interview. Save the trendy eye shadows, smoky eyes and super long lashes for outside of business hours. Lipstick colors should be a neutral shade so the focus can be on what you have to offer the company in terms of qualifications.

Be honest

The reader stated that “she made a poor decision relative to getting the tongue ring, but she had to keep the ring in for two weeks so the hole would not close up.” If it was a poor decision and she regretted it, why is she not allowing the hole to close?

The interviewer may have recognized that her actions were inconsistent with her response. Possibly the interviewer was waiting for her to assure him/her that the tongue ring will not be a problem because she would adhere to the company’s dress policy; however it may have been an uphill battle since she had already indicated that she had to leave the ring in her tongue for two weeks; easy to misinterpret that “this tongue ring is going to be your and my problem because I can’t take it out for two weeks.” What else would the company have to put up with for two weeks? The interviewer may not want to take that chance.

Be on Time

It’s not stylish to be fashionably late. Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your meeting. This lets the interviewer know you respect the company’s time.

Apparently, this young lady was intriguing enough on her resume to validate being invited to interview for the position. If only she had taken the time to do a little more homework, she may have been the newest employee at XYZ Corporation.

By the way, the attorney stated that her rights were not violated under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Here is the link to the article: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2011/aug/19/keshya-williams-discrimination-laws-dont-include/