Is a Nose Ring an Interview Dealbreaker?

July 27, 2009 by  

advice-nose-ring-featureQ:  I’m about to start my second year at law school (T20) and will be participating in fall OCI and am hoping to land a job at a big law firm for next summer (I know, don’t shred me for that, please).  My school offers “mock interviews” with alumni and I just went on mine.  The interviewer was pretty nice but suggested that I remove the very, very small nose ring stud that I wear.  I actually dress pretty conservatively and looked professional for the interview—skirt suit, hair neatly tied back, sensible shoes and all that.  I don’t think the nose ring is offensive and it’s part of my style and who I am.  I don’t ever take it out and don’t think I should have to compromise my principles and who I am just to get a job.  BUT, I also want to get experience working in a big firm and I worry that it might stop me from getting through the door, as stupid as that may be.  Will firms really care about this in interviews or is my mock interviewer just an uptight big-firm prick?

A: Hm. The question seems to be less about whether your mock interviewer is an uptight big-firm prick (and chances are, he is, but that has nothing to do with nose rings) and more about whether you’re suited to work in Big Law in the first place. Why do you even want to work there? Because I hate to break it to you, but Big Law’s a pretty uptight place—the kind of place where wearing jeans is cause for a firm-wide meeting. Nose rings don’t even make the agenda. And if you think that people who disapprove of nose rings (i.e. 99.9% of the people who work in Big Law) are pricks, why do you want their approval in the first place?

Because here’s the thing: If there’s one thing that working in Big Law requires, it’s compromising who you are for the job—well, unless who you are happens to be a person with no edge, humor, personality, joie de vivre or desire to have a social life. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s admirable that you don’t want to compromise your staunch principles just for this job. But what “principles” are we dealing with here, exactly? The ones that involve equal rights for fans of decorative body jewelry? We’re not debating ethnic cleansing or genital mutilation here, cookie. We’re debating a crusty metal chip stuck in your nose. (And speaking of which, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a heads up that the pretty-girl-with-an-ironic-nose-ring look may have worked to boost your cool factor in college, but when you’re an actual grown-up, wearing a nose ring with a suit doesn’t make you look unique and edgy; it makes you look a poser from the suburbs who’s still trying to piss off Mommy and Daddy but didn’t want to commit to a tattoo.  Just sayin’.)

So, if you really want to have a shot at Big Law, just play the game and take the goddamn ring out of your nose. An hour without it won’t kill you or erase your finely honed sense of self. Because you’re right—you shouldn’t have to compromise who you are to get a job. You also shouldn’t have to, say, be nice to your in-laws on Thanksgiving or give your BF a BJ just ’cause it’s his birthday. Sometimes, though, you have to do something you’re not thrilled about for the sake of your own personal greater good. Just make sure that greater good is something you want in the first place.

Good luck!

Need advice? Email our Sweet Hot Counsel at counsel@sweethotjustice.com.

Comments

86 Responses to “Is a Nose Ring an Interview Dealbreaker?”

  1. Aunt Ooona on September 28th, 2009 9:32 pm

    Megan, you would never be eligible for my nephew Guano. He only can date first class virginal women, and as far as I am concerned, having a nose ring makes you ineligible. Sorry.

  2. Anonymous on September 30th, 2009 2:32 pm

    hahaha you guys are all hilarious.

    There is nothing slutty about having a nose ring, it is widely accepted as being nothing more than jewelry and a fashion statement. In fact, after having your ears pierced, it is the second most popular piercing in the US and has done nothing but continue to gain popularity over the years. It is not viewed in the same light as eye brow piercings, lip piercings, or genital piercings; to females from the ages of 15-25 (the ladies who will soon be entering the work place and taking charge) this particular piercing has become common place.

    I have my nose pierced, and I think it looks pretty. The rest of my style is very preppy and conservative, but I happen to like this piercing, and know many many girls who have the same small diamond stud in their nose. It does not mean I am loose. It does not mean I am promiscuous. It means that I think it is pretty, and like it. End of story.

    It is obvious that the majority of people who answered you are not from our generation is all. I’m 22, and in my age bracket, having a nose ring (a tiny stud) is very popular and tons of girls have them; they are “in” right now, and are seen as being stylish, not emo or edgy.

    I’m actually in school right now for business, and will be graduating this spring with my MBA, so I’m not just some young punk who has no idea what they are talking about. My advice to you: don’t wear the nose ring to the interview just in case, but if you are hired, ask if it would be acceptable to wear at work. I have many friends who did just that, and their employers (large marketing and advertising firms in boston) had no problem with them wearing their nose rings to work because of how small and discreet they are.

    To the older generation, wearing nose rings might be seen as slutty or an indicator of being a “loose” woman, but that is not the case anymore. Older generations always look at the actions of the ones following them and feel that the things they do are scandalous and immoral; this is no exception. As our generation gets a little older and our influence starts to become more present in the workplace, you will see nose rings becoming more and more common place in business settings.

    So to you I would just say to err on the side of caution, and then see how your potential new employers feel about it after you’re hired. Good luck, you sound like a smart girl, and I’m sure you’ll do well.

    To just about everyone else who left you a comment, you guys all need to RELAX. This was a simple question of whether or not to wear a nose ring to an interview. Whether or not you feel women who have nose rings are sluts is COMPLETELY irrelevent to the question that was asked. So lets take it down a notch, shall we? No reason to insult people you don’t know on-line, it’s not good manners. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    As for “everyone else”, at least you have a good sense of humor about all this. It’s such a joke that people got so heated about a topic unrelated to the question that was asked lol.

    Take care all, god bless :)

  3. Missy C on September 30th, 2009 2:36 pm

    Aunt Oona…after the comments you have just made, I don’t think anyone is clamoring to marry your nephew. You sound just like the Class A Nightmare-in-law that most of us try to avoid lol

    I know lots of girls with small nose rings who are great people and many without nose rings who are not. And vice versa. You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover; read the good book a little harder next time, you seemed to have missed that one ; )

  4. Aunt Ooona on September 30th, 2009 3:03 pm

    Girls, If I were to promote promiscuity, I would recommend you to my Guano. However, since I do not know where you have been (with or without the nose ring), I cannot recommend you to my Guano, or any other wholesome man from Ghana.

    I recommend that you look in the mirror, and pray you can remove the nose ring without damage. Leave it out for a week and note the difference men pay attention to you. If they only look to you for sex when you wear the ring, you will now know why.

    While I do not think you can return to your earlier virtue before the nose ring, I pray there are USA gentelman who will give you a second chance and marry you, not just use you for sex.

    If anyone disagree with me, let me hear your view on this, as this is issue of morality.

  5. Missy C on September 30th, 2009 4:11 pm

    All I can say is that while it may be an issue of morality in other places, in the US sexualized behavior is not attributed to nose rings. That may not be how it is in other countries, but in America having or not having a nose ring is not viewed as an indicator of being promiscuous.

  6. Missy C on September 30th, 2009 4:13 pm

    In the US having a nose ring is just like a necklace or any other jewelry girls wear. It is not seen as having any more importance than any other necklace or pair of earrings a girl might wear.

    If it were seen as a slutty thing to do to wear one, I would probably not have one, but in America people do not view it that way.

  7. Aunt Ooona on October 1st, 2009 6:04 am

    Missy, I may not be the most familiar with US sexual practices, but I have been told that women with body jewelery of any nature other than ear-rings are very likely to engage in sex with men like my Guano, who is interested in sex, but not in marriage with these women. This was the situation when I sent Guano to Europe to study.

    You may be an exception to this rule, but in Europe, my Guano spent many a day with women of this nature rather than studying, until I pulled him out of school there and enrolled him. in LLM program in Washington DC. I have had him cleansed and he is now certified as free of all sexual diseases.

    Missy C, if you promise to remove your nose ring permanently, I will give you a chance to see if you are worthy to be a wife to my Guano.

  8. Jeanine on January 17th, 2010 5:22 pm

    NOW I know how George W. Bush was able to throw our Consitution under the bus with nary a cry from the legal community if a law student HAS TO ASK a question about a nose ring. Unbloody believable.

  9. Bill on January 17th, 2010 7:41 pm

    Jeanine, you need to get laid.

  10. Dean Noman on January 17th, 2010 8:38 pm

    All I can say is thank god I’m not a lawyer. All the female lawyers sound like Iceburgs and somebody named Bat Crap thinks he can see when a women is supple. Wow, what a profession.

  11. Karen Broderson on January 18th, 2010 7:58 am

    Here is what I learned in life: female virginity is worshipped when she is young, but if she is above a certain age, say 30, and still a virgin, then to men she is an unskilled clumsy lady who has no idea how to please men in a sexually erotic way. How do I know this? I have a female friend who is 46 and yup, still a friggen virgin! She is pretty and smart and all that, but when I try to set her up with men, they all turn her down saying they don’t think her virginity is that big of a deal to pursuit after and they doubt she will be a skillful lady in a relationship, and this is feedback since she was in her early 30s when i started to try to set her up. Today she is 46 and still with no man….

    Ladies, I wouldn’t recommend you all go be a whore but it’s wise to sample a few men to find a man who is willing to please you sexually in the right way. When it comes to enjoying raw animalistic satisfying sex, size of a penis does matter to a certain degree and his willingness to go down on you is unfortunately not found in every man.

    Some men stick it in and ejaculate within 10 seconds so it’s over before you are even warmed up, is this what you want to find on your wedding night?

    Trust me, there are men who loves to please a woman in bed so it is worth the educated risk to find him. Otherwise, in a sexually unsatisfying marriage people eventually get divorced anyway.

    Again, virginity pass a certain age = unskilled, unsophisticated lover.

  12. Charlotte on January 18th, 2010 7:26 pm

    Nose rings are a no. As are visible tattoos, wildly colored hair, even wild jewelery is out. Law is ultra-conservative and a nose ring just does not fit in with that. Even if you think it’s pretty, even if you think it’s unfair that some people equate it with sluttiness, even if it’s not just part of who you are – it’s who you are – take it out, or don’t get the job.

  13. Anonymous on January 19th, 2010 8:18 am

    There’s nothing wrong with a small nose ring. What matters most is your inteliigence… can you perform at work, and are presentable enough.

    I think p’ple should stop sweating the small stuff, and look at the bigger picture.

    Good luck, hope you nail it!

  14. anonymous on January 19th, 2010 11:33 am

    Boy, are people ever uptight about these things! Experiment – go to one interview with, one without, see how people respond. Do some research – talk with alumni who have worked at each of the firms you are interviewing with, or ask about whether the firm has a formal dress code. Think about what you want out of the job – if a short term experience, take the ring out for the interview and don’t worry about it; if a long term fit, maybe you want to make sure you get a firm that is accepting of these things for your own peace of mind.

    I worked for a while with a lawyer with rasta locks that he put into a purple hairnet when he didnt want to scare people. It cost him a few interviews at the start, but the guy who hired him decided that “if he has the nerve to come in to see me like that, he will have the nerve to do a lot of things on the job for me.” Bad economic times create lots of work for lawyers too – it is just that the work is in bankruptcy and insolvency and such. Don’t sweat it.

  15. Senior Partner on January 19th, 2010 12:12 pm

    There will always be people who feel bodily mutilations, like piercings and tattoos, are offensive.

  16. Pierced Atty on January 29th, 2010 5:18 pm

    I am a man with a Prince Edward piercing. Is it inappropriate to show it to the hiring partner at Sullivan & Cromwell during my interview, which is scheduled for next Wednesday? Thanks to all for your thoughts.

  17. Anonymous on January 29th, 2010 10:36 pm

    Get real! Of course don’t show it. You won’t get hired unless you are being interviewing by another fudgepacker, and there aren’t that many at S&C.

    BTW, WTF is a Prince Edward Piercing? Is that on your pecker?

  18. Wow on January 31st, 2010 4:43 pm

    I’ve read a few article here, and the comments.

    I feel so sorry for all of you.

  19. Anonymous on January 31st, 2010 5:28 pm

    Listen to this Gnome! He needs some woman to comfort him. What a turd!

    Meanwhile, where are the new articles? It’s only been 3 months or more? Have the ladies deserted this site? Let’s wheel out some good new articles. This site is getting STANKY.

  20. Laurie on February 2nd, 2010 6:13 am

    Let’s tell our own jokes while waiting for the Legal Tease to return!!!!

    One afternoon, a wealthy lawyer was riding in the back of his limousine when he saw two men eating grass by the road side. He ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

    “Why are you eating grass?” he asked one man.

    “We don’t have any money for food,” the poor man replied.

    “Oh, come along with me then.”

    “But sir, I have a wife with two children!”

    “Bring them along! And you, come with us too!” he said to the other man.

    “But sir, I have a wife with six children!” the second man answered.

    “Bring them as well!”

    They all climbed into the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limo.

    Once underway, one of the poor fellows says, “Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.”

    The lawyer replied, “No problem, the grass at my home is about two feet tall.”

  21. Wiga on February 10th, 2010 11:26 pm

    This sight is stale. Let’s demand something new or stop visiting it.

  22. Susie on February 26th, 2010 1:53 pm

    LOL wow that first comment was pretty stupid … so wearing a nose ring makes you a lose slut … riiiight. You guys are funny!

    As far as the question goes … I would take out the nose ring out if I were you just because it’s viewed as unprofessional. If it’s just your style then you’re gonna have to deal with it. Try a clear one so it doesn’t close up!

    And to all the haters on this post who would probably look retarded with a nose rignt lol, save you’re bullshit and shove it up your nerd ass!!!

    Peace 😀 ( I bet all of you are gonna start hating aren’t you? LMAO)

    I’m out.

  23. Al on February 27th, 2010 5:51 am

    Susie, learn your diction. It’s not “you’re bullshit” but “your bullshit”. Also, while we’re on the topic, you seem to support the claim that women who wear noserings are not particularly bright, and may alsol be loose. If that is the case, I am sure you wish you had kept those knees every time you had more than a few beers. What have you got to show for it now? There you go!

  24. Son of Guano on March 1st, 2010 10:52 am

    Let’s not forget Stanky. Women with noserings often lose the sense of smell. As such, they do not realize when they get too “fragrant” and need to take a hot bath, bad.

  25. Maya on September 10th, 2010 5:21 pm

    Wow, you guys are the most shallow people on the planet. No wonder you suit this type of job.
    Yeah, so I understand taking out the nose stud for an interview. Just put it back in afterwards. Piercings don’t define you.
    I have a tiny nose stud. I am not a slut, I am not “loose”, I have wonderful morals. I get decent grades, I’m in college, I’ve traveled to Taiwan as a youth ambassador, and I take 2 showers daily.

    You guys are the reasons for so many bad relations considering Americans. Shallow, rude, inconsiderate Americans. People like you make me ashamed to be called American.

  26. Anonymous on September 11th, 2010 1:14 am

    shut up maya…you make me sick

  27. shannon on October 21st, 2010 10:06 am

    KEEP IT!! I have my nose pierced also, it’s an intergral part of your body now. In parts on India & the Middle East nose rings are very much a part of being female. It is believed they ease your menstral pain and will become an assest to you during child birth. (kinda like acupuncture)

    it’s a part of your face. they wouldn’t disregard u if u had a mole on ur face

  28. Singaporegirl on January 5th, 2011 9:03 am

    I have a nose piercing and I am a virgin. In some societies, it is culture to pierce one’s nose. Even in the bible it is evident that Abraham’s son Isaac gave his bride Rebecca the nose ring. I believe if it is discreet and classy, then it is acceptable. Working in a law firm is about ability and ethics and being strong-minded enough to stick to your principles. I am a law student too and in your position I would stick to what I believe in. What’s the point of being a perfect-looking but incapable lawyer as opposed to a presentable lawyer with a tiny nose piercing but with loads of ability. Anyway what does a nose piercing have to do with sex? And the people who are against it probably cannot pull it off.

  29. Johnny on January 14th, 2011 10:14 pm

    You must be the only Wirgin with a nose ring.

    Everyone I know with a nosering likes to F*** like a bunny and has very liberal standards as to how they treat their eh-bodies!

    God love ’em!

  30. Anonymous on August 26th, 2011 7:15 am

    dude she was asking a fcking question some jobs accept nose rins… i have seen judges and cops wit nose piercings

  31. anonymous 1212 on September 29th, 2011 3:29 pm

    Wow people all she was doing was asking a question about a nose ring. You don’t need to degrade her to feel good about yourself. She asked the question so just write your answer without all the rude comments, like saying she’s a slut or she is stupid for asking. I thought no question is a dumb question, but I guess I was wrong. A nose ring doesn’t make you a slut or a dumb bum it just makes you a person with a nose ring. Can’t people just give their answer nicely and let the girl decide on her own what she wants to do? People make me sick

  32. Anonymous on April 30th, 2012 9:11 pm

    Yes lose the nose ring. And then contact me so we can bang ferociously throughout the night because you are obviously a loose slut.

  33. Sana on August 27th, 2012 10:39 pm

    I would tend to disagree that women who are from cultures who wear nose rings don’t work in Biglaw. I had a round of interviews with “Big law” firms where my nose ring was in place. And yes it is part of my culture/heritage. As future lawyers, let’s learn to stop being so bias about other people and their culture.

  34. Quinn on February 17th, 2014 11:30 am

    Yes – it is a deal breaker. Take it out for the interview slap some coverup over the hole.

  35. Tom on March 31st, 2014 10:33 am

    If the job is worth a shit they don’t care what you look like. I earn a lot of money (software engineering) and am covered in tattoos and piercings. You know why noone cares? Because I’m good at my job and I don’t work with fucking ass holes

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