There’s no getting away from it. A job interview is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences that you will ever have to go through. If you happen to have a beard, this can add to the pressure.
Especially when you start to believe some of the common myths, such as the one that states that men with facial hair are hiding something.
I was certainly guilty of this. I would routinely shave off my beard before interviews, believing that this would somehow be the key to me getting a job offer.
In reality, it didn’t help at all. In fact it was only when I kept my beard that I started to be successful.
In this blog post I am going to explain why having a beard for an interview is perfectly acceptable and also provide tips on the right way to go about it.
Assess The Situation
The first thing that you need to consider is the type of job that you’re applying for.
Are you looking to get into hospitality or food service industries? If so, a great big bushy yeard is probably going to be frowned on. But a short and neatly trimmed beard would not be such an issue.
However, if you’re working outdoors or in a non-customer facing environment, you’ll find that employers are generally more relaxed about the length of your facial hair.
The best thing you can do is research. Looking online is a good place to start, but don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer or HR contact beforehand what their policy is. If it’s bad news, at least you haven’t wasted your time by attending!
Be Confident In Your Decision
So you’ve done your research and you’ve decided to keep your beard for your big interview. That’s great news!
But in the back of your mind, there are still lingering doubts. Do the interviewers hate beards? Does it look smart enough?
Now this is very easy for me to say, but don’t worry. You can’t control their reaction to your beard, so why spend the time going over it repeatedly in your head?
Instead, focus what is under our control. Ensure that you have your suit ready the night before, your shirt ironed and your shoes shined, as well as undertaking other common interview prep.
More than likely, they won’t be even thinking about your beard. As long as you prove that you’re the best candidate for the job, what does it matter whether you have facial hair or not?
Have A Trim...But Not Too Much!
The main problem that I have with beards and interviews is that most people see it as an all or nothing decision. You either have one, or you shave it off. There is no in between whatsoever.
But of course that’s definitely not the case. You can of course just trim your beard a little.
Now you have two choices. If you want a really short or stubbly look then investing in a good beard trimmer is a good idea.
But obviously there is no need to have such an extreme change if you don’t want to. To keep your length and just neaten it up a bit, simply use scissors instead.
If you’re unsure on what to do, here are some simple steps that you can follow:
First brush your hair in a downwards direction. You should notice that longer hairs should start to stick out after you have done this.
2. Now trim away any stray hairs. Continue to do this, being careful to follow your jawline to achieve a smart, curved look.
3. Do the same on the other side.
4. Finish up by trimming away any lose hairs on the bottom of your beard. If you’re like me, this may involve trimming a bit more as the hair tends to grow much quicker there than it does on the sides.
Think Carefully About How Much You Want The Job
This does sound a bit silly I must admit. I mean, obviously you want the job as you applied for it right?!
But if you like having a beard as much as me, (if you do, you’re probably pretty obsessed!) then whether your potential employer is relaxed about facial hair or not will be a crucial factor in your decision.
Personally, I can’t imagine not having a beard. For a start my girlfriend wouldn’t be very happy if I shaved it off!
But joking aside, if a potential employer told me to get rid of it, I would have to wonder whether the job was the right one for me. My personal belief is that it’s about the person’s skills, not what is growing on their face that counts.
So really it all depends on how much you value your beard and how badly you want the job. There is no right or wrong answer, just do what is right for you.
Niall Sullivan is a freelance writer who has a major passion for beards! He developed a love for writing at school and during his time at university studying journalism. Check out his blog at www.niallsullivan.co.uk for lots of beard and male grooming tips.