Interviewing is single handedly one of those processes that is both agonizing and exciting at the same time.
When you are interviewing for what may be your dream job, you spend countless nights preparing all your answers, researching exhaustively about the company, and of course one other important aspect – what to wear and how to look.
While we could probably write a whole site worth of content about your appearance at a job interview – we specifically want to talk about that beard on your face.
With the recent rise in bearded men across the country, there is no denying their popularity.
Beards are huge!
Even compared to just 10 years ago, the prevalence of beards in the workplace is mind blowing.
From CEOs like Jack Dorsey (Twitter) wearing a beard, all the way down the engineering team – beards truly have a place in every level of the organization.
So, this begs the question, if you have an interview tomorrow – should you shave your beard before hand?
Well, maybe or maybe not – here are some sure fire tips that will help you out in deciding which look will set you up for a successful first impression at your interview:
While I personally loathe LinkedIn since it has become a Facebook for sales people, it can prove to be quite useful in this case.
When interviewing with a company, be sure to look up the company on LinkedIn and take a look at their men.
Specifically, you want to take a look for guys who are sporting beards in their profile pic.
If you notice that at least 10% of men have facial hair, then you are probably ok to head into the interview without shaving.
Contrary to that, if beards are pretty sparse, then you have your answer on to whether or not you should shave.
Be Sure To Also Check The Company Instagram Account
In this day and age, companies are becoming more vocal on Instagram – which can be both great and cringeworthy at the same time.
I mean come on, who wants to see Bob shoveling down hot dogs into his gullet at the company summer party!?
But alas, in this scenario on deciding whether you need to shave or not can definitely be pretty helpful.
But be careful, if you are looking at a huge multi-national company the images you see on the account may be for an international office (i.e. Dubai) where the culture there is incredibly beard friendly.
So be sure to read the photo descriptions while doing your research!
Beard Friendly Jobs
Even if you might have struck gold with a beard friendly work place, you might not be completely in the clear.
Depending on the role that you are interviewing for could decide the fate of your beard.
Generally speaking, if you are applying for a client-facing role, then you should probably shave your beard.
This means that business development, presenting data analysis to clients, regular conference attendance, or just taking meetings on behalf of the company, then it’s going to be safe move to shave your beard prior to the interview.
Now, if you get the job, you might be able to grow a short stubble style once you start working, however, that will largely be up to your discretion.
Beyond client facing roles, if you will be handling food, particularly in large food processing plants, beards may need to be covered due to sanitary conditions – or simply they will ask you to wear a hair net over your beard.
Size Of The Company
If you are applying for a position within a young startup, chances are that they don’t have a formal HR department that has written guidelines around employee appearance.
Therefore, these young companies should be pretty safe to interview without needing to worry about your facial hair setting off the wrong first impression.
Just remember, even in smaller companies, client-facing roles will still require that your beard be absent in order to appease the higher ups.
When it comes to large conglomerates, it may largely depend on division or office branch.
While a bit hazy to give a recommendation on beard vs. no beard, we would lean on the LinkedIn / Instagram method above and see if you can find men in the same location that you are interviewing to see what their facial hair appearance looks like.
Beard Friendly Regions
Now depending where you are in the United States, there do tend to be more friendlier beard regions.
Specifically, what we mean by this is that if you are in an urban area like NYC (Brooklyn specifically) or Austin, beards are undoubtedly in vogue right now.
More often than not, the companies in trendy urban areas should be pretty beard friendly (again, though be sure to check LinkedIn / Instagram for confirmation).
If you are in more of a rural area, beards while still likely common, may be a bit more rare in the workplace.
It’s not to say that the folks in suburbia or rural areas don’t love beards, it’s simply that the rules of the companies tend to be more conservative.
To speak further to this, when still in high school I worked for a large southeastern grocery chain that required all their workers to completely shave their facial hair. Whether you were a cashier, bagger, front office, stock clerk, or even pharmacist – the facial hair had to come off.
When compared to grocery chains in the northern states, there seems to be incredibly lax rules based on facial hair appearance.
Make Sure Your Beard Looks On Point
Whether you are applying for a lead engineering role or the VP of Marketing, one rule remains true – you still need to look presentable.
Never get lost on the fact that this is an interview and you need to both act and look your absolute best in order to get the position.
Therefore, we highly recommend that you visit the barber a few days before an interview to get your beard shape in place and have generally a much more kempt look.
Beyond making sure that your whiskers are expertly trimmed, you will also want to condition it properly, while a solid beard oil will work wonders, we like to recommend that men use a beard balm instead.
The reason why we recommend balm over oil is due to the inclusion of beeswax into the product. Beeswax provides a very light to medium hold on your wiry whiskers in order to keep you looking your absolute best for the big meeting.
Unfortunately beard oil contains no binding or styling agents (just carrier and essential oils), therefore you won’t be able to maintain the same look for the interview that you had when walking out the door in the morning.
Secondly, be sure to comb your beard rather than brushing it. A beard comb will give you much better styling control when compared to a brush.
While we absolutely love Kent combs for overall beard styling, we would recommend a foldable beard comb its uniquely compact design that can slide into your pocket. This allows you to clean up your whiskers in your car or the bathroom before your interview.
It Will Grow Back
Remember guys, as much as we love our beards, they will always grow back.
Chances are that you will be going on multiple interviews before you land your first or fifth job in your career.
So, having to worry about your facial hair every single time may be a bit too much for some men to handle – and that’s completely ok.
You are trying to get the job of your lifetime – don’t let the allegiance of your beard completely block your judgement and set off the wrong first impression.
It will always grow back.
And heck, even if you think from the onset that you might be working at a beard unfriendly place, once you start working at your dream job, you may discover otherwise and begin your beard journey again.
Stuck With Shaving For Your New Gig?
If you are about to land the perfect job of your life but the sticking point of shaving on a daily basis has got you down, don’t fret.
Here at Tools of Men, we help out guys from all walks of life to get them on the perfect grooming regimen.
Therefore, we would highly recommend that you check out our perfect shave routine manual on how you can get an incredibly close shave with maximum comfort and smooth/close results.
So don’t go to the local grocery store yet and pick up some generic inferior shave equipment, instead, follow this guide for the best shave experience of your life.
Last But Not Least…
Best of luck on your interview!
Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Go in with confidence, ask pertinent questions, and knock that interview out of the park!