It’s probably one of the most hotly debated topics out there when it comes to bearding: if you’re going to a job interview should you shave? I’m going to put this debate to an end right now. Do. Not. Shave. You worked too long and hard on that beard of yours to get rid of it because you may or may not get a job.
More importantly, the business world is changing, even if it is as slow as molasses. Here’s some proof. Justin Nall, an urban beardsman, is also making a name for himself in the corporate business world:
“I’m now a program manager for a world-wide defense contractor, managing a multi-million dollar IT program, working with over 90 clients, managing employees, and reporting to Senior Level Managers. Over the past 4 years I’ve been promoted 3 times. And I do it all with a GLORIOUS beard!”
Still, not every business looks favorably upon beards. It’s easy to understand a few professions. For example, firefighters can have problems with the gas mask sitting properly on their face if they have a beard, making it a safety issue. That makes sense.
On the other hand, there are bad reasons why men aren’t allowed to grow a beard, and those need to be done away with. Why is it frowned upon for men in the financial industry to grow a beard? Why don’t politicians grow beards? Hell, why can’t the New York Yankees grow facial hair? The bottom line is that there is no good reason. It’s all steeped, basically, in (a crappy) tradition. And that’s what Beardbrand founder, Eric Bandholz, has been fighting ever since starting the company.
What should you do for an interview?
First, do not go to any interview looking like a hobo. There are plenty of men with beards (many of them with very long beards) who also look great in a suit and tie. There are plenty of examples on Instagram. Here are just a few:
You see, that’s the great thing about beards that many don’t seem to understand. A beard looks great dressed-down with flannel. A beard looks awesome dressed-up in a suit and tie. And a beard looks good in anything in-between.
But it’s important that you dress appropriately. If you’re looking at landing a corporate-type job, it’s best not to show up in jeans and a flannel. At the same time, if you’re looking to land a lumberjack job, the jeans and flannel would probably be more appropriate than a suit and tie.
I remember going to an interview with a nicely trimmed beard, and a suit and tie. The person interviewing me basically told me I was too dressed up. So the next opportunity I had, I changed my look. I took off my tie, unbuttoned my shirt (yes, basically during the middle of the interview), and BAM! My look was a lot more casual. And yes, I ended up getting the job.
Do your research. If you’re not sure what to show up in for an interview, I would say it’s always better to overdress than under-dress.
Finally, trim your beard. Now, I want to make this clear: there’s a huge difference between shaving and trimming. If you (or a barber) trims your beard, you are basically just tidying it up, it means getting rid of the strays. Trimming makes the beard look uniform. It makes your face mane look neat.
If you do that, dress appropriately, and show up confident in yourself, you’ll have a great chance of walking away as a beardsman with a job offer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
By day, Keith King is a news producer in Dallas; by night, he’s a freelance writer. He runs his own travel blog called KeithKingReport.com. When he is not working you’ll find Keith looking for something new to experience. As for his beard, yeah, it’s growing on him (eh?!). You can follow him (and his beard) on Twitter: @The_KeithKing, IG: KeithKingReport.