Job Interview Beard: To Shave or Not to Shave?

That is the question on the minds of many men as they prepare for job interviews. Okay, maybe not the first question, but it certainly can come up. Traditional wisdom says there is no such thing as a job interview beard, because having any type of facial hair is simply out of the question. Men who worked in corporate America were always expected to be clean-shaven. Luckily for bearded men, there are more companies in corporate America and beyond who are starting to relax their attitudes towards facial hair. Here’s a case for why you should shave, and then some instances when you could get away with a job interview beard.

The Case for Shaving the Job Interview Beard

I personally think that you should shave your beard for a job interview, but not for the “traditional” reasons. A lot of advice you’ll find on the Internet regarding this topic will say you should shave because you don’t want to “raise suspicions” of the interviewer. This sounds like advice out of a book published in the 1950s.

There’s no reason facial hair should be a determiner of one’s character in 2015. If that’s the case, then you don’t want to work for that company anyway.

With that being said, I think you should say no to the job interview beard simply because it eliminates an element of concern. You’re already thinking about dozens of other things in the days leading up to your job interview- why add another stressful unknown when you can just eliminate any concern by shaving?

Think of it as a test of whether or not you really want the job you’re interviewing for. If you’re willing to shave the beard you worked on for months, then you’re ready to commit to this career should you get the job. If you don’t get the job, then you’re already shaved for your next job interview.

The Case for Keeping the Job Interview Beard

The thing about shaving advice for job interviews is that there are a lot of exceptions to the shaving rules. For instance, if you’re an IT person and spend more time with machines than with people, then there’s a high probability that facial hair won’t be much of a concern to the interviewer. It’s generally the business, customer service, and medical sectors that have the strictest facial hair policies. Usually jobs in the technology, engineering, and scientific fields tend to be way more lax.

The case for keeping your beard essentially boils down to what type of job you’re applying for. There really is no other advice you need other than to trust your judgment as to whether or not your industry is open to facial hair.

Do Some Sleuthing

If you’re still on the fence, then here’s a tip you can use. Go on the company’s website and social media profiles, and look for pictures of any employees. All you need to see is one beard. If just one person has a beard, then you know said company doesn’t prejudge candidates based on their facial hair.

What do you think? Would you sacrifice your Movember masterpiece for a chance at your dream job?