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Should you shave for a job interview

This is one of the most asked topics. Should you shave for a job interview?

Being that this is the "Beard Board" of course you are going to hear bias in favor of not shaving for the job interview. But of course, you must decide if shaving is the right thing to do based on many factors, such as how desperate you are to get a job in this field and if it is expected guys must be shaven for the position you seek.

Here are some of the arguments for shaving:

1. Better to be safe than sorry. If, for example, you are interviewing a individual that hates beards for whatever reason, why be disqualified just for having a beard?

2. If the company has an anti-beard policy or frowns upon beards, why reduce your chances of getting an offer?

3. You can always grow the beard once you start working at the company, right? So what is a couple of months of lost time in the long run?

4. It is just hair after all. Money to feed yourself or your family is far more important.

So you might think it is a pretty easy decision. It is hard to argue with these points. But argue, I will, because they frankly don't match up to reality in most circumstances. To that end, 

Here are some reasons Not to shave:

1. Being a bearded man is who you are inside not just out the outside. Creating a false image just for the purposes of an interview and then finding out later that you cannot grow your beard can be very demoralizing and you probably won't do good work for them anyway. Think of it this way, if the company really hates their men bearded and you are bearded most of the time, are you going to be happy selling your soul for this job?

2. Having a beard shows the company you are confident and comfortable with yourself. Of course individuality is not always something employers look for, so you'd have to assess the situation on a case by case basis.

3. A beard helps the interviewer remember you. If you are the only bearded guy from a sea of bare-faced automatons, it could help you distinguish yourself from the rest of them if most other factors are equal.

4. A beard gives an aura of experience. Since most beards make a younger guy look a little older than he is, it probably will only help especially if you are going for an entry-level position.

5. Your beard provides a nice filter to see what the company culture is like. Perhaps they have a blanket anti-beard policy or leave it up to the discretion of the manager. 

Often companies with anti-facial hair policies, unless it can be clearly demonstrated to be a safety issue, tend to be very controlling in all aspects of an employee's personal life. You'll see evidence of this when the boss or HR cannot clearly articulate WHY beards are banned other than "this is the way it has always been" or "it is not professional". Some may disagree, but I truly believe that companies or bosses that justify the forced shave simply because it is not "professional" are not companies that most people are generally happy working for. 

You must ask yourself the question. Do I really want to work for a company or boss that is unwilling to do even a small amount of research to find out if a bearded employee is going to harm their business simply because it is just easier for them to force everyone to shave? 

6. While this may vary by region and position, generally going to an interview bearded is not going to automatically discount you even if there is a legitimate reason for the employees to be shaven, such as a safety issue. It will simply be a topic the interviewer should bring up, along with other question such as your availability and so on. If you truly are willing to shave for the job, then by all means let the interviewer know that when the topic is brought up. I strongly suggest you research the company first to find out if the beard might be a problem, so are at least prepared to discuss the possibility of shaving.

7. Perhaps the most important reason. What if you do not get the job? You have shaved for nothing . Countless times I have heard the same story from guys that took the "safe" way out only to regret it later. I have yet, in all the years on this board, hear of a guy that says he wished he had shaved first. The regret seems to be only for guys that shave.

So what Should you do?

1. First and foremost, keep your beard if it is fully established. That said, if you have a beard that clearly does not look "finished", then shaving it is probably the better option. The one image you do not want to portray is that you were simply too lazy to shave. The critical point here , is to make the beard look INTENTIONAL.

Also worth considering for guys that might be particularly anxious going into the interview. It is critical that you be confident in yourself when interviewing. If wearing a beard compromises that, then shaving is probably something to consider. Will you be more nervous because you're afraid the interviewer will not approve of your beard? Is the job important enough to you that you're willing to shave for the interview and grow the beard back later? If you answer 'yes' to either of those then perhaps shaving is the right thing for you.

2. Consider the position as well as the company culture. Some jobs really have no specific grooming standards, such as IT, construction and other similar trades. Others expect that you will keep a very tidy appearance, such as a customer facing position in a bank, a sales position or a lawyer. Others, like in food service, may expect you to be shaven (which you may be able to challenge) or wear a beard snood. By knowing this information up front, you'll be ready during the interview to discuss any beard-related issues.

3. Prepare for the interview:
- Dress up a little more than you might otherwise. Wear a tie and sport coat or suit even if that's slightly overdressed for the position.
- Get a nice haircut and perhaps do a small beard trim to tidy things up.
- Make sure you don't have any food in your teeth or stains on your clothes. 
- Make sure you don't stink. Body or smoke odors will likely do far more damage to your chances than any beard would.
- Plan to arrive early to make sure you are not late but don't go inside until a few minutes before you are supposed to be there, unless they need you to fill out paperwork first. 
- Based on your research be prepared to ask intelligent questions about the business and position.

4. During the interview:
- Be polite, professional and confident but not arrogant. 
- Avoid acting aggressive or cocky. If your beard might give that type of impression to start with, you don't want to feed into it.
- If the interviewer says you might have to shave, ask him or her if it is for a safety or hygienic reason. Perhaps a more suitable style or trim is an option. If as stated before, the response is vague or evasive, that will tell you a lot about the type of company culture you would be getting into.

5. If the beard topic comes up and shaving is a non-starter for you, be up-front about it. I would also challenge them to tell you their rationale for forced shaving. It might cost you an offer, but as stated earlier, that might be a good thing in the long run.

6. Worst case scenario is you agree to shave before starting the job. Wait until the very day you start your job to shave. Even a written offer can be rescinded. On at least one occasion I recall a guy shaving after the interview because he was told he had to shave for the job. He agreed and shaved right away. He was convinced the job was his, but then a few days later the company chose to go with someone else so he shaved for nothing. 

source : jefffsbeardboard.yuku.com

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