This is one of my favourite topics when it comes to bearding, and one that almost everyone has a strong opinion on. When it comes to the job interview, is a beard detrimental to actually getting that new job? Is it possible to have a great interview with a beard?
If you've spent the past few months (or years!) working on your beard, think twice about picking up that razor in the back of the medicine cabinet. You've worked too long and been too diligent to shave your beard off for a shot at the job. But, there are some steps that you can take to win over even the most old-fashioned employers out there.
There has been a big shift in the way that industry views beards, from top-level execs, to athletes, to that guy in IT that sometimes brings muffins, more and more people are breaking the mold and having the confidence to go bearded. It is no longer a faux-pas in most corporate circles to grow and maintain a beard.
But what if the industry doesn't accept it?
This can be a bit of a touchy subject, but in my mind can be broken into two easy-to-distinguish categories: safety-related and culture-related.
There are some professions out there where it is simply a safety risk, either for you, or someone else, to grow out your beard. On the Alberta rigs, for example, some safety equipment like particle masks or face shields won't work properly with a beard on your face to break the seal. This, unfortunately might be the end of your beard, at least during the weeks you spend on the rigs. Depending on the situation, however, a mustache might still be a great option...
However, on the other hand, the culture-related beard rejection is something that can be worked around. There was a time that almost no professions accepted beards, and this was usually caused by a relatively antiquated view on what beardsmen were like and how they acted.
But today, things are different. Odds are that views on beards in your profession have changed since your dad was your age, and it might be your time to be the first guy in the office to rock that beard!
Are there things I can do with my beard to better my chances?
Sure! One of the easiest things to do to please even the most "traditional" employers is to clean up your beard silhouette with a pair of scissors, and ensure that your cheek-line is well defined - a safety or straight razor works great here.
The idea here is to make sure that your beard is symmetrical, neat and tidy, and to show that you take pride in how you appear. If you show that you're willing to put the effort in to maintain your glorious beard, your chances automatically increase. In practice, this shouldn't take more than a few minutes, and can easily be done the day of the interview!
A pair of good scissors and a razor are the only tools you really need to get this done.
If your beard is longer, it makes good sense to use a round brush and a hairdryer to ensure that your beard looks top-notch, and doesn't look like you just rolled out of bed! A quick once-over with your favourite Beard Balm will ensure that those whiskers stay where you want them during the interview.
What should I wear?
First, do not go into your interview looking like you just got out of the family's favourite board game
Take note of the 'dress code' of the office, however informal it may be, and use that to your benefit.
My best advice, if you're worried about your beard possibly affecting your performance, would be to dress slightly up from what you're used to. This could mean wearing a tie when you otherwise would not, or going for a slightly more tailored look when you pick out your suit. This will reinforce that you take your appearance seriously, and are willing to put in the extra effort to maintain it. Your employer will definitely take notice.
If you follow these tips, and show up to the interview confident in the preparation that you put in, you're all the more likely to walk out of the office as a beardsman with a job offer in hand
Thanks for reading, and don't forget to share with your favourite beardsmen!