Should You Shave Your Beard for an Interview?

Should You Shave Your Beard for an Interview, smartly dressed man with beard reading a newspaper, bearded man, bearded in in sunglasses, man reading the newspaper, beards for business

This is a tricky one.

On the one hand, you love your beard.

Then on the other, you probably could really do with that new job.

So the question is…

Do you take the hit on your man pride by shaving off your beard, effectively playing it safe – or do you go all guns all out – bearded, confident and dressed on point?

Ultimately, we think there are three major factors at play that you have to think about:

i) What does your interviewer think of your beard (and beards in general)?

Beards have become far more socially acceptable in recent times, that’s a given since the recent beard booms and what seems to be the undying trend.

Unfortunately, there is still a slight, albeit unfair stigma still attached to them. The typical one of course being – that a guy who sports a beard is lazy, unprofessional given that he can’t even be

bothered to shave. Harsh and largely untrue given that a good beard takes a lot more upkeep than just shaving every few days.

Of course, you won’t really know if your interviewer likes beards or not, but if you happen to know who you are going to be interviewed by, this could give you a little heads up.

It might be worth hopping on to your laptop or smartphone and do some classic ‘social media stalking’, checking out LinkedIn, Facebook – you know the drill and try and figure out if he is sporting one. If he is, it’s a good sign, he’s on your side. No beard? It could go either way.

The less risky route of course is to go shaven, if this is something that concerns you we will explain a little later why you should probably reach for the razor.

ii) Does it fit in with the ‘business culture’?

In some industries facial hair is just far more widely accepted.

Finance and law, it is almost an unspoken rule that wearing facial fur is pretty much forbidden. As with most things, there are exceptions to the rule but you best bet that those guys who sport their beards in such industries are incredibly well-kempt (again, this is something we will get into a little later).

Then there are industries that pretty much require shaven faces for health and safety reasons due to large industrial machinery or where they are a little frowned upon such as in food preparation areas (where they require you to wear beard nets and trust us on this – it just ain’t a good look).

Then there are much more beard friendly industries such as gaming design and development, photography and so on. We tend to find that with most creative jobs, they almost go hand in hand.

Ultimately, what we are trying to do is to encourage you to get your research on. Head to LinkedIn and check out the company you are applying to and other competing companies, and ask yourself does it look like many of their employees are bearded?

If so, take it is a thumbs up.

If not – it’s probably something you ought to think about.

iii) What do you think of your beard?

Of course, we know you love your beard.

What we really mean here, is do you think ultimately your beard will be working against you or not?

Whether it ‘actually’ does or not in reality, what you don’t want to happen is your subconscious screwing up your interview because you are stressing that the beard is not working in your favour.

If you are cool with it and don’t think there are any issues to be had, then that’s awesome. Keep that glorious man mane of yours!

However, if you think there potentially ‘might be’ an issue whether in fact there is or isn’t,, it could end up negatively impacting on your interview performance. In which case, we recommend you play it safe and get it shaved off. At least that way, your focus is 100% on the interview on hand.

That said, if that is the case though, we would raise the following question to ask yourself:

Can you go without your beard for the sake of your job?

I’m afraid, only you can decide that one.

iv) If you’re keeping the beard for the interview

First off, that’s awesome! We know it takes a bit of guts and we tip our hats off to you for that.

Now if you do decide to keep your beard and go ahead with the interview, you need it looking its best.

Even if your interviewer likes beards and is a beard friendly job – you still can’t turn up with it being scraggly with stray hairs sticking out all over the place. Tidy it up, apply some good beard goodies and have it looking its absolute best.

Here’s a quick step by step breakdown to have your beard looking awesome:

  1. Comb out your beard.

It’s a given, but the quickest way of dealing with tricky beard knots and generally making your beard looking neater and fuller is using a proper beard comb to help bring some order and get it all into place.

  1. Splash on some beard oil or a beard balm.

Make use of a high quality beard oil by thoroughly massaging it into your beard and skin to help moisturise and conditioning as well as to give you a great smelling odor. If you are still struggling with flyaway beard hairs, reach out for a styling balm that will help to give you some hold and control over your beard.

  1. Brush the beard and shape it up.

The final touch is just to help distribute the oils that you have applied and then helped to get your man scruff in order.

If your beard is looking particularly out of place we recommend heading to your local (and trusted) beard barber, they will help shape it up – take care of any neckbeard for you and ultimately give you a style that suits both your beard and your face. All you have to do now, is carry out the few steps we’ve just mentioned.

Like we say, it’s your call.

Play it safe and get a shave or stick it to the man and face that interview with a great luscious face forest.

Either way let us know how you got on.

A Cut Above: Dress to Impress in Any Interview

 

Man in suit, what to wear for a job interview, job interview clothes man, man in navy suit, gentleman in navy suit, going for an interview

The pressure is on. You’ve found your dream job and landed yourself an interview. Your new task? Impress the interviewer and prove you are worthy of the role. Easy? Not so much.

Interviews are intimidating. You’re sat in front of people whose sole purpose is to judge you and your abilities. Unplanned questions, spontaneous testing, unfamiliar faces, indistinguishable rooms — the whole process is unpredictable. Preparation may be the key to excelling in an interview, but with so many uncertainties, it can feel like you’re entering a minefield.

Thankfully, there is one thing you have complete control over: your look. ‘Dress to impress’ or ‘dress for success’ may seem like tired cliches, but like all good cliches, they are grounded in fact.

Dress for success: the facts behind the cliche

First impressions are important. An average interview may last around 30-45 minutes, but your interviewer will have already made their initial judgements about you within the first seven seconds. It may sound unlikely or unfair, but it’s the way the human brain functions. We’re a visual species. Have you ever come across a dark alley and immediately made a detour? Or decided against buying that Gucci watch from a market stall? We all use visual appearance to make snap judgements.

Your interviewer is no different. They will base their first judgements on your immediate appearance. A dirty, ill-fitting suit suggests that you’re lazy and disorganised, whilst a sharp, tailored suit suggests that you’re smart, well put-together, successful — regardless of if this is true or not.

Remember: you only have one chance to make a first impression. The rest of your interview will be an opportunity for an interviewer to test their judgements. It’s far easier to reaffirm positive assumptions than to try and disprove negative ones. Don’t believe it? In a survey by Adecco, they found that 75% of hiring managers identified bad fashion choices as the top mistake made in interviews.

Fake it ‘til you make it: the lab coat effect

Would you feel more comforted by a doctor wearing a lab coat than a hoodie? Or feel more safe with a policeman in full gear instead of jeans and a t-shirt? You’re not alone. Studies conducted in the 20th century found that certain clothes inspire trust and faith in a person’s ability. Clearly, fashion informs our perceptions of intelligence, capability and reliability. But, did you know that your fashion choices can have the same positive effect on you?

A study at Northwestern University found that when people wore a lab coat, they performed better in science tests, and when donning an artist’s smock, became more creative. The conclusion? Our clothes change our perceptions of ourselves. If you dress like a boss, you’ll trick yourself into feeling like a boss. Asserting confidence and assurance is essential in an interview. So, try faking it ‘til you make it!

Interview clothes basics: 6 fail-safe fashion tips

Every interview is different. We no longer live in a time when a black suit is the only appropriate outfit to wear for an interview. Tech companies and start-ups have changed business fashion. So, it’s important to take the time to do the research and find out what the company’s dress code is.

Still, there are a few fail-safe tips that you can apply to any interview. Follow these six steps to give yourself the best chance of nailing your interview and getting your dream job:

 

  • A tailored suit is the only way: A poor-fitting suit is never a good look. If you’re buying your suit from a one-size-fits-all high street shop, chances are it doesn’t fit properly. You don’t have to go to a tailor or spend a fortune; there are cost-effective online tailors to check out. Invest in a suit that really fits and you’ll always look your best.
  • Breathable fabric: No-one blames you for getting flustered in an interview, but no-one wants to see sweat stains. Invest in a good shirt made from a breathable material like wool or cotton to keep those sweat patches at bay.
  • Colour code: Bright, garish colours belong on the beach, not at an interview. Keep it simple with neutral colours: white shirts, tanned shoes, understated trousers and jacket. Remember, you’re the main show, not that statement shirt.
  • Get grooming: No matter how dapper your suit or how polished your shoes, dirty nails and scruffy facial hair will leave a bad taste in the interviewers mouth. Before an interview, go for a haircut at a trusted barber, clean shave or tidy up your facial hair, cut and buffer your nails. It’s the small things that count.
  • Make it your own: Accessorise your outfits. You need to stand out from the crowd in an interview. Simple accessorising is the easiest way to do this. A smart tie, customised cufflinks or a leather watch will add a unique flourish to your look.

Stay calm and collected. Follow these steps and remember the rule: ‘dress for success’.

Anthony Horner is the director of Empire Outlet: a luxury menswear company that provides high-quality suits and accessories for affordable prices that will not break the bank. Empire Outlet operates online and serves customers around the world.

How to Rock at a Job Interview

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A guest blog by Peter Minkoff.

The state of current economy is making the whole looking-for-a-job-thing even more stressful than it already is; the fact we can be the best among the best and still either not be considered at all or just get on board with the company part time is incredibly nerve-wracking and foul. Still, we all want that job and we’ll do anything to get it, right?

Given there are so many great candidates out there fighting for the position you know belongs to you, you need to nail that job interview better than anyone else!

We are giving you a few great tips that will definitely stir you in the right direction.

First impressions are everything

When you show up at an interview, the first impression you air will stuck with your potential employee; this is why you need to give your best to look your best!

You probably know by now what classifies as corporate fashion and what doesn’t, so we’ll spare you the advice like “don’t wear your shirt unbuttoned, come drunk, have your beard un-groomed and wear too much perfume” – you’ve already mastered it. Instead, let’s focus on what you should do:

  • Make sure you are showered and well groomed
  • Wear a custom tailored suit that fits your size and shape
  • Carry a briefcase or any bag that fits your wallet, notebook, tablet, phone, handkerchief, pack of gums, and other essentials you need. Carrying it all around in your pockets or hands is probably cool enough for street, not the office
  • Have your shoes cleaned

Channel your inner professional Prince Charming

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While being professional is the first thing to be when we are talking about getting a job, being charming is that one thing you have to pull off right in order to get your employer’s attention. Whoever’s hiring, they are absolutely looking for a skilled person for the job they are offering, but they are also looking for someone whose energy is positive and upbeat, and someone who is pleasant to be around during long office hours.

The important thing to remember, though – there’s a thin line between being charming and flirting, so watch your step! You don’t want to a) be dismissed immediately for being inappropriate; and, b) be sued for harassment.

If you get this right, you won’t be riding off into the sunset on your white horse, but you may as well be driving to work and back home (because finally you’ll be able to afford a car!).

Play the optimistic card

Some of the trickiest and most absurd questions in an interview you can get are “why do you want this job”, “what makes you the person for this job” or “where do you see yourself in five years”. While the logical answer to these questions is “I need this job because I need money to live and I have no idea what’s going to happen in five years”, you have to be a bit sneaky about it.

Instead of being brutally honest, be smart – tell your future employee that you are the person to hire because you are resourceful, patient, smart and learn fast. Explain that you are open for criticism and that you see it as a constructive input rather than mean critique. Emphasize your desire for professional growth and highlight the fact you’ve got no problems with authority, team work or working on your own. Also, tell them you work amazingly under pressure.

Get it?

Offer ideas, surprise everyone

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Most candidates that do interviews come with a polished CV and expect it to be enough. Wrong! While your CV does need to be polished and updated, that’s not quite satisfactory; prior to going to the interview, do a little background search on the company and see where they are at currently with their projects and prospects. If you feel there’s something you could knowledgeably comment on, or an idea you could offer to make the company prosper – then do so. Your future employee will be amazed with the initiative and engagement.

Good luck, we hope you’ll nail this one!