In recent times, more companies have started to become open to various forms of individual expression. However, some still draw the line at tattoos, piercings, and, more importantly, beards. If you’re actively applying for jobs and have received multiple interview calls, you’re probably thinking, “should I shave for an interview?”
Deciding to shave for an interview comes down to the type of job you’re going for and if the company has a policy against it.
In this guide, we’re going to go over all of the essentials of shaving for jobs and what factors you should consider. If an office does allow a beard, we have also provided some tips for preparing your beard for an interview.
But first, we need to answer your questions, should you shave for an Interview?
Should You Shave Your Beard and Mustache For a Job Interview?
Shaving your beard and mustache for a job interview can be more appropriate. It can be mandatory when you’re applying for jobs where you have to deal with customers. It’s also a safe approach when you’re not sure about a company’s policy on beards.
Many companies continue to have more relaxed dress codes. But others will have very strict ones where your approval can hinge on whether or not you have a beard. These jobs will usually be ones relating to the military or emergency services.
In creative or laid-back industries like advertising, design, or tech, having a well-groomed beard may be acceptable or even fashionable, as long as it looks neat and tidy.
In industries like sales, law enforcement, or customer services, a conservative and professional appearance is often expected, and having a beard may be perceived as unprofessional or unkempt. The US Army strictly prohibits keeping a beard unless someone keeps it because of a religious requirement.
As you can see, different jobs treat your wonderful facial hair differently. Therefore, if you are not sure about the company culture or the job requirements, it is best to err on the side of caution and opt for a clean-shaven look for the interview. This will help you make a good first impression and show that you take the interview seriously.
How to Determine If Shaving Is Required For A Job Interview?
As mentioned earlier, there are some industries that have specific standards for beards. Therefore, there’s no room for negotiations there.
However, there are industries, such as sales, retail, banking, and video game development, where the employer sets the dress code. In that case, you need to put your detective cap on and do some research.
1. Company Culture and Policies
A firm will usually have a completely unique culture where it can allow for a lot more individual expression. You can usually find out about the company’s culture on its social media or even on its website.
Companies take a great deal of pride in allowing their employees to express themselves. They will often tell applicants what they expect with the dress code and if beards are allowed. Of course, the company culture can even make a few exceptions for certain forms of expression like beards, if it relates to religious beliefs.
2. Personal Beliefs
If you have religious beliefs that do not allow you to trim or shave your beard, you don’t have to worry. Companies will often make an exception for individuals with such beliefs, just make sure that you properly comb your beard and make it look presentable.
In other cases, even if you don’t have any specific religious beliefs, but still have a beard for personal beliefs, you can simply tell the interviewer. If your resume is good enough, you will not run into any issues by following your personal beliefs.
3. The Job Description
When wondering, “should I shave for an Interview,” you should take a closer look at the job description. Companies that don’t want facial hair will never sugarcoat it and will often state that as a requirement in bold. So if you’re lucky, you won’t have to go very deep down the rabbit hole to see if you should shave.
Again, even if the job description mandates a shave, but you keep one for personal or religious reasons, you should still apply. Interviewers will often allow it if you are the right candidate for the job.
4. Job Types
While the company might not have any specific dress code regulations, having a beard might be a downside for the specific role you’re applying for.
A general rule to remember is that shaving is always a plus if you’re dealing with customers or clients. While it’s not always a strict requirement, some types of jobs may have expectations for a clean-shaven appearance. Here are five examples:
- Military: Military personnel is typically required to maintain a clean-shaven appearance for uniformity and to ensure gas masks and other equipment fit properly.
- Law enforcement: Police officers and other law enforcement personnel may be required to shave to maintain a professional appearance, and to make it easier to wear protective equipment such as gas masks.
- Sales: In some sales positions, a clean-shaven appearance may be preferred to present a professional and polished image to clients.
- Corporate jobs: Some corporations and businesses may prefer a well-groomed, professional appearance for their employees, which could include a clean-shaven face. This may be especially true in industries such as finance, law, or consulting.
- Food Service: If you work in a restaurant or food service industry, it’s common for employers to require a clean-shaven face or well-groomed facial hair to maintain hygienic standards.
Here are 5 types of industries where shaving is not a requirement:
- Technology: In the technology industry, many companies have relaxed dress codes and allow employees in tech positions to have facial hair. This includes tech giants like Google and Facebook, as well as smaller startups.
- Creative: The creative industry, including advertising, graphic design, and film, often embraces a more casual and artistic culture, which may include allowing employees to keep facial hair.
- Healthcare: While some healthcare professions, such as surgeons, require a clean-shaven face for practical reasons, other roles in healthcare, such as therapists and administrative staff, typically do not have strict grooming requirements.
- Education: In many educational settings, such as universities and colleges, facial hair is not an issue as long as it is well-groomed and does not present a safety hazard.
- Trades: In some trades, such as carpentry or plumbing, facial hair is not a concern as long as it does not pose a safety hazard or interfere with the use of protective equipment.
5. Size and Age of the Company
If a company is small or fairly new, its HR policies will not be well established. Furthermore, they will usually accept individuals based on their skills and overlook their choice of facial hair. But shaving could be necessary regardless of the company’s age if you are applying for a client-facing job.
How To Find Out Company Culture And Policies About Shaving
It’s important to know the process of finding out the company culture and policies about shaving correctly before your interview. Here are some tips for finding out the company culture and policy about shaving:
- Check the company’s social media, including LinkedIn and Instagram. Check out images of their employees or of their other social events.
- You can even check the individual profiles of employees to see if they have beards.
- You should also check if the people with beards are religious since they might just be the exception to the rule.
Following the research, you should be able to decide by yourself about shaving or not for the interview.
Pros & Cons of Not Shaving Before an Interview
After doing all of your research, you found that the company has pretty laid-back regulations for beards. According to them, as long as it’s well kept, they don’t mind. But there are a few pros and cons of shaving for an interview that you need to consider.
Pros of Shaving
- You have one less thing to worry about when you go for the interview since you could mess up your beard on your way there.
- Some people still believe that a clean-shaven face looks more presentable, so you can make a good first impression.
- It’s the safest option since you don’t have to do any research before going for the interview.
Cons of Shaving
- You could cut yourself right before the interview, which can be a little embarrassing to have to explain.
- You might have missed your chance to stand out since most applicants will have shaved.
- You will lose the chance to express yourself.
Tips for Preparing Your Beard Before a Job Interview
If you’re in a lucky situation where the position you’re applying for has a sweet spot for beards, then you don’t have to shave. However, you now have to make sure that you look presentable to your interviewer. Here are a few tips to prepare your beard for an interview.
- Choose a beard style that is suitable for an interview and also looks good on you.
- Keep your mustaches short so it doesn’t cover your upper lip.
- Skip the long beard and make sure the hair is evenly distributed on your cheeks and chin.
- You should trim the neck and cheek lines of your beard.
- Use oil to condition your beard to avoid beardruff and itchy skin.
- Let a professional barber set and trim your beard once for your interview.
Is a stubble beard unprofessional?
Stubble can usually look unkempt and doesn’t fit well with the professional office look. If you want to grow out your beard, you can try to do it during your vacation. But for an interview, you’re better off with a clean shave.
Is a mustache unprofessional for an Interview?
Exaggerated mustaches that cover your upper lip can be less favorable for an interview. Trim it down, or make sure it looks absolutely perfect, that is if the company allows for a mustache in the first place.
Is a short, neatly trimmed beard a suitable option for a job interview?
A short, neatly trimmed beard is suitable for a job interview in companies that do not have a strict dress code. They are much easier to maintain and can give you a more professional look.
So, Is Shaving Your Beard Important For an Interview?
The decision to shave for a job interview depends on the company culture and the job role. You can find out if the company you’re applying for allows beards by checking their social media or their website. If in doubt, it is best to go for a clean-shaven look. And if they do allow beards, make sure you trim it down, oil and brush it, and generally keep it presentable.