Recently I grew a beard. Not so much out of laziness but curiosity as to how I would look wearing one. I work in a casual business environment so sporting facial hair doesn’t raise many eyebrows, however in past environments and with different superiors, facial hair was frowned upon. Even now, after posting videos representing our business, our business partners have commented that perhaps their conservative customers may not appreciate such an “un-conservative” appearance. Translation, “Lose the beard, Ryder!”
The question then is, when interviewing for a job, are beards acceptable? How about high heels, colored shirts, short dresses, or piercings for that matter?
My previous boss started out in IBM back in the 50’s. Everyone was required to wear a dark suit, white shirt, and dress shoes. If you showed up to an interview with a beard or loafers you might as well skip to the hand shake at the end and turn right back around. You were wasting your time. Beards and loafers represented laziness.
Today perhaps we aren’t as strict but when attending an interview, dressing your best is probably the safest bet and beards or even goatees might not make the cut. In her post, “Dressing for Success“, Alison Doyle provides tips on how to dress and says it is probably safer to be overdressed than underdressed. Fifty-Five percent of another person’s impression of you is based on your appearance.
So put your best foot forward and dress professionally. No one will ever fault you for that. Once you get the job then maybe you can regrow that beard, or put on your tennis shoes, or plug in your nose ring, or spray on your perfume, or put on your favorite Hawaiian shirt.
As for the fate of my beard, I’m still undecided, but I won’t lose any sleep over losing it.
Practice interviewing online before the big day or see how you look on camera with your beard! This is a complimentary service for job seekers. You can even share the interview with friends and family or on your social networks! Hone your skills and nail the interview!