Huggy

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Are interviewees seriously expected to have a completely shaven face and tight/short hairstyle?

I have worked in a very professional setting for the past seven years and I make a serious effort in maintaining my personal appearance. It amazes me to think that having some stubble and medium-long styled hair could be potentially looked at as a negative.

Working for dozens and dozens of physicians, I do not see any of them conforming to this standard. Nor do I see any of the students from medical school websites following this trend. So why is SDN so set on this being the best approach?
 
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summergirl

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Because they won't kick you out of med school or revoke your medical license for your haircut, but they will deduct points from your interview performance evaluation if you wear a weird hairstyle. I have full intentions of dying my hair purple after I get accepted but there is no way in hell I'm showing up to a med school interview in purple hair.
 
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Huggy

Huggy

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Because they won't kick you out of med school or revoke your medical license for your haircut, but they will deduct points for your interview performance if you wear a weird hairstyle. I have full intentions of dying my hair purple after I get accepted but there is no one in hell I'm going to a med school interview in purple hair.
My problem is that everyone on this site is under the impression that there are only two options with hairstyles:
  1. Rock a crew cut, with a shaved face and look like you haven't hit puberty
  2. Have some outrageous, 70s glam band hairstyle looking like you're ready to join Motley Crue
 
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Crayola227

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can someone link in the man-bun thread we had recently??? that was a hoot
 

Pagan FutureDoc

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Neat, clean and professional...if hair and clothing can't be all that then it's not appropriate
And remember when in doubt go for a more conservative look
 

Kurk

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I'd go clean shaven myself or I'd rock a "Count Dooku" style beard if I was old
 

LivingLikeLarry

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Might as well just shave - no interviewer is going to think "Oh snap this guy's beard is awesome, he's so in," but there's always a small chance that the interviewer will be more conservative and have a negative opinion of it.

I also always usually rock the beard, but have recently shaved for interviews. Razor burn inbound...
 
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Kurk

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Might as well just shave - no interviewer is going to think "Oh snap this guy's beard is awesome, he's so in," but there's always a small chance that the interviewer will be more conservative and have a negative opinion of it.

I also always usually rock the beard, but have recently shaved for interviews. Razor burn inbound...
I compliment your username
 

redferrari

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Shave for the interview. My school is really relaxed and informal, and my class rocks some awesome beards and unique hairstyles. Yet on interview day, I remember everybody being clean-shaven and with a conservative haircut. Fake it 'til you make it.
 

CoffeeMug13

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Hm, I've been thinking about this. I have a full beard (probably an inch or so long) that I keep trimmed and clean. All of my pictures that I sent in have the beard - if I'm offered an interview then it seems likely they're ok with it already.
 

gyngyn

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Hm, I've been thinking about this. I have a full beard (probably an inch or so long) that I keep trimmed and clean. All of my pictures that I sent in have the beard - if I'm offered an interview then it seems likely they're ok with it already.
Screening may be done by someone who never saw the picture.
Although there is a range of acceptable grooming choices, there is no reason to even have this as a variable (unless it is a religious mandate). It is never a plus.
 

Lawper

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I don't know which is more disturbing, the beard or the burgundy dress shirt.
I wonder if you would allow for certain beard styles presented in this chart :oldman::oldman:

 
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FutureD.O

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I wonder if you would allow for certain beard styles presented in this chart :oldman::oldman:

This chart really opened my eyes to the idea that hitler single handedly caused his signature mustache to forever be associated with "disastrous" and psychotic individuals. I've never seen anyone rock a hitler stache in my life even though it wouldn't look half bad on plenty of people lol.
 

Kurk

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I would probably go in looking like any of these:
 

gyngyn

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I wonder if you would allow for certain beard styles presented in this chart :oldman::oldman:

It's not me.
A significant number of reviewers view facial hair askance and especially dislike "scruff."
They see it as disrespectful. I hear things like: "I guess their medical school interview wasn't important enough to shave."
 
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Dr. Stalker

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For interviews this past cycle I e-mailed the interviewer coordinator or the @institution.edu e-mail to make a note on my file that I keep facial hair for religious purposes. I have a well groomed, short, thick, chin strap in lieu of a full beard, but I made sure to have it known to all admin and faculty at the school of medicine I keep it for religion and not for style, esp because i know a lot of people do keep these things for style! Its just more comfy than a long itchy ol' beard!

Unless its for religion or something, I'd suggest OP you shave clean cut.
 

chibaddie

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For interviews this past cycle I e-mailed the interviewer coordinator or the @institution.edu e-mail to make a note on my file that I keep facial hair for religious purposes. I have a well groomed, short, thick, chin strap in lieu of a full beard, but I made sure to have it known to all admin and faculty at the school of medicine I keep it for religion and not for style, esp because i know a lot of people do keep these things for style! Its just more comfy than a long itchy ol' beard!

Unless its for religion or something, I'd suggest OP you shave clean cut.
Sad day.
 

dioxane

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i have every intention of wearing my normal style of facial hair--something slightly past a 5 o'clock shadow. the hair grows very evenly on my face and makes me look 2-3 yrs older, which i think is a plus since i'm a young applicant. just do what you feel comfortable with. unless it's unkempt or a ridiculous style the interviewer won't think twice about it
 
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If beards/long hair are there for religious purposes, that doesn't affect the decision right? There was a Sikh man I interviewed with who had the coolest turban and he had a (small) sword which he said was mandatory by his religion.
 

gyngyn

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If beards/long hair are there for religious purposes, that doesn't affect the decision right? There was a Sikh man I interviewed with who had the coolest turban and he had a (small) sword which he said was mandatory by his religion.
A religious reason for a beard, hairstyle, scarf or other item is perfectly fine.
 
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dioxane

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chances are there are 100 more important things than a beard to be worried about in an interview. i'd be surprised if they even paid note to facial hair. i shall report back with my findings after conducting my experiments/interviews donning a beard
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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chances are there are 100 more important things than a beard to be worried about in an interview. i'd be surprised if they even paid note to facial hair. i shall report back with my findings after conducting my experiments/interviews donning a beard
Well, considering @gyngyn said that he has heard reviewers discussing applicants' facial hair in a negative light, I'd say there are probably some reviewers who don't like them. Even if they are in the minority, why would you risk getting one of them?
 

Atom612

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chances are there are 100 more important things than a beard neon suit to be worried about in an interview. i'd be surprised if they even paid note to facial hair neon suits. i shall report back with my findings after conducting my experiments/interviews donning a beard neon suit
For men, suits in general are designed to draw attention to the face. At a professional interview, you can be sure that your interviewer will notice if you have facial hair. Like it or not, formal and professional settings have traditions, etiquette, and rules that are expected to be followed. Can you get an acceptance with facial hair? Sure, you could likely even get an acceptance with a neon suit if your performance was spot-on and had the numbers. But you'd be getting an acceptance *despite* doing so. It would still be an ultimate negative. Why assume such a risk over something that will grow back? Play the game to win, grow the beard later.
 
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dioxane

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Well, considering @gyngyn said that he has heard reviewers discussing applicants' facial hair in a negative light, I'd say there are probably some reviewers who don't like them. Even if they are in the minority, why would you risk getting one of them?
i think i just want to believe that the process would be less biased/superficial than to rely on physical traits as a deciding factor in admissions. surely if one seemed unsuited to be a doctor because they dress completely inappropriately or didn't seem to be taking the process seriously it'd make sense, but a beard seems innocuous to me
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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i think i just want to believe that the process would be less biased/superficial than to rely on physical traits as a deciding factor in admissions. surely if one seemed unsuited to be a doctor because they dress completely inappropriately or didn't seem to be taking the process seriously it'd make sense, but a beard seems innocuous to me
I think it's less outwardly superficial than it is just simple personal bias. If a person views a beard or longer hair as being inappropriate in a professional setting, applicants who come in with those styles are going to automatically come across as unprofessional. Why risk that when clean shaven and a shorter hair cut are universally accepted? You can grow your hair or beard out after you celebrate your acceptance.
 

dioxane

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I cant wrap my head around all these "interview clothes" and "interview hair" threads. Are people this ******ed that they cant go to a barber, shave, and suit up before an interview?
inappropriate use of the word ******ed. might want to work on your sensitivity before interviews rather than insulting others
 
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dioxane

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I think it's less outwardly superficial than it is just simple personal bias. If a person views a beard or longer hair as being inappropriate in a professional setting, applicants who come in with those styles are going to automatically come across as unprofessional. Why risk that when clean shaven and a shorter hair cut are universally accepted? You can grow your hair or beard out after you celebrate your acceptance.
i agree with your sentiment. i think you're probably right that some people may view it unfavorably too. in a similar sense, though, what if the interviewer takes offense to my liberal views? i won't moderate those in an attempt to appease someone. rather, i'd stick with what i genuinely feel and believe in. a beard is far from a social statement i'm trying to make, but i won't create a false image of myself to "enhance" my chances of getting into a school
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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i agree with your sentiment. i think you're probably right that some people may view it unfavorably too. in a similar sense, though, what if the interviewer takes offense to my liberal views? i won't moderate those in an attempt to appease someone. rather, i'd stick with what i genuinely feel and believe in. a beard is far from a social statement i'm trying to make, but i won't create a false image of myself to "enhance" my chances of getting into a school
I don't think those fall into the same category. Appearance is generally something both sides of the aisle can agree on. Your personal views on something don't really need to be compromised if you can logically support them. Obviously, you should avoid bringing up really controversial topics, but if they ask you about something like healthcare, it seems like the goal is to assess your ability to choose a position and defend it rationally more than to agree with the interviewer.
 

Stagg737

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i think i just want to believe that the process would be less biased/superficial than to rely on physical traits as a deciding factor in admissions. surely if one seemed unsuited to be a doctor because they dress completely inappropriately or didn't seem to be taking the process seriously it'd make sense, but a beard seems innocuous to me
Don't be naive. Looks matter, whether it's because the interviewer is judging you personally because of it or because they know patients are biased and will judge you, it will matter. I went to an adcom presentation where the guy said he went so far as to look at and judge people based on their shoes. What looks attractive or good in social settings or in certain professions is different from what is considered "professional" dress and grooming. You don't have to be a robot, but you should definitely follow the basics. For guys, that means be clean shaven or have well-groomed/trimmed beards and mustaches, have a professional looking haircut (this may vary based on location), wear an appropriately colored and tailored suit, and don't be flashy. Also, if you've got a tattoo, piercing, or some other body modification then remove it or cover it up as much as possible.

There's going to be bias whether it's warranted or not, and there's no point in potentially handicapping yourself to prove a point on what may be one of the most important days of your life thus far.
 

GrumpyGus

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It's not me.
A significant number of reviewers view facial hair askance and especially dislike "scruff."
They see it as disrespectful. I hear things like: "I guess their medical school interview wasn't important enough to shave."
lol this is so silly. I sport a very short but well groomed and clean beard 100% of the time. I sport it in the hospital, at my full time job, when I shadow, etc. It's literally who I am. There is absolutely nothing disrespectful of hair on my face if it's well groomed.

And honestly it's incredible that as physicians you think that-- My dermatologist explicitly told me to never shave with a razor for acne purposes. Yet, according to you, it's just not important enough for me to shave. Should I be bringing an MD note with me to my interviews?
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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lol this is so silly. I sport a very short but well groomed and clean beard 100% of the time. I sport it in the hospital, at my full time job, when I shadow, etc. It's literally who I am. There is absolutely nothing disrespectful of hair on my face if it's well groomed.
Your beard is who you are? Do you have it for religious reasons or something?

And honestly it's incredible that as physicians you think that-- My dermatologist explicitly told me to never shave with a razor for acne purposes. Yet, according to you, it's just not important enough for me to shave. Should I be bringing an MD note with me to my interviews?
You're telling me that you don't make preliminary judgements on people based on their appearance when you first see them? If shaving will cause you to break out, don't shave. Just make sure the beard looks nice. Obviously not everyone can just shave their beard for an interview. But if you have no good reason not to, why wouldn't you?
 

dioxane

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You're telling me that you don't make preliminary judgements on people based on their appearance when you first see them? If shaving will cause you to break out, don't shave. Just make sure the beard looks nice. Obviously not everyone can just shave their beard for an interview. But if you have no good reason not to, why wouldn't you?
i look 17 without a beard, 23 with. i want my interviewer to perceive me as a mature individual, and believe the beard would help.

Don't be naive. Looks matter, whether it's because the interviewer is judging you personally because of it or because they know patients are biased and will judge you, it will matter. I went to an adcom presentation where the guy said he went so far as to look at and judge people based on their shoes. What looks attractive or good in social settings or in certain professions is different from what is considered "professional" dress and grooming. You don't have to be a robot, but you should definitely follow the basics. For guys, that means be clean shaven or have well-groomed/trimmed beards and mustaches, have a professional looking haircut (this may vary based on location), wear an appropriately colored and tailored suit, and don't be flashy. Also, if you've got a tattoo, piercing, or some other body modification then remove it or cover it up as much as possible.

There's going to be bias whether it's warranted or not, and there's no point in potentially handicapping yourself to prove a point on what may be one of the most important days of your life thus far.
i have a well groomed, tight-to-the-face beard (after approxiately a week of growing it) and i think it looks professional

lol this is so silly. I sport a very short but well groomed and clean beard 100% of the time. I sport it in the hospital, at my full time job, when I shadow, etc. It's literally who I am. There is absolutely nothing disrespectful of hair on my face if it's well groomed.

And honestly it's incredible that as physicians you think that-- My dermatologist explicitly told me to never shave with a razor for acne purposes. Yet, according to you, it's just not important enough for me to shave. Should I be bringing an MD note with me to my interviews?
i fully agree with you. rock on buddy
 
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GrumpyGus

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Your beard is who you are? Do you have it for religious reasons or something?



You're telling me that you don't make preliminary judgements on people based on their appearance when you first see them? If shaving will cause you to break out, don't shave. Just make sure the beard looks nice. Obviously not everyone can just shave their beard for an interview. But if you have no good reason not to, why wouldn't you?
Why does religion have to be on a higher plane of importance than personal values or personal comfort?

And I do have an excellent reason-- it's called cystic acne. You know, the type of condition you're not supposed to take a blade to your face for. My point is that these interviewers have no idea why applicants do what they do and to judge someone for something as benign as a beard-- esp since physicians and any other profession-- has them ALL the time is dumb.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Why does religion have to be on a higher plane of importance than personal values or personal comfort?
Because it seems a little strange to say that your beard is who you are just because it's comfortable.

And I do have an excellent reason-- it's called cystic acne. You know, the type of condition you're not supposed to take a blade to your face for. My point is that these interviewers have no idea why applicants do what they do and to judge someone for something as benign as a beard-- esp since physicians and any other profession-- has them ALL the time is dumb.
Read the second paragraph again, bud. I think you missed the part where I said not to shave if it will cause you pain/discomfort. The "suck it up and shave" advice is usually for people without such a reason.
 
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