Many questions asked during an informational interview are in regard to what is needed to succeed with this company while others are about more specific details. One of these questions could be: "Can men wear beards or long hair here?"
If the person interviewing you has a beard or long hair, then you should have a pretty good idea of why they are asking this question. This is a pretty easy topic to address. You just need to be straightforward about what is expected.
Some companies are stricter than others when it comes to the amount of facial hair allowed, but if your business is more laid back, that could be seen as a plus to prospective employees.
Points to Emphasize
This is a simple question that requires a simple response, so keep these points in consideration when answering.
- If the company allows beards, say you allow beards.
- If the company doesn't allow beards, say you don't allow beards.
- Give a reason for your policy if you want.
- Keep it straightforward.
This is one of the more unusual questions to be asked during an informational interview, but you should still be prepared to talk about the general dress code policy of the organization.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
There is not really a wrong way to answer this question.
Just aim to avoid making the following mistakes when responding:
- Avoid lying.
- Don't criticize the interviewer for having a beard or long hair.
- Don't feel the need to give a reason for your policies.
- Don't gloss over the question.
Some men will be completely willing to shave their beard for the right job while others will feel as though their beard is an integral part of their identity. You just need to be honest about what you expect out of your employees.
Your response to this question should be short and to the point. Make sure it goes something like this:
We're very open in our dress code policy around here. If you want to grow out your hair, feel free! If you take a look around our office, you'll see several employees sporting a stylish beard.
It could also go something along these lines:
We expect our male employees to be well-groomed at all times. That includes being clean-shaven and have a respectable haircut. Other companies have different policies, but that's just what we have around here.
Honesty is the most crucial aspect of an informational interview. The interviewer just wants to get a better sense of the company climate to see if he or she wants to switch career paths. Truthful answers will help with the decision-making process.