Beard and AUSA Interview

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Beard and AUSA Interview

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:57 am

I've seen this topic discussed more generally in some older threads, but I was wondering if a consensus exists for AUSA interviews in particular. I have an AUSA interview coming up, and I also sport a short, neatly trimmed beard. Would it be worth it to shave the beard off to err on the side of caution? I know corporate/BigLaw culture tends to be on the more conservative side, but I'm not familiar with the culture of the federal government.

Anon-non-anon

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Re: Beard and AUSA Interview

Post by Anon-non-anon » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:32 pm

Yes, shave it. Probably most people won't care, but you may get the one person who really does. Plus (not from inside info, just my perception), USAOs are more conservative than big law in terms of self presentation.

LBJ's Hair

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Re: Beard and AUSA Interview

Post by LBJ's Hair » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:34 pm

Can't hurt to shave it, but plenty of SDNY AUSAs have beards

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Re: Beard and AUSA Interview

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:53 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:34 pm
Can't hurt to shave it, but plenty of SDNY AUSAs have beards
Agreed. Clerked in SDNY and saw many AUSAs with beards (albeit well-kept ones). And AUSAs generally looked more disheveled than one would expect, so perhaps it's not something they screen for (or people just become more lax once they have the gig). Different areas of the country may also view the beard differently.

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Re: Beard and AUSA Interview

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:58 pm

Yeah, I don’t think there’s any beard prejudice, although I’ll admit I don’t know tons of AUSAs with beards. My advice would be if you’re going to feel weird and uncomfortable and not like yourself if you shave, don’t shave. If you’re going to feel uncomfortable or at all anxious that the beard is inappropriate, then shave. I think how you feel/present yourself is more important.

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texanslimjim

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Re: Beard and AUSA Interview

Post by texanslimjim » Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:52 am

We're quickly approaching cultural territory where very few people will ding you for having a beard in an interview and if you have a face that doesn't look as good clean-shaven it might very well be worth keeping the beard. But we might not quite be there yet. I would only wear a beard to an interview if I was (1) supremely confident the beard looks well-groomed, (2) supremely confident I look worse without a beard.

I usually advise people in law school to shave because men in their 20s are usually bad at grooming their facial hair and are poor judges of #1.

The safest choice is still probably shave the beard for the interview, but feel free to grow it back for day 1 of the job.

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Re: Beard and AUSA Interview

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:22 pm

I clerked in a pretty conservative district, and I can think of 5 AUSAs who had beards, including the chief of one section, one who had been there for almost 40 years, and several younger guys. I cannot imagine it being a real issue.

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clarion

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Re: Beard and AUSA Interview

Post by clarion » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:31 pm

The fact that you're asking the question leads me to think you should shave it. I'm a guy who thinks I look much better with a beard and have had a well-maintained one for years. But I ultimately shaved mine for an interview for my current job because I figured, as much self-confidence as it normally gives me, it would only make me self-conscious because of a fear that someone might ding me for it. Performed well at the interview and having it shaved off gave me one less thing to stress over.

As an aside, when I started the job, I shaved it off completely as well. Others may disagree, but I thought it would seem weird to interview clean shaven and then show up bearded. But since then, I haven't gone back to clean shaven. Good luck with the interview!

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