Congressional Nomination Decorum (specifically hair)

BlueSkies24

Member
Hi all,

I am having my Congressional Nomination interviews soon and I am facing a minor dilemma. As of right now, I have pretty long hair as a guy (barely touching my shoulders) and multiple people have told me to/not to cut my hair for the interviews. I see both their views valid as whether you keep the hair or not, it is going to be buzzed if you are accepted, but also the view that people prejudice on first appearances. Like that I don't care about responsibilities, use drugs, or live a hippie type style of life etc.

I want to nail the interviews and am willing to sacrifice anything to do it. If you could please give me some feedback and advice, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.
 

AROTC-dad

Moderator
5-Year Member
am willing to sacrifice anything to do it.
Short hair is very unlikely to impair your interview.

LONG (even tied back) MIGHT impair you.

Even if you don't get a nom, are you considering ROTC? If so, you will need to cut the hair anyways.

You said you are willing to do sacrifice whatever it takes to get your goal.

Based on the above you should have your answer.
 

Wishful

"Land of the free, because of the brave..."
5-Year Member
I am a 59 y/o male & I will say this: if you are confident that you can walk into those interviews & nail it & not think about the hair , go for it. Your interviewers will be much younger then me. If you feel conscious about it, which would seem so since you posted it, go for a hairstyle that you feel confident about yourself, ( I recommend a flat top but that's just me;)) & nail it!! Good luck!
 

5Day

Member
Most likely the the nomination interview committee will not be swayed by the length of your hair as long as it is neat and well kept. However, they may be. If they use a scoring matrix one category could be appearance. If it were me, knowing I was interviewing HS students, neat, clean long hair would not impact my evaluation of appearance, but that is me.

Is it worth the risk? Cut your hair.
 
Our nomination committee says up front if you come in with long hair as a guy, be expected to get grilled for it. Several board members consider it not taking the process seriously.

Edited to add: can't hurt to call the SA liaison for feedback. Ours gave out her personal mobile phone number for questions like this.
 
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FMHS-79

Parent
My DS made sure he had a haircut that was within USAFA regulations for both his MOC headshot and his interviews. He felt that he would help the interviewers envision him as a cadet and future officer.

Did it make a difference? There is no way to know, but it was part of his preparation to make sure he put his best foot forward...
 

Hoodlum15

Member
IMO, if you're worried enough to ask about it on a forum, you should probably just cut it. If you're that self-conscious, you will feel better in the interview if you're not concerned with your hair and can completely focus on the interview.
 
My opinion is to definitely cut it. Every single candidate that was interviewing when my DD did fit the image perfectly of a future cadet. The women wore dark suits with hair neatly up or cut short and the men all had haircuts and were very neatly dressed in suits. Even their walk and posture was different that day. You want the panels to immediately envision you as a cadet and not focus on the hair even for a second. You've come this far in the process why risk it?
 
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Christcorp

10-Year Member
This is basically the Job Interview of your life. Probably the most important one you’ll ever have. If you compromise anything about the interview, e.g. attire, looks, resume, presentation (saying like, ummm, ya know, etc), or any other compromise, then that says you aren’t committed 100% to achieving that position. This doesn’t mean you need to have a basic training crew cut. But if you were applying for a position at a Fortune 500 company as an intern or on a congressional staff, would you go in with shoulder length hair.

Epiphany: “Your hair WILL grow back”.
 

USMA 1994

Member
Agree with most others but this is more that "It will grow back". You need to determine if you are all in and willing to compromise your own desires for the good of the service. You are interviewing to enter our Armed Forces where you will be expected to set the example and lead soldiers for at least the next nine years. If you were interviewing in my panel, I would question your commitment.
 

Stealth_81

Super Moderator
10-Year Member
Founding Member
I am not advocating keeping the long hair, but my son kept his very long all through his application timeframe and all of his interviews. He got three nominations, an LOA, and an appointment. He reported to USAFA with his long hair and Webguy had a whole series of pics with him getting it buzzed off. He's done pretty well at the Academy and after. It's not necessarily required to have short hair.

Stealth_81
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Last year we had an appointee in my area who went thru the whole processs with it long. He kept it Long until he reported. His application and demeanor spoke for itself. If you are that self conscious about it then I say cut it. If you aren’t then leave it.
 

BlueSkies24

Member
Thank you to everyone that responded. Due to the overwhelming majority, I will cut my hair. As many pointed out, I should have a clear mind when being interviewed.
 
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BlueSkies24

Member
am willing to sacrifice anything to do it.
Short hair is very unlikely to impair your interview.

LONG (even tied back) MIGHT impair you.

Even if you don't get a nom, are you considering ROTC? If so, you will need to cut the hair anyways.

You said you are willing to do sacrifice whatever it takes to get your goal.

Based on the above you should have your answer.
Yes, I am in the process of applying for an AFROTC scholarship if I don't get appointed to USAFA. I know I will have to cut it, I just didn't think it mattered that much this early on. I will definitely cut it for the interview now.
 

5Day

Member
Last year all the NROTC freshman had their hair buzz cut during orientation. This year, only those with hair out of regulation got the buzz cut. Definitely an advantage to come with hair within regulation.
 

fencersmother

10-Year Member
Founding Member
My sons went to their interviews in suits with ties, dress shoes (shined). They sported foot long afros at the same time. I think a few of the interviewers made comments such as "Oh, that's some hair" tho most ignored it. Plus, the boys really could hold their own, and with 4.0 GPA at local U, plus all their other stuff, and their VERY serious demeanor, the hair was quickly overlooked.

That said, they cut their hair a month before leaving for BCT - you know, so they wouldn't stand out. haha They even arranged to get to the Bridge 20 minutes apart so cadre wouldn't notice. All that careful planning lasted about 24 hours.

Mom's advice: if you are a serious young person with an excellent "package", most of those (former hippies) who interview you will be willing to overlook a teenager's hair. They might not be so kindly with sneakers, t-shirts, slouchy stature, rolling eyes, poor vocabulary, obvious snark. YMMV
 

Christcorp

10-Year Member
When I went off to basic, I didn’t cut my hair ahead of time. It was below my shoulders. It was the 70’s. I was referred to as “Little Jesus”. At least for the first couple hours.

Guess who they chose to get their hair cut FIRST. Lol
 
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