Are you going for an interview? Please make sure that you are properly dressed. Dress code is one of the vital factors that employers always consider while hiring a person. Therefore, you should know the professional dressing style to create a favorable first impression.
In an interview, along with your skills and competence, the interviewers will also notice your professional etiquette and dressing sense. So, you should be prepared to look confident and up to the mark. Just not the outfit, you must pay attention to the shoes too. It gives the final touch to your overall appearance. Please pick polished and suitable interview shoes to match your outfit.
If you are looking for the perfect shoes for an interview, I am here to help you. This guide gives you all details regarding the shoes you can wear in an interview, for both men and women. Read and arrange your wardrobe for a brilliant interview.
Researching the Company Culture and Dress Code
Understanding the Company Culture and Dress Expectations
The culture of different companies varies as per their type, nature, and other internal policies. Accordingly, the restriction on dress code is also varied. For instance, if you are giving an interview for a corporate house, you should be wearing a strict formal outfit. On the other hand, if it is a media brand, the dress code can be informal.
Therefore, to identify what shoes to wear in an interview, you need to research the company culture first. Then verify the dress code before appearing for the final interview.
Identifying the Dress Codes
You can find mainly three types of official dress codes applicable to an interview. They are:-
Generally, this is the most acceptable category of dress code in an interview. A formal dress code will be a suit jacket, accompanied by suitable pants for boys and skirts for girls. The boys must wear a tie. Moreover, your shoes should be pointed and polished. However, the boys can come in normal full-sleeve shirts, without jackets also. Similarly, the girls can wear formal pants with shirts, as an alternative to the office skirts. The interview shoes for women are preferably ballerina shoes, or pump shoes, with low heels.
This dress code allows you to wear jeans with button-down shirts, or blouses. In winter, you can pick sweaters for the interview too. Women can wear knee-length dresses too, along with the polo shirts and pants combo.
This is less formal than the business casual wear. You may wear jeans and casual shirts or T-shirts. However, too relaxed an outfit as you wear at home like sweatpants, etc. is discouraged. If your company allows casual wear, jeans can be regular wear, for men or women. The women are expected not to wear hot pants or shorts to maintain the office decorum.
Basic Guidelines for Interview Shoes
My advice would be to keep the following points in mind while selecting the interview shoes.
- Closed-toe shoes as a safe choice: One of the safest choices for choosing shoes for an interview is closed-toe shoes. It makes you look professional and also prevents slips or sudden falls. Thus, you will feel balanced and comfortable at the same time.
- Clean and polished footwear: Clean and polished footwear is a must when you are appearing for an interview. Always clean your shoes to retain the quality and show of the footwear.
- Avoiding loud or flashy shoes: Please avoid flashy or loud-coloured shoes in the office. It gives a negative impression on the interviewers.
- Choosing appropriate shoe colors: Always ensure that your shoes are complimenting your outfit. Choose subtle colors like brown, black, etc. for a professional look.
Types of Shoes Suitable for Different Interview Settings
You must select appropriate interview shoes for different interview settings. Here, I will share the various settings and what shoes you should wear in those scenarios.
Formal Interview Settings
You can wear the following types of shoes in the formal background, for men and women.
Classic Black Leather dress shoes for men
The classic shoes for men give them the perfect look to fit the professional ambiance. Moreover, you can get such leather dress varieties from top brands like Penny Loafers, Leather Oxfords, Dress Loafers, etc. Here, you can see lace-up closure, and round-toe front side, with logo at the sides.
Closed-toe pumps or flats for women
The closed-toe pumps or flats help keep the feet protected from several disturbing or harmful elements. Furthermore, you can easily pair up the pump shoes with low heels with your business formal or casual outfit. The flats do not contain the heels but remain open near the ankle. These types are great as interview shoes for women.
Business Casual Interview Settings
The types in this category can be:-
Men’s Dress Shoes in Brown or Dark-Toned Shades
The brown or dark-toned shades fit well as business casual footwear if the shades are lighter. The darker the shoes, the more formal they look. Therefore, you can pick light brown shoes to suit the business casual category. Usually, employees prefer to wear them on the weekends.
Women’s Heel Shoes or Flats in Neutral Colours
The business casual looks for women complete with low-heel shoes or flats neutral footwear. Generally, they are low-cut shoes, with an exposed top. Mostly, these shoes are made of satin or leather. Please try to wear neutral colors to suit an official look.
Casual Interview Settings
Casual wear must also come with matching footwear. The choices in this category can be:-
Men’s Dress Shoes in More Relaxed Styles
Want to have a relaxed yet refined look in a casual interview setting? You can definitely try men’s dress shoes like loafers or other slip-on shoes. They make you feel highly comfortable primarily due to the moccasin. Walk relaxedly in the office and be more confident while in your casual wear.
Women’s Professional Looking Flats or Boots
The women can try professional-looking boots or flats for a sophisticated yet casual look. Although stilettos and high heels qualify for formal office-going looks, you can still look professional in the flats. You can try minimal jewellery while wearing casual shirts and jeans. The boots can also be a good choice as you wear fashionable jeans, slacks, or other pants, with casual shirts.
Tips to Ensure Comfort and Confidence in Your Interview Shoes
Go through these tips to be more confident in your interview shoes.
Wearing Well-fitted Shoes:
You must make sure that your shoes are not coming out or slipping from your feet. Your appearance says a lot as you enter the interview room. Therefore, please wear only well-fitted shoes to match your smart looks.
Breaking in new shoes before the interview:
Brand-new shoes can be painful as you need time to get accustomed to a new shoe. Hence, it is better to avoid the new shoes while you are going for an interview. However, sometimes, new shoes are also important when the condition of your old ones is not good. Moreover, the casual shoes you wear every day may not fit your professional background. In such cases, it is critical to break in new shoes.
Adding shoe inserts for extra comfort:
You can try extra comfort by inserting more cushioning in the form of memory foam in your shoes. Most women try this idea to feel comfortable while going for a walk-in interview. It is a pain reliever and also lowers foot fatigue. Thus, you can be more confident while approaching the interviewer.
Taking Care of Your Interview Shoes
Wearing shoes is not enough if you want to retain a positive impression in your office. Of course, your dress code and footwear form a big part of your style and attitude. Therefore, be smart while picking the best shoes to wear in an interview. Moreover, you must take adequate care of your interview shoes so that it look polished and impressive on your important day.
Here are the tips to retain the glamour of your shoes.
Regular Cleaning and Polishing
You must clean your shoes regularly to retain their shine for a long time. Moreover, it is also essential to polish the shoes every day, so that they can shine like new ones even after repeated uses. Usually, the regular polishing is necessary for the men’s shoes. However, some ballerinas of leather also require cleaning and polishing frequently.
Repairing any damages or scuffs
Before you leave for an interview, please ensure that your shoes are free from any damage or scuff. It is essential to be cautious about the conditions of your footwear if you want to qualify for the interview. If there is any damage or scuff, immediately repair it so that it does not disturb your overall look. You may change the shoes if the damages are not repairable.
Storing Shoes Properly
You must store the shoes appropriately. So, you can keep the shoes in plastic boxes or card boxes for long-lasting impact. Please dry the shoes if they are wet and completely clean before you store them.
Additional Considerations for Specific Industries or Job Positions
The dress code for interviews depends on the job positions and specific industries. You can consider the following:-
Creative Fields: Incorporating Tasteful Personal Style
You can show your creative skills by mixing the styles of the footwear with your outfit. The unique wardrobe can enhance your looks in the interview. Choose exclusive clothes to be more tasteful.
Corporate or Conservative Industries: Emphasizing Traditional Professionalism
You have to go for traditional professionalism in the case of conservative or corporate industries. Hence, you must select the shoes accordingly to look more professional and stylish at the same time.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The interview shoes form an important part of the interview process. Moreover, there are different styles of shoes available for men and women. You should consider the type of business and the suitable dress code of the organization. Be it formal, business casual, or casual wear, you must have the perfect footwear.
Furthermore, you must make sure that you are comfortable in whatever you wear, whether the outfit or the shoes. Your dressing sense leaves a very prominent impact on the overall interview process. So, feel confident and crack the interview with your skills and appearance.