What Shoes Should I Wear to an Interview?

You've spent hours, even days, preparing what you're going to say during your big interview. Now it's time to figure out what to wear. Your attire says a lot to companies before you even open your mouth, and you want it to say that you're the right person for the job. The TallMenShoes.com Guide to Job Interview Footwear can help you to select the right men's shoes to get your big interview off on the right foot.

Pre-Interview Preparation

Part of getting ready for a job interview is learning about the company you're hoping to work at. That includes learning about the dress code as well. Consult any handbooks that might be available, look at pictures on their website or find a professional contact who can help. The office environment offers clues as well. A modern open-space office indicates a less formal working style, while traditional leather chairs and wood tables are a sign of stricter attire expectations. Whatever you deduce, always dress at least to the level of the company's current employees - and possibly higher if you think it will impress them.

Interview Shoes to Wear

When the dress code is formal, or even semi-formal, you can't go wrong with a pair of black cap-toe oxfords. This classic formal footwear can be paired with black-tie outfits and almost any color suit. Brogue wing-tip shoes are a good bet as well, whether it's a full, semi or quarter-brogue. The derby oxford is excellent for a smart casual interview atmosphere. Whatever type of oxford you're wearing, make sure the color coordinates with the rest of your outfit. If you're interviewing for a job in construction, outdoor work or another blue-collar field, you might want to bring some boots or work shoes with you in case the interviewer asks you to demonstrate your skills.

Shoes to Avoid

Some interview shoe choices are obviously bad - you wouldn't want to wear running sneakers, hiking boots or sandals to an office under any circumstances, for example. But some dress shoes need to be left at home as well. Don't be caught dead in loafers or any other type of slip-on. These shoes are good for business-casual dress and for traveling once you already have the job. But they're far too casual for when you're trying to land it. Shoes with buckles, such as double-monk straps, are okay for a laid-back startup, but a little too informal for a large conglomerate. Light-colored shoes should be avoided, too, as they are more likely to show stains from accidents or mud puddles en route to the interview.

Preparing your Interview Shoes

Once you've picked out your shoes, they need to be in tip-top shape throughout the interview: Make sure they're laced properly whether it's a closed or open lacing style. Improperly laced shoes look unprofessional and are more likely to come loose or chafe as you walk. Use a shoe repair kit to remove any minor scratches, scuffs or dings - if any part is noticeably worn, you're probably better off getting a different pair. You'll want to give them a good polish or at least wipe off any dust from sitting in the closet. And if they feel a little loose, add some inserts or wear thicker socks so they don't wobble. (Wear knee- or calf-length socks to avoid exposing your hairy legs.)


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