Job Interviews – What Your Shoes Say About You.
When it comes to job interviews, what’s on your feet can be just as important as what comes out of your mouth. Yes, your feet are likely to spend most of the time under the table during the interview, but if they kick up a whiff or sparkle in the light, they can be an unnecessary distraction – to both you and the interviewer.
In this blog, we’re going to go through a few different styles and types of shoes, and what they say about you to an interview. Of course, this is a rough guide, and shouldn’t be taken for gospel (you’ll see what we mean later on), so follow this guide as you see fit. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
You’d have thought this would be a straight-up no-no, right? After all, who wears trainers for a job interview?
Well, in reality, it actually depends on what job you’re applying for. As a radical example, a football trial is a type of job interview, but you wouldn’t wear loafers to a football trial, would you?
It seems trivial, but depending on what job you’re applying for, you may be required to wear trainers – especially if you’re expected to perform some kind of practical assessment. Jobs that require this are usually located in the sporting and fitness industries. So, if you’re applying for a job in these areas, you should always ask what kind of dress code is required for the interview. And, if trainers are required, ensure you don’t wear the trainers you’ve had for 10+ years that you use to take out the rubbish. Ensure they’re clean, practical and suitable for the role you’re applying for.
Now, onto wearing trainers during other types of job interviews…
This is where it becomes a big no-no. If it’s the kind of job in which you’re expected to wear a suit or dress smartly in any way, trainers are definitely the wrong choice. To many interviewers, this will tell them that you’re either not serious, or not professional. Of course, this may not be the case, but job searching is difficult, especially at this time. If you’re turning up to a job interview in casualwear and trainers, whilst you’re up against people dressed to impress, you’re going to have a bad time.
Heels are a tricky one, as some interviewers and businesses are still very against them, even if they’re only a small heel.
First and foremost, this is another area that we suggest you check on when you’re offered the job interview. If they’re an extremely small or low heel, they may be acceptable. But, if you have another type of shoe wear available, we’d suggest wearing those instead, especially for an interview.
A low or ‘sensible’ heel often shows you mean business. However, there are companies and business owners that dislike heels, no matter how small they are. So, our advice would be to search for an alternative, or ask if they’re appropriate when you’re invited to an interview.
We’re not sure where wearing sandals or flip-flops as your shoe of choice to an interview would apply, but we’re going to play it safe here. We’re going to once again say – check where you’re applying to. Perhaps, if you’re applying to a beach bar or holiday resort, this may be acceptable, but we wouldn’t bet on it.
Wearing sandals, flip-flops, or sliders to a ‘regular’ job interview, especially one for an office-based job, is an absolute no-go. This type of open footwear will often convey that you’re not serious about the job you’re interviewing for. So, don’t be surprised if you’re thrown out of the interview before it even starts if you’re wearing this type of footwear.
Loaders and smart slip-on shoes are always a safe bet for most interviews. They’re easy to wear, they don’t kick up a fuss, and, most importantly, they look good.
As boring as I might sound, these are a great ‘neutral’ shoe, as they don’t stand out in either direction during an interview. Providing your outfit matches, your shoes will largely go unnoticed, whilst keeping a professional and serious look about you. Loafers or smart slip-on shoes will show the interviewer and the company that you’re there to show off your skills and ability in the role, not your outfit.
Another positive with these types of shoes is that there are plenty of types and styles available, regardless of your outfit, gender, or shoe size. If you want your skills and CV to do the talking, this is the option for you.
Smart Dress Shoes.
For any other shoe-styles we’ve missed, we’ve created this category. If the shoes you’re eyeing up in the corner don’t match any other descriptions in this list, this is likely where they’ll fit.
If you’ve been invited to an interview at a large or well-known business, you may wish to dress to impress, to give yourself an extra chance of standing out. However, there’s a fine line between dressing to impress, and looking ‘extra’.
Unlike loafers, smart dress shoes are often laced, so you’ll want to make sure they’re a good fit if you chose to wear these to an interview. However, if you’re going for this kind of footwear, you may want an expert’s opinion, as these are the kind of shoes that ‘bring an outfit together’, and can’t just be tacked-on with a cheap suit.
If you’re attending an interview in smart dress shoes (and the rest of your outfit works), it’ll tell the interviewer that you really mean business and that you’re there to stand out and be remembered. Not to say that smart dress shoes won’t let your skills do the talking, but everybody remembers a smartly dressed attendee with very smart shoes…
It goes without saying that whichever footwear you choose to sport during your job interview, you should always ensure they’re clean. Not only this but that they also don’t smell. It may sound like an odd point to raise, as nobody would willingly choose to attend a job interview with smelly shoes, right? Well, yes, but if your smart shoes are tucked up in the back of your cupboard, with who knows what else, they may be a bit on the stinky side. So, be sure to check your shoes several days before the interview, as this gives you enough time to find replacements if the worst has happened.
Additionally, remember we said that this guide shouldn’t be followed as gospel? Well, you must of course consider the rest of your outfit when choosing your shoes. As turning up to an interview in a suit and trainers, with your reasoning being “a guide on the internet told me to” probably won’t work well.
Lastly, remember to make sure your shoes are your size, that they’re comfortable, and that they ‘work’ overall for you. It’s all well and good if your shoes look nice, but if they give you blisters or don’t fit well, you’ll be limping in and out of the interview, which is never a good look.
And there you have it, everything your shoes say about you during an interview. We decided not to include the likes of clown shoes or going barefoot to an interview because, in all fairness, we felt they spoke for themselves. However, if you do have any questions about wearing those types of shoes to an interview, feel free to ask them in the comments section below!
For more interview and job-based blogs, click the link here. We publish new articles regularly, all with the purpose of helping you to succeed in your interviews.
If you think you’re ready to start applying for work, check out our jobs page here.
Thanks for reading, and good luck at your next interview.