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The Worst Shoes for a Job Interview

Women's Styles to Avoid When Trying to Land an Office Job


Woman Being Interviewed
Zia Soleil/The Image Bank/Getty Images

When it comes to footwear, and to fashion in general, I'm a bit of a style renegade. Preferring to have fun with shoes and clothes, I'm not much into rules or safe choices.

However, business is business, and if you're looking to land an office job, dress codes can be serious business. So, you'll want to be sure you're well-prepared for any job interview.

While many work places are becoming much more relaxed about the attire of their employees, a professional appearance is still of utmost importance to a lot of companies. And the way you present yourself on the day of a job interview will speak volumes to your potential employer.

Here are a few suggestions on shoes not to wear to a job interview.


With telecommuting gaining popularity, and many offices having a more laid-back attitude of their employees' wardrobes, it's easy for us to forget that a job interview is still a somewhat formal affair.

While a pair of Converse chucks might show your casual or artsy side, and a pair of trainers may be the most comfortable choice, to make your best first impression, don't wear sneakers to an interview for an office job.

Sandals & Open-Toed Shoes

It's obvious that flip-flops are an inappropriate choice for a job interview, but for many professional jobs, even dressier and heeled sandals should be avoided.

Many offices don't have a policy against open-toed shoes, but some do. So, it's best to play it safe and find out the dress codes after you land the job, rather than to risk it on the interview.

Shimmery or Overly Embellished Shoes

I love embellishments more than nearly anyone, so it pains me to say that there is a time when it's inappropriate to be flashy. But there is, and it's at a job interview.

In fact, even after you've landed the job, it's more professional and appropriate to save the metallics, crystals, and studs for after-hours.

Extremely High Heels

In addition to the fact that they're difficult to walk in (you don't want to miss the interview because you sprained an ankle), shoes with extremely high heels can actually -- and pay attention here, because it's one of the only times you'll ever hear me say the following: -- call too much attention to your footwear.

The emphasis should be on you and your skills. Not on your shoes.

Shoes that are Dirty, Torn, or Show other Signs of Wear & Tear

Many of us obsess over our shoes, but for others, they're merely a means of covering and protecting the feet. Therefore, not a lot of attention is given to how they look.

But to make a great first impression, you need to pay attention to the details.

Your shoes should be shined or buffed; scuff and dirt-free; and should not have any visible strains, rips or tears.

While new shoes should remove all of those concerns, you still need to be careful. Insure that they're comfortable and easy to walk in before the actual interview day.

The last thing you need is to add foot pain to your list of worries on interview day.

The Right Shoes for an Office Job Interview

The most appropriate shoes for office job interviews will be dress shoes -- flats or heels of around 3" or less.

They'll have closed toes, be clean, sharp-looking. They'll be shoes that will complement your outfit, but won't overpower it. The ideal shoes will be free of metallic finishes, overdone embellishments, and excessively high heels.

Having said all of that, it may seem like you're only left with a few, boring choices. But that's really not the case.

Stylish Shoe Choices for Your Job Interview

Let the company you're applying at, and the position you're applying for dictate how creative your footwear choices can be.

For example, if you're going for a position at a fashion magazine, you'll definitely want your personality and sense of style to come through. Choose classic but stylish shoes with a subtle or chic print, or a large buckle. While you don't want to risk going over the top, you definitely don't want to come across as too plain or staid.

On the other hand, if it's a banking or investment job you're after, it's definitely best to stay on the conservative side of footwear. You can't go wrong with a basic pump in a color that complements your suit. A bit of classic hardware, like a simple buckle will appear chic and stylish, without crossing the line into trendy.

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Job Interview Attire for Men

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