Best Shoes For Interviews

Interviews are a big deal. They’re an opportunity to show off your skills and make a good impression on the interviewer, which can help you get hired. But if you don’t prepare yourself properly, it’s easy to screw up an interview and miss out on the job.

One important thing to remember about interviewing is that it’s not just about what you say—it’s about how you look too! And that’s where the best shoes for interviews come in. When it comes time to interview for that new job, having the right shoes on will put you at ease and help you feel confident as you go through the questions.

Best Shoes For Interviews

These Formal Shoe Styles Are The Most Appropriate For An Interview (And The Ones That Aren’t)

If you’re a functioning adult, you’ve probably given an interview.

.Be it for a job or a scholarship, interviews are important events in life where you need to present your best self. You’ll most likely get only one face-to-face chance to make an impression, so it might as well be a good one.

And when you’re already nervous about 10 other things regarding the interview, it is easy to cast aside all thoughts about dressing well and just concentrate on your preparation.

Dressing appropriately for your interview is just as important though, and shoes have a big role to play in it. Many employers say that they will often judge a prospective employee by the shoes he/she wears to the interview – but the sad part is that few men actually make an effort to wear good shoes.

This hasn’t have to be nerve-wracking though, I promise. It’s easy, and I’m here to help you with it.

The shoes that are most appropriate for an interview will be simple, subtle, and (of course!) pretty. Classic formal shoe styles are the best – oxfords and derbys. You shouldn’t have to think much when getting ready for the interview – you can just put these on and know you’ll look great. But yes, we’ve got to be careful about the colour and detailing on the shoes that we choose, as well as the socks that we wear with them. Other than that there’s not a lot to worry about, we’ll cover all the ground in this article

I’ve compiled a list of some tips that you need to keep in mind when deciding your interview shoes. In many ways, these tips will be more helpful to you than the actual shoe styles itself.

Let’s go over them first and then we can talk about the shoes you should wear to rock your next interview 

Tips For Deciding Interview Shoes

#1: Find Out The Office Dress Code And Work Setting in Advance

This will help you understand the work culture of the company you are interviewing at so that you can dress appropriately to match their environment.

Check the office dress code in advance

A casual or business casual work setting is no excuse to be sloppy about your shoe choices though. It is always better to dress professionally and at a level that’s one step higher than the role you’re trying for

Generally, irrespective of the office dress code, they might expect the interviewees to be formally dressed, so you will not go wrong with a pair of dress shoes.

This becomes important only so that there is not a stark disparity between the company dress code and your intended outfit. So, say if they have a casual setting then you might not want to wear a suit.

#2: Match Your Belt With Your Shoes

This is a general style rule, and one that will benefit you here

Match your belt with your shoes

Always match your belt with your shoes. Black belt with black shoes, and dark brown belt with dark brown shoes. You might be tempted to wear (say) a tan belt with dark brown shoes or vice versa, but that’s a no-no too

Matched belt and shoes make you look more put together, and you also have one less thing to think about.

Oh and remember to match the materials as well – only leather belts with leather shoes. I haven’t seen a lot of guys wearing fabric belts, so I think this shouldn’t a problem in most cases.

#3: Wear Dark Shoes

For shoes, black is the most formal colour of all, followed by dark brown.

Always opt for dark shoes

Oxblood works too, but anything lighter than that is calling for too much attention to your shoes, which we don’t want.

Stay away from the light browns and the tans

A special mention here would be the colour blue. I’ve been seeing a few (beautiful) blue dress shoes in the market recently and if you’ve liked them as much as I did you’d wonder too if it fits in the interview context.

And because shades of blue can sometimes be difficult to judge as dark or bright, here’s another tip. If the blue dress shoes are navy-ish i.e. they look almost black – go ahead and wear them for the interview. Otherwise keep them for later, when you show off your cool style in office (after you’re hired ;))

#4: No Fancy Socks

I cannot believe I’m saying this, but … *takes deep breaths* .. no fancy socks to the interview please.

No fancy socks please!

Stick with the sock rule of matching them to your trousers and you’ll never go wrong.

This tip is also derived from the need for your shoes and feet to be subtle but nice in an interview.

Fancy socks in bold colours and patterns may not give the right message to the panelists.

Pro Tip: If you would still like to have some fun with your socks, you can choose traditional patterns like stripes in dark colours. The rule of thumb would be the same – it shouldn’t contrast too much with your pants

Ribbed socks are a go too! They’ll look especially nice in an interview if properly matched with pants

#5: Avoid Brogues As Much As Possible

Brogueing refers to the tiny perforations that are done on shoes. It used to have a functional purpose in its early days but today it’s purely decorational.

Avoid Full Brogues

There are mainly 4 types of brogues – full, half, quarter and longwing. Pictured above are the full brogues, also called wingtips

Brogues are lovely, but you might want to avoid wearing them for your interviews.

Quarter brogueing will generally be fine, but anything more that will be not (even in dark colours like black or brown)

That being said, it is possible that a pair of black / brown wingtips is the only shoe you have right now. In that case, you should decide based on #1 i.e the formality setting of the office.

At business casual workplaces, you could still get away with wearing full brogues. For any place more formal, I’d suggest you look for something else

Best Formal Shoes For Interviews

By now you must’ve already guessed which shoes are appropriate for interviews.

Generally, stick to the two most formal shoes styles i.e. Oxfords and Derbys.
Monkstraps are a pleasant addition to this list, you can wear them 

Oxfords

Oxford shoes = timeless + classic + beautiful

A good pair of oxfords in dark shades will be the first pair of shoes I’d recommend you to buy if there are even a handful of formal events in your year.

Oxfords are the best shoes for an interview

And if not, get a pair with quarter brogueing (like I have) and they will still work for a multitude of occasions, including an interview

When wearing this for the interview though, make sure you are following general colour matching rules between the shoes and your pants.
Oh, and don’t wear black shoes with brown pants or vice versa

interviews are important events in life where you need to present your best self

Take a note of how I’m keeping it simple and formal with the black socks, but the very subtle coloured pattern still makes it interesting

I find charcoal dress pants to be the best suited for this occasion. They naturally go with black shoes but also look great with dark brown shoes

Derbys

Ah, Derbys! The less formal (but equally attractive) sibling of oxfords

Don’t be fooled though, derby shoes are still a match for a formal event, like the one we are discussing here

If you are looking to buy a pair of derbys for the interview, resist the urge to get brogued shoes. It can be difficult (for brogues are <3) but a plain derby will be more suitable for this situation

Monkstraps

Okay, I can’t resist talking about all these shoes with so much excitement – they.are.amazing!

Monk straps are great shoes for interviews

Monk strap shoes are very versatile, cause they can be worn as formal shoes (even with a suit!) or dressed down with a pair of jeans or chinos.

These shoes got their name because their first users were – take a guess? – monks! The straps were simply practical, and the closed toes offered more protection

I’ve put monk strap shoes last on the list because formality wise they’re the least formal. But that doesn’t mean you cannot wear them for an interview. With the straps fastened, these shoes have a clean look so they’ll do great in our context.

Monk shoes come in single, double, even triple strap variations – but somehow I find the look of double monk straps to the best and more formal. I’d suggest you stay away from triple straps to begin with, the other two would be fine

Monk straps are great shoes for interviews

I’ve got these dark brown monk straps, and I am *pumped* every time I get to put that on. Imagine that kind of enthusiasm for your interview? Small joys 

For all three shoes though, remember to stick to dark colours

Shoes Not To Wear To An Interview

There are shoes you can wear, and there are shoes you should not wear for your job interview. It is nice to know these too, so here you go:

Slip-on Shoes / Loafers

A Loafer or any slip-on shoes has a relaxed vibe best suited for business casual occasions.

When you’re interviewing for a job you’d want to appear attentive and eager, not laid back and relaxed.

This is the main reason why loafers should be avoided, even if the workplace is business casual. Unless your prospective job has a suit-tie setting you can very well wear the loafers later on once you’ve started the job

As an exception, if you’re interviewing at a place with a casual dress code – loafers could be worn on the interview (emphasis on ‘could’ because there are a lot of factors at play)
It will be a good way to adhere to the code while still looking job-ready

Sneakers

“Is it okay to wear sneakers to an interview?”, someone asks
“Oh no!”, I respond 

If loafers are ‘relaxed’, sneakers shout “I just want to have fun!”

Unless you’re in the creative field, sneakers, or any casual shoes are never a good option to wear to an interview. And even in those sectors, I’m sure the employers do expect at least a certain level of formality – best to check it out in advance

Dressing slightly more formally than you are expected will always be safe.

So do me a solid and not wear sneakers to the interview, please?

Suede Shoes

The jury is still out on this one – Suede shoes may or may not be appropriate for an interview, we can’t really say for sure

I think it’s better to err on the side of caution and stay away from them. Even if you have suede oxfords in a dark colour, it might still be a risk and draw some attention

Suede shoes are a great way to express your personal style (if that’s what you like) but it will not be the right choice here

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