Friday, January 18, 2013

Job Interviews: Part 1 - The Shoes!

If you're not looking for a job, you probably know someone who is looking for a job! While it's essential to focus on your qualifications, the interview process is also influenced by smaller details that many forget about - the subtleties in your dress, the way you speak, whether you shake hands.

We're here to help! Welcome to our new 8-part series: 

The Small Essentials of Interviewing. 

Part One: Shoes.

"Think of an interview like a first date," says Chelsea Hanson, former ELI intern who is now working in marketing for Pipeline Machinery in Houston, Texas. The "first date" idea means being on your best behavior and wearing not only flattering clothing, but shoes that both look and feel good, she says.

For women, she recommends heels. "Heel height should be something you would wear to church, not what you would wear for a night on the town," says Hanson. "I personally wear heels that are a little taller than most, but I am also 5'2 and can walk in anything. If you are not your most stable in heels, rock some flats. Pretty leather or mildly patterned flats are 100 % appropriate."

For men, "Dress shoes are a must," she says. And "make sure your loafers or laceups have been to the shoe shine."

Checking out your shoes well in advance of the interview will give you time to take care of scuffs or worn heels. If you'd like to try shining shoes yourself, check out this GQ article first for inspiration.

Keep comfort in mind, as your interview might involve a lot of walking. "Most companies take you on a tour of their facilities," says Hanson. "This tour serves multiple purposes. It can show you the dynamics of the workplace, the types of technology they incorporate, and the people they employ. But most importantly, it helps you relax. Walking around keeps the conversation lighter and evokes more of a casual feeling. If your feet hurt, this will not only be uncomfortable for you, but also the person guiding you."

Your choice of footwear might seem inconsequential, but the right pair of shoes shows that you notice details, that you take care of yourself, that you like to bring your best self forward—all qualities valued in the workplace.

We'll be back again soon with another Interviewing Tip! Now that we've talked about your feet, next time we'll talk about your hands!

No comments:

Post a Comment