The Hunt: Job Interview Heels

Sure, we all know what wardrobe essentials for work professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

In honor of on campus interviews coming up, I thought I’d focus today’s Hunt on job interview heels. What DO you look for in a job interview heel, readers? The most important thing to me, first, is that a job interview heel is comfortable for you — this may mean arch support, it may mean a puffy, sneaker-like insole, it may mean anywhere from a 2″ heel to a 4″ heel. (You can also wear flats for an interview, of course!) A comfortable shoe means a confident stride — I’ve seen some women interviewing look wobbly and unsteady on their feet. Don’t choose height  for “style reasons” if you feel like a baby giraffe just learning to walk! The second thing that’s most important for an interview shoe is that the shoe should be pristine — no scuffs, marks, or anything. If you’re interviewing in a heel you’ve had for a while, take it to the cobbler for new tips and polishing, at the very least. (Along the lines of a “confident stride,” note that many cobblers can add rubber tips to heels and even replace part of the sole with a rubber portion to make the shoe less slippery.) Readers, how about you — have you gotten any great job interview heels lately? Have you seen any faux pas or other fashion gaffes (or made any yourself) while choosing heels for job interviews?

Pictured at top, clockwise from top: one / two / three

Classic, Best-Selling Job Interview Heels

Pictured, row 1 (all under $100): one / two / three
Pictured, row 2 ($99-$600): four / five / six

Trendier, Of-The-Moment Job Interview Heels

Job Interview Heels: Lifestride ParigiI swear we’ve featured these before, but I can’t find them — these Lifestride heels are coming up for pretty much every search I do at Zappos. They’re affordable, the brand is known for comfort, they’ve got a relatively low heel (2.5″), they come in a zillion colors, and — whoa — they’ve got 328 5-star reviews. They’re $57 new, but Amazon has some lucky sizes as low as $15. Lifestride Parigi
Job Interview Heels: Nine WestI’ve always preferred the lower-heeled version of these classic, basic pumps from Nine West — but this 3.5″ heel is a best-seller at Zappos with 479 5-star reviews. The shoes come in a ton of colors, multiple widths, and some colors and sizes marked as low as $32 Zappos and Amazon – nice. (It’s $69 full price.)  Nine West Flax
Job Interview Heels from IsolaIsolá hasn’t had a basic pump in a few years, but as Børn’s more sophisticated sister brand, I always check! This high block heel is definitely on the trendier side, but would do just as well for a job interview if it’s comfortable to you. It’s $70-$99 at Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon. Isolá Eleni
Job Interview Heels: Water Resistant Heels from Calvin KleinWhoa: we’ve featured a lot of Calvin Klein heels over the years, but I haven’t seen an affordable heel marketed as “water resistant” — usually you have to get to the $300+ price range to get a water resistant and stylish shoe. This one is high, also (3.5″) — but again, so long as it’s comfortable to you and you can walk in it, it’s fine for a job interview. It’s $110 at Nordstrom. (Amazon also has some options, but it’s unclear to me if they’re water resistant as well.) Calvin Klein Salene
Job Interview Heels: Cole Haan's Classic Pump!I was going to include Cole Haan as a “more expensive but worth it” option, but huzzah: the classic Julianne pump is on sale at Zappos for $104 (down from $150). I’ve pictured the 45mm heel, but it also comes in 75mm — both styles come in multiple colors and widths. Cole Haan Juliana
Job Interview Heels: Sam EdelmanSam Edelman consistently knocks out affordable, comfortable shoes. We’ve featured this 3.75″ heel before, and it continues to get really solid reviews at Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon. (Psst: Note that Amazon does have some Sam Edelman shoes in their Prime Day sales today.) It’s $119 at full price, comes in a zillion colors, sizes 4-13, with widths N, M, and W. Sam Edelman Hazel

 

Like this feature? Check out other recent installments, as well as our collection of best-selling styles in our Guide to Wardrobe Essentials for Work!

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    The Lifestride heels featured above are my interview heels. They’re easier to walk in than a lot of other heels because of the lower and slightly chunkier heel, and they’re incredibly comfortable for someone who isn’t used to wearing heels. Love love love them.

  2. Has anyone had revlite treatment done on their face? I have mild hormonal acne and some minor acne scarring left over from my teenage years. My derm recommended revlite to improve both. I read up about it online, but would like to hear about any firsthand experiences. TIA

    • I have NOT, but Myrna had Dermaabrasion b/c of the same thing, and she looks great now. No one knows she had pipples when she was growing up, as now she could be a model. She also has NO tuchus, but she needed no work on that one. I wish I had her tuchus, b/c if I did, I would be MARRIED by now. FOOEY!

      Myrna is not married, but that is b/c she thinks most men are loosers, interested only in s-x, and you know what, she is RIGHT! YAY Myrna!!!

  3. Philly Dog R E T T E S :

    Does anyone have any experience with the rescue City of Elderly Love? I (somewhat unexpectedly) had to put my tiny senior pup to sleep this weekend and my house is so, so empty. I am not quite ready, but I’d like to have a good organization to look to (aka see if a dog speaks to me) and came across this organization today. I didn’t even know I needed a dog until I came across my dude a year and a half ago, so I’m open to all possibilities when it comes to tiny old special needs dogs :)

    • I am so, so sorry about your pup.

      Sending a lot of love and luck filling the dog shaped hole in your heart.

      • Thank you. He had a lot of health problems when I adopted him and I knew I would likely only have him for a short time, but I am thankful I was able to provide him with at least a good year and a half. It’s so funny how a tiny dog can fill up so much space. (It’s also mildly embarrassing how many tiny dog clothes I amassed in that short period of time . . . oops.)

    • Cookbooks :

      I’m sorry about your pup! You are an awesome person for adopting a senior dog. I’m sure he had a wonderful life with you!

  4. Anonymous :

    My interview heels are Nine West, similar to the ones in the post but the toe is more almond. They get the job done and they’re pretty comfortable. I HATE heels and never wear them normally, so that’s high praise from me!

  5. I can’t put my finger on it but all of these feel a little dated to me, or maybe just like “intern” shoes – which is fine, but there’s something vaguely stepford-y about them. The high heels are a little too high, the low a little too obviously sensible but probably still not all that comfortable, the block heel to clunky at that height/width.

    I think I’d go with something like this instead:
    http://www.zappos.com/p/nine-west-margot-black2-leather/product/8261936/color/258499

    or, this for a little bit more interest:
    http://luxury.zappos.com/p/kate-spade-new-york-dolores-black-crinkle-patent/product/8745058/color/10715

    • I should add (having just looked under my desk) that I have the Nine West Margot pumps in black suede and they’re actually very comfortable for what they are, and I’m not normally a fan of NW shoes. Now I am really tempted to get the blue suede pair…

      • Anonymous :

        The Margot are actually in the roundup (number 3 under classic). That said, these all look so similar to me I do not understand this criticism at all.

    • Anonymous :

      The Kate Spade ones you linked to are too trendy for my taste.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I *know* they are very “now” but those Kate Spades are so grandma to me.

        • Completely agree. I cannot get over block heels. They are uber grandma and I will never be convinced otherwise.

          • Anonymous :

            I am glad I am not the only one who feels this way. I tried on block heels and I felt so frumpy. Just can’t do it.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        I think they also look more frumpy than on-trend for anybody who’s not a 20-something fashion maven. This is a really hard look for most people to make it look intentional and not dowdy.

      • I think they definitely have more personality – whether that reads as trendy or grandma. And I am very aware that the standard issue advice is to be as dull as possible lest you offend in your interview choices. But having now had the luxury of observing the process from the other side, I think that there is a lot to be said for “wearing” your interview look vs. having it wear you. Too much of what people wear for interviews actively feels like a costume. My best experiences interviewing, oth, have all been when I took a small risk and wore something a bit more “me” (jewelry, shoes, scarf, blouse, whatever). I feel like it always worked out better than when I just looked like a generic stepford candidate.

        Also – I know the post is called interview heels, but totally recommend wearing nice pointy flats if that’s your style! Our of a batch of summer interns and a recent hire, we have two young women who typically wear nice flats and they all look so much more confident/comfortable/at ease in the workplace than the women wearing their “work” shoes.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I definitely agree with the personal style point you make. I just posted a similar comment below.

          • +1 I just realized that for the past several interviews I’ve gone on and nailed jobs from (legal world), I’ve worn something with more pizzazz (which autocorrected to Pizzas, which would be great). I wear some non-cray color of the Joan and David Dagardener or Gila kitten heel and feel amazing in it.

    • Agreed for all of the picks listed above–nothing except the CH Julianne (which I own in…3 colors/materials) seems right.

      The picks just strike me as what rising 2Ls wear to OCI when all they’ve had are internships in college.

      • Agreed.

      • Would you mind elaborating, please? I’m a 0L, nearly a decade out of college, but a 0L nonetheless. I know better than to wear my 4 1/2″ club-attire platforms, but as far as choosing pumps, most of them pretty much look the same to me.

        Any tips on differentiating between pumps that scream “college internship” and those that look more professional?

  6. GirlFriday :

    Haven’t interviewed in a while, but I do a fair amount of walking in heels (when I wear them..which is 2-3x per week). I like the MK flex pumps recommended on here. I also have some old Cole Haans that are just ok. Does anyone have experience with NW’s Scheila? I want to try the block heel trend but don’t want to look like a weirdo. I’ll be wearing them with dresses. I’m also looking at the NW Margot as a second, more standard (boring?) option.

  7. The Michael Michael Kors Flex 2.5 inch pump fits the bill perfectly; I find them comfortable.
    Another good one is the Cole Haan Outlet one, the Hellen Grand Pump in the 2.5 inch heel. Also a comfortable classic look and they hold up as well as the Julianas from “real” Cole Haan.

  8. Never too many shoes... :

    I am not sure where we came to the decision that black leather pumps are literally the only shoe to wear to an interview. I agree it is not the time for cobalt strappy sandals, but we could perhaps branch out into something with some sort of strap for the sake of interest. No one is going to get discounted as a candidate for a t-strap instead of a pump.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 I literally cannot wear a shoe without some sort of strap or something across the arch. I have very narrow heels and just walk straight out of them. For my coming OCI, I will be wearing a pretty mary jane and if anyone chooses not to hire me because of it, I wouldn’t want a job at somewhere that hypercritical anyway.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh, and in a dove grey, not black, to coordinate with the grey and white top I wear under my black suit.

        • I’m a huge fan of mary jane heels and have been searching for some in grey. Where did you find yours?

          • Anonymous :

            I think I got them at DSW two years ago. Right now I can’t remember the brand. I’ll try to look tonight and get back to you.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t know if this will work for your situation but my favorite heels are a pair of Capezio dance shoes – literally made for dancers. Look for “character shoes.” Mine are T straps but they have many with just a regular ankle strap. They come with just leather soles so you might need to get rubber treads put on. They have thicker heels and given some of the comments above I am guessing many on this board wouldn’t like the look, but they are inexpensive, comfortable, and durable. And you can install taps on them if you decide to take up tap dancing.

  9. New Shoes :

    My lucky interview shoes finally gave out. They were suede Bandolinos that I wore for every interview since my junior year of college, and they held up pretty nicely until we had a giant rainstorm yesterday. Now, the suede doesn’t seem like it will bounce back. That being said, I’m in the market for new heels. I’m trying to avoid suede this time around–should I go plain leather or patent? Which is easier to clean? I like the idea of patent leather being virtually waterproof, but they remind me of tap shoes.

    Also, any opinions on Target shoes? My friend swears by them, but I’m wary.

    • Anonymous :

      Try before you buy, definitely. I can’t speak to the quality, as I’ve never owned a pair, but for whatever reason their shoes just don’t fit my feet. Ever.

    • I feel like all my patent leather shoes show wear more easily and it’s just so easy to scuff them, which I have not always been able to get out.

    • GirlFriday :

      I miss Bandolinos! And Copper Key. Anyway, I’ve never had luck with Target shoes (they fit weird, in addition to being throwaway quality) but a gf of mine wears them all the time. Know your office: they always look too casual to me, even for my biz casual office. Also, patent always seems cheap/little girly to me. But that’s just me. I’m sure patent Christian Louboutins don’t look cheap. :) Good luck finding your new lucky pair!

      • Anonymous :

        Personally I like patent leather better. I think they hold up better than regular leather. Honestly, I have bought nice dress shoes at Kmart. Plain black heels for only $14.99 and the hold up for a long time. I have bought Nine West shoes and they are always garbage. They cost a lot more and don’t last very long. Plus sometimes they hurt. I shun all Nine West shoes now.

        With regard to an interview, I don’t think it matters what shoes you wear as long as they aren’t so high that you can’t walk in them. What I see that is more of a problem are young woman who wear skirt suits that are too short and too tight. When you pair that with heels that are too high that they can’t walk in, then it starts to look ridiculous.

  10. anon for this :

    I think the heels should match the scale of the person wearing them. Bigger/wide feet generally look better in chunky heels and small feet in low, narrow heels.

    I actually wore slightly muted purple heels with grey pants to my last interview and I don’t think anyone noticed… or if they did they hired me anyway.

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