This goes for men and women alike — and no, don’t worry, we’re not gonna turn into FashionSnark on you.
But these things matter. The impression you create in the world depends in large part on the presentation.
This is an interesting quote — from a 2016 Business Insider article on interviewing :
“Research shows that 80% of hiring executives say shoes are ‘extremely important’ in creating the right impression in work environments, but only 51% of young men even wear appropriate shoes to an interview.”
We cover the perennial “what to wear?!?” question in our MBA Interviewing Guide and you should really be picking that up anyway so that you understand exactly how to prepare for this important opportunity.
They say that the clothes make the man (or woman) but we’d go so far as to say that the shoes do.
Call us old school but we really go conservative when it comes to the interview. Not only should you wear a suit, and iron your shirt, but you should pay attention to things like jewelry and yes, definitely to shoes.
For men and women both, no sandals for interviews. No open-toed shoes.
For women, usually a pump with a slight heel is ideal. For men, dress shoes. They can be Oxfords or brogues or whatever style you prefer. No suede. No boat shoes. Polished loafers might be fine.
If it’s something you might wear to a non-black-tie wedding then you’re probably in the general ballpark.
You don’t have to go shopping for fancy new clothes for your bschool interview — though if you are scratching your head at these suggestions and pondering an empty closet, you may want to. You’ve got some disposable income for this now. When it comes time for interviewing during your MBA recruiting process, you will also want to dress professionally and more conservatively, and if you don’t have those clothes available today, you’d be better off going shopping and building out the basics now. You aren’t going to have the money to buy them when you’re a student.
Even if you got away with interviewing for your current job in a hoodie and sneakers, that’s not the impression you want to construct for your MBA interview. Take this part seriously. Give a nod to tradition. It may be one of the few times where you need to dress up for business anymore — but if you’re saying you want to be a leader in the future and you want to set an example and have others see that you’re taking that role seriously, then it’s likely you’ll be doing so in a suit. May as well start dressing the part now, don’t you think?