I almost fell off my chair when I heard an executive coach in her presentation tell the audience, “the interview begins in the parking lot”.
Yeah. Some companies actually post lookouts at the window overlooking the parking lot to observe applicants’ moments before emerging from their cars! What do they see?
- Applicant doing touch ups on makeup and hair in the rear view mirror
- Applicant searching for resumes and portfolios materials
- Applicant changing clothes in the car
- Applicant changing shoes in the car
I take a few cleansing breaths and pray briefly too, but my big thing is about changing shoes in the car.
With little else other than the manilla resume folder in my briefcase, it just seems convenient to put my “interview shoes” in there too. I drive to the interview in my comfortable “driving shoes”, pack them in an up-scale store shopping bag on the floor of the passenger side and slip on my pristine “interview shoes” before I get out of the car. Then, I hope I will not have to do a 100 meter hallway trot or the master stairs.
An interview in a Temple of Commerce style building with a bank of steps at the front entrance and no elevator to the higher floors means I end up doing a one-woman presentation of “A Christmas Carol” or “Cinderella” after the ball. By the time I get to the office at the top of the stairs I’ll be hobbling like Tiny Tim and puffing like Molly-the-steam engine. My makeup has half floated away and sweating has already turned my creole hair to its natural state on the back of my head. My only hope is a ladies’ room not requiring to ask for the key at the front desk. It is not polite to begin a personal urban renewal project once past the threshold of the business office.
You see, my feet came into the world with low arches, and working retail jobs over the years rewarded me for that by granting me flat feet. Shoe fitters can spot me immediately by my gait screaming so loudly about the pain in my hips and knees that makes me look (and move) much older than I really am. I’m not ready for The Scooter Store. I just have a problem finding good-looking, comfortable interview shoes. The thin soles and high heels on women’s dress shoes are torture to stand or walk in. Plus, fashion is pushing pointed toes at us again. Shoes, accessories and make up are some of the cheapest ways to update a look, so “iron-maidens” for the feet being the current style again is not good news. Ugly orthopedic shoes are never good to wear to an interview.
The going literature about interview footwear for women is conservative-colored, closed-toe-and-heel pumps. That means, my “Sunday” shoes–the cute ones I put on to be worn for a couple of hours and the first thing kicked off at the door upon returning home from worship services. Arch supports in them feel horrible. My heels are almost non-existent, so heel grips have to go in them too. Usually, I opt for a low heeled sling-back (not the A-one choice according to interview stylists) and hope that I will basically be sitting down for most of the interview.
some crazy shoes:
- Comfortable Stylish Flats for Narrow Heels (barkingdogshoes.com)
- Do the Shoes Fit? (tatumwoodroffe.typepad.com)
- Be a sole survivor – choose the right shoes to keep on running (thisislondon.co.uk)