Can You Wear Sandals to An Interview? #Considerations #Alternatives

Are you stressing over whether you should wear sandals for a job interview? Then this piece will solve your dilemma be it whichever interview – waitress or an engineer, for teenage or an adult. If we look at the standard dress code for attending any interview it’s mostly formal. But there can be a situation where a person feels uneasy and goes for relaxed footwear along with loose-fit attire. Will that be feasible? That’s the question.

If you are thinking of getting sandals and wearing them to an interview that can be a huge turn off for the interviewers and that’s quite an issue. Sandals can make a working woman appear as a carefree person who does not take things seriously. Though you can say that it’s an assumption. But the truth of the matter is your dress projects an impression of how you will be as an employee.

can you wear sandals to an interview?

That’s what first impressions are all about, if you don’t strike the chord and appear as a serious candidate willing to get the job, you might not get it. That’s why you need to wear sharp formals and office footwear. So, if not sandals what are the alternatives? Things that you need to consider before dressing sandal as the footwear for the interview.

Can You Wear Sandals to an Interview?

In a normal scenario, it is not permissible for you to go to an interview wearing casual footwear. And this is not only the rule in context to sandals but all casual wear and accessories. Sandals are worn on informal occasions.

When people discuss and talk about their life at a pool party or discussing their life decisions at a backyard BBQ, you would see people wearing sandals. Hence, as the first attire for an interview, it makes a person extremely informal and posits a message that the interviewee cannot dress seriously for the interview.

Interviewers also then reason that if you as his potential employee cannot take your dress seriously, chances are you won’t be able to do your job.

Reasons Why you Should Not Wear Sandals to an Interview

Wearing sandals to an interview might not be a right decision. Let us see a few reasons why one should not wear sandals to an interview.

It Comes Off As Too Casual

Sandals are casual footwear. I think that there are certain options like leatherwear and fisherman sandals that are better than the casual sandals that we have in our homes. The only way to get rid of this problem is to not think of exceptions. Even in a casual interview, wearing a casual dress sends the wrong message.

Some interviewers as well as the Human Resource team doubt the person in the interview when they come off too casual. They perceive the person to be bad at work since they are not taking the interview seriously because they do not even have time to wear a decent pair of shoes.

It is Distracting

Sandals cause distraction and this is sole because not a lot of people will wear them. The interviewers will be interviewing a lot of people. Everyone will try their best and want beneficial results. To be in good faith with the interviewing panel, they will dress formally and show discipline. Hence, when you show up for the interview, the panel will get distracted by your casual footwear.

Puts Attention On Your Personality Type

Unconventional people always prefer to wear informal clothes and are eccentric. But here you do not want to focus on aspects other than your qualifications and your skillset. You want the people who judge you by your expertise and work experience. It is convenient for people to misunderstand you. It’s better that you do not give that power to the interviewer.

Alternatives to Sandals For an Interview

Sandals in any manner or fashion are not interview attire. But if you want to wear a specific type of footwear other than sandals then there are many available. You just need to select one that you love and not feel uncomfortable while sitting for the interview but at the same time it does not make you a person who does not care. It can also mean that you look exactly like a person who wanted to have this interview:

Leather Black Shoes

Leather Black Formal shoes are the main component that makes your formal attire complete. It makes you look proper and it portrays you as the woman who has dressed in appropriate office clothing. You can pair your Black Shoes with a traditional formal blouse and wear long off-white or white pants. That will add chic and contrast to your style. However, it will also mean that you will look decked up without managing to violate interview norms.

Penny Loafers

Penny Loafers are an alternative to your formal black shoes. Penny Loafers have a great slip-on form which is laceless and very easy to put on. You can easily wear and unwear it if your feet sweat a lot. But, indeed, Penny Loafers are casual wear and they are not the first choice to go for. But they are better than your sandals. Try to match them with your interview attire.

Suede Dress Shoes

Suede works great for non-formal shoes. It appears it can be swapped but it will still fall under casual formals. However, the thing that works for these shoes is that their rugged and rough structure makes them casual but it is still shaped like formal black shoes. It can work if you go on for a casual interview.

Dark Boat Shoes

Dark Boat Shoes work amazingly in a casual business setup. When we are trying to wear something in a casual setup it should be close to a formal shoe. The best alternative however is to choose something comfortable when we are breaking the rules. Boat Shoes work great since it’s put-on laceless. Try to make sure that the Dark Boat Shoes go with the attire you have put on. It is any day better than a sandal, your feet-fingers won’t be visible which looks a bit inappropriate in an interview.

Things to Consider if You Wish to Wear Sandals For Your Interview

Some people sweat a lot on their feet. The condition is mostly hyperhidrosis. This is genetic and can be amplified with the wearing of formal shoes which essentially blocks the movement of air when you wear them. Hence the sweats can dry and produce a smell. If you have such issues then do the following things:

Look For The Dress Code of the Company

The kind of dress you chose to wear has to ally with the dress rules of your applied job. Suppose you are going for an interview for the position of a waitress in a high-end restaurant. Then it’s okay to come in sandals. However, it shows professionalism if you come in shoes. The best way is to get on the internet and know some facts about the Company’s preferred wardrobe attire and why you should wear it.

Call the Company

In case you have some issues regarding hyperhidrosis. It’s not in your control, so you can call the company and ask if you can come in casuals. If it’s a reputable company, you will be granted a pass. Then you can be stress-free and prepare for the interview without having to think about the problems that you might have during the interview.

If you Apply for Startups

There has been a rising trend of aspiring tech startups and they are doing well. Since these tech startups have friendly surroundings and people are open to dialogue and connections, you can call them up and ask if you can wear sandals. It’s important to understand if the working space has any limitations. But on average startups do not frown on casual clothing. To ask and go helps in being prepared regardless if you wear it or not.

If you Apply for a Senior Position

See, if you are going for a senior position interview in the company barring it’s not a large-cap company, then I think the sandal rule can be stripped off in the interview. But, you still need to do some background research on it. If you are brought in as head of any department, you are advised to look at the attire.

If you work in a leading position and the company has been trying to take you. They won’t bar you from wearing sandals in the interview as they need you.

FAQs on Wearing Sandals to an Interview

There are a few questions to ask when it comes to wearing sandals to an interview. Let us see an answer to a few of them:

Can I Wear Flat Sandals for an Interview?

Flat Sandals are frowned upon being worn in an interview. But in certain cases, in places where your job profile requires you to wear informal clothing, you can put on flat sandals. But it is still advised to go for suede shoes, loafers, or Boat Shoes in case you are allowed. This footwear does not expose your feet which when done looks informal and non-professional. It brings attention to things that are not relevant to the interview.

Are Sandals OK for Casual Interviews?

For casual interviews, sandals can be worn. But try to take care in mind the following pointers:

  • Sandals are open-toed footwear. Try to prefer penny loafers type footwear instead which does not expose the front part of your feet.
  • Confirm by calling the company or the HR Department of the company and ask them if you can wear them. You will get a pass if you suffer from a medical condition called hyperhidrosis.
  • There are two types of casuals, there are dress casuals which are fine and go hand in hand a bit with your formals. Then there are outing sandals which fit only for beach use or just a BBQ evening with friends. It’s advised not to wear the outing sandals and stick to only dress casual sandals.
  • Many people make a callous decision by thinking that just because it’s summer they can go in a casual outfit. That’s not the case. You have to be in formal attire. You cannot go to the office in a tank top during summers, so that’s also the same with footwear. You cannot swap footwear from formals to casuals just because it’s summer.

Is it Acceptable to Wear Open-Toed Shoes for an Interview?

Open-toed shoes are different from sandals and that’s why both shoes and sandals cannot be compared. Open Toed Shoes work as a charm for professional women with hyperhidrosis. If you face the problem, you can shift from formal black shoes to open-toed shoes. Open-toed shoes work as an asset for women who find it difficult to wear black shoes. Many offices permit wearing them. They are available widely in plain colors which means the lack of contrast works in favor.

Factors to Consider in Wearing Casual Sandals for An Interview

In case you asked the company whether you have permission to wear sandals and casual attire and if they say yes you need to choose the right sandals. Now what are the factors involved in making the right pick:


First of all, type needs to be defined and understood. What kind of Sandals does one need to consider such as Flat Sandals, Wedge Sandals Mules, etc? Out of the three, any woman can pick her choice depending on her comfort level:

Flat Sandals provide stability and maintain poise in your posture. It’s great for women who find it hard to wear heel casuals and find it uncomfortable.

Mules are heels and work better for women who have the habit of wearing them. Heels can easily make one look elegant and it somewhat makes a woman’s attire a tad bit formal which is very uncommon in informal clothes, especially while wearing shades of either black, off-white, white, or gray.


Color is a very important and perennial factor to consider. If you wear bright colors it looks informal even for a casual setup. Even in a working casual space, it is advised to wear muted colors like pale yellow, cream, off-white and black, etc. Too much shine and luster deviate the attention of the interviewer to unnecessary things that the interviewer should not focus on.

Final Say on Wearing a Right Footwear to an Interview

Sandals should be avoided in any case while going for an interview. As it is mentioned here there is a possibility of wearing sandals when appearing in a casual workspace. However, these are exceptions. The alternatives of Sandals can work perfectly in a casual work scene rather than going completely informal. Flat Sandals are not an ideal choice of footwear for interviews; however open-toed shoes with mute colors work as a desirable choice.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years.
Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.

About the Author

Hi there, I am Atish Ranjan! I have been into work and business for more than 11 years now; I have given and taken numerous interviews over the years. Thus, I started to share my knowledge & experience with you! Hope you enjoy reading here.