Study: Wearing the wrong shoes can cost you the job

Written by MCJStaff   // April 5, 2014   // 0 Comments

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Article courtesy of AOL Jobs via “The Rundown”

Ever wonder why you didn’t get that juicy job? You did your homework, rocked social media, polished your interviewing skills. But research reveals some stunning surprises about the power of those snap first impressions. Want to avoid career calamity?

It turns out not just foot fetishists have a thing about feet. Researchers at the University of Kansas say that people can accurately judge 90 percent of a stranger’s personality simply by looking at the person’s shoes. In a study published in Journal of Research in Personality participants guessed a stranger’s age, gender, and income simply by looking at their shoes. They also linked certain personality traits to different shoes.

“More masculine-looking” pairs were perceived as being worn by “less agreeable people, ” while stylish shoes were assumed to be donned by rich, conscientious folks.

People rocking those hipster ankle boots came across as aggressive. But if you’re applying for a job at a digital agency in Brooklyn, those boots might be the smart move. An insurance office in Chagrin Falls, Ohio? Stick with the classics. One smart way to figure out your shoe strategy? Before your interview, hang out at a nearby coffee shop, lobby, or parking lot of the company and watch like it’s the finale of Project Runway. You’ll get a strong sense of what’s appropriate for that particular workplace culture.

One trait participants didn’t spot accurately: Attachment Anxiety. If you have several (definition of several, please) pairs of new shoes or take exceptional care of them, you may suffer from “attachment anxiety,” meaning you may spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about what other people think of your appearance. Or you just know when the annual Spring Nordstrom Shoe Sale is on.


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Journal of Research in Personality

Researchers at the University of Kansas


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