Duralex wrote:I think it's a matter of taste at that point--cordovan can look very refined where black just looks standard-issue. Black shoes are "more formal" in theory and I'll defer to others on this but I don't think even interviewing reaches quite that height of formality/reserve: it's not a black tie dinner or a funeral. However, inexpensive cordovan shoes can be hard to find, you need a matching belt, and if you're only going to buy one pair they're going to be black.
On the tailor: I can't give tips on how to pre-select, except word of mouth (which is how the people I know found the ones they use--maybe Yelp?) but I can emphasize that you should go through a trial period. Get a pair of trousers finished. Then get a decent but not super expensive sport coat or similar altered. Then try the tailor on a suit. (You may not have time for this kind of courtship, but I'm afraid of getting suits I'm planning on holding onto for a while altered by someone unproven.)
Good suggestion on the Yelp. Found a tailor with a bunch of great reviews for altering suits.