5 Winning Outfits for Every Kind of Interview Situation

Today's interview landscape is a very complicated one. Once upon a time, the deal was that everyone wore a basic suit; the playing field was level and that was that. Now with increasingly relaxed dress codes across many industries and more options for the actual process of having an interview (from Google Hangouts to hip coffee hangouts), it can be easy to falter and misjudge how your wardrobe needs to be assembled for the occasion. So we've spent some time thinking outside of the usual box—you know, the one where people tell you to simply "be presentable"—and formulated five outfit solutions to win every possible interview situation. Scroll down to see the looks that could help you score that next big move…

Interview Situation #1: The "Is This Really a Casual Coffee?" Coffee

Photo:

Phill Taylor

Style Notes: A tricky thing, the faux-casual coffee. Do not be lured into thinking this is an opportunity to dress down, because a girl can always look pulled together without being OTT. Use this chance to add polish to a pair of your favourite jeans—not only will you feel comfortable in them, you'll be able to hit that understated note. Heels (even small ones) are a must, a good piece of outerwear will tie any laid-back look up. Choose a top that you wouldn't wear on your sofa and add in a few personality pieces: a talking point iPad case, a striking cuff or a neck-tie.

Interview Situation #2: The Just-Off-a-Plane/Train Problem

Photo:

Phill Taylor

Style Notes: A long journey trussed up in a full interview outfit? How uncomfortable. There are subtle outfit swaps you can employ in order to not look rumpled or hot and bothered upon arrival. A well-made trench coat, or a bomber jacket for a more laid-back interview, makes for a good traveling companion. Tote a handbag big enough for a shoe switchover (but ensure you have a cloth protector bag to carry around the spare pair—battered sneaker soles should not peek out mid-interrogation!) and give one of this season's pleated, or purposefully crinkled, dresses a go.

Interview Situation #3: The Chat With Too-Cool-For-School Creatives

Photo:

Phill Taylor

Style Notes: If you're about to be thrown into a highly creative ring and you feel slightly out of place, do not panic and reach for the wackiest item trend you've heard is cool at the moment; this crowd is already onto the next craze. Do as a Parisian would and keep things very understated but expensive-looking, not to mention perfectly fitted to your body. The look? A slouchy but top-quality tee or knit worn with tailored cropped trousers or solid wash jeans (no rips, no distressing!), topped with the kind of jacket or coat that doesn't scream for attention, plus subtly on-trend accessories

Interview Situation #4: Late Night Skyping or Google Hangouts

Photo:

Phill Taylor

Style Notes: Just like a newsreader, you need to think about what your outfit looks like from the torso up. Frame your face with a flattering neckline (warning: strapless or off-the-shoulder styles could make you look naked) or add interest via a silk scarf or outsize earrings. Remember, you are probably at home, and it's possibly 9 p.m., so while your PJs are an obvious option on a regular night, you need to strike the balance between casual and fresh-from-work smartness here. A little under eye makeup is key—those laptop cameras can do cruel things to your face, so test out the light beforehand.

Interview Situation #5: 1-2-1 Time With the CEO

Photo:

Phill Taylor

Style Notes: This will of course vary on the nature of your business, but with trouser suits very much back en vogue, your starting point is an easy one. If you are seeking work in a corporate environment with a strict dress code, stay close to the classics—a navy, black or grey two piece is a safe bet when updated with accessories of the season. You'll most likely need a roomy bag that is chic even when stuffed out with a laptop (for bigger budgets head to Céline, for smaller, check out Milli Millu) and smart shoes. This season's array of kittens and posh flats will mean you'll feel ready to strut minus the risk of wobbling.