Women talk about what they wore for an interview with Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour doesn’t do small talk. She forbids junior staff members from initiating conversation with her.

She’s also notorious for scrutinising the outfits of her staffers.

It’s fair to say that being interviewed by the 66-year-old editor-in-chief of American Vogue – a mantle she has held for close to three decades – would be an intimidating, or closer to petrifying, experience.

US website The Cut recently interviewed dozens of people who’ve had the terrifying privilege of being interviewed by Wintour.

Their stories? Absolutely terrifying.

She’s all smiles when it comes to Nicole and Keith. Via Getty Images.

Here are the take-home points, should you ever be lucky enough to meet the woman known as “Nuclear Wintour”…

1. Spend lots of money.

One woman got a late call-up for an interview the next day and raced off to Barneys (the only store open until 8pm) after work. “I bought a silk Proenza tank dress, Prada heels, and a Celine belt. It was like a supermarket sweep, and I spent about $2,000,” she said. She also made a late stop to a nail salon and booked in a blow dry the next day. Then, she landed a second interview. “I started to really get into it and money stopped becoming a problem. I got a shift dress at Prada from the spring collection and then they sold me the blue patent shoes, and it all looked so good… I think that purchase must have been $3,500.”

Luckily, after forking out all that cash, she got the job.

2. Your suburb and parents’ occupations matter. Also, do. Not. Cry.

The managing editor told one candidate she and Ms Wintour “hated going into bathroom and fashion closets and hearing girls sniffle and cry over the ‘little things’ that go on throughout the day”.

The candidate said the editor was less than impressed with her Brooklyn address and the fact her parents were teachers. Needless to say, she didn’t get the job.


3. It’s all about who you know.

One woman went to see a friend who was a personal shopper at luxury Fifth Avenue department store Bergdorf Goodman for a full wardrobe.

Another female candidate called a stylist friend who advised: “Don’t wear last season’s anything”.

Knowing Kim and Kanye would probably be helpful too. Via Getty Images.

4. Preparation is key.

One man said as soon as he hung up the phone after scheduling his interview, “I just went into preparation mode, poring over every section of all the major international newspapers. I scheduled a haircut for the following day.”

He said he kept his suit simple, teaming it with a dress shirt, polished brown shoes (no socks) and a white linen pocket square. “Before talking about the position, we talked about current events and then tennis…. It wasn’t scary. She was really lovely, in fact.”

5. Apparently, hairstyle is just as important.

One candidate got her hair blow-dried for the first time after being advised to do so by a Vogue insider. The interview (her ninth) lasted less than five minutes. And forking out the $30 for the blow dry seemed to pay off – she got the job.

Luckily Brad and Ange always have sweet ‘dos. Via Getty Images.

6. Just, whatever you do, do not go ‘vintage’.

One fresh-out-of-college candidate was also fresh out of cash. I had no money and figured if I wasn’t wearing high-end designer, I would do vintage,” she told The Cut.

“So I wore a very classic outfit with a vintage winter white pencil skirt, and a blouse that I don’t remember. I had new accessories, like designer boots and a bag by Marc Jacobs. Vintage coat.” Sadly, she didn’t get the job.