Public relations is not what it once was. In today’s digital, virtual, social media world, many of the dynamics that makes for a successful PR campaign have shifted. That’s not to say everything has changed. There are many tried and true, time tested principles that have always worked and still do. The key to success in PR in today’s shifting marketplace of ideas is to keep what has always worked and integrate the speed, immediacy and constantly shifting consumer dynamics that define modern life. That’s what today’s PR teams are looking for when the time comes to add someone new to their team.
So, how do you win your dream job in public relations? What will the interviewer ask and how can you be certain you will be prepared to knock the interview out of the park? Internalize these PR job interview tips.
Know who they are and what they’re about.
If you walk into an agency without first researching who they are, then you’ve already lost. You need to know what they’ve been doing lately, who some of their key clients are – and not just the big brands. You should know a bit about the CEO as well as the leadership team. They may not ask you anything directly, but if you can weave some relevant facts and stories into your answers, the interviewer will appreciate your preparation.
Do what you need to do to be sharp.
A good night’s sleep? Coffee? Donut? Cross-Fit? Scream therapy? Whatever you need to be at your sharpest, do that. Be prepared to take a test, to complete a timed writing assignment or make a recommendation about an account without much up front information. You won’t know what it will be going in, but they will test your ability to think on your feet and deliver fast.
You will need a notepad. Skip the smartphone. It’s distracting, and they won’t know if you’re taking notes or checking Facebook. Pick up a reporter’s spiral notebook and a couple of pens. Another tip here, bring more than one resume. You might consider carrying at least five. You could end up handing out three. Then drop two off at the competing businesses nearby. Never hurts to multitask.
Have good questions.
They will eventually ask you if you have any questions. You need to have something more than “so, what about pay?”
Know what they’re really looking for and how to deliver that message.
This is a PR gig, after all. You need to sell yourself as the solution to the specific needs the company is looking to fill. If it’s not clear, ask. Find out, then let them know how you can help them achieve their goals. Never forget, you may want the job, but they’re not hiring you … they’re filling a need.
While these tips won’t guarantee you will get any job you apply for, they can help you earn the best job for you.