Public relations is an exciting and dynamic field. It’s also very competitive, so if you are fortunate enough to land a job interview you want to make sure you’re well prepared. Since public relations is all about generating publicity and making a strong impression, you will have to do some PR of your own when being interviewed. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Do Your Research
When preparing for the interview, learn as much as you can about the company to which you’re applying. This will allow you to answer common questions such as “Why do you want to work for our company?” If you know something about their background and history, you can speak intelligently about why you want to work there and what you can contribute.
Understand What Contemporary Public Relations Encompasses
Public relations used to be a much simpler field. Today, however, it includes both modern digital media and traditional media such as print publications, radio and television. This means that you will be expected to be knowledgeable in all these areas.
Older applicants who may be experienced with traditional PR may have to brush up on social media and online marketing. Younger, internet savvy applicants should make sure they understand that print and other traditional media is still relevant in public relations. Of course, you have to alter your approach to the specific company that is interviewing you. A social media company may not care much about print media. However, it’s best to be prepared to interview for all kinds of public relations positions.
Public Relations is a People-Centered Profession
Whereas some jobs, such as computer programming, are mainly about technical know-how, public relations is a people-centered field. When you are being interviewed for such a position, you can be sure that you will be judged not only on your background and experience, but also by your personality and social mannerisms.
This means you need to express some enthusiasm and confidence during the interview. You don’t have to go overboard with this, but make sure you pay attention to your body language and tone of voice. Make good eye contact with the interviewer and speak in a clear and confident tone of voice.
Some Questions to Expect
You can never predict exactly what questions will be asked at an interview. However, there are certain questions that are likely to come up when interviewing for a public relations job.
- What are your long term goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What are the most important tasks performed by public relations companies?
- Is public relations the same thing as marketing or advertising? If not, what are the differences?
- How would you leverage social media in a public relations campaign?
- Describe a PR campaign you have worked on in the past.
- How would you go about helping a company that was experiencing a social media or reputation management crisis?
These are just some of the questions you should be prepared to answer when applying for a public relations position. The more prepared you are for interviews, the better your chances of being hired.
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