Many people who are studying public relations at university may find real life interviews daunting but as long as you are prepared and you be yourself, there is really nothing to be worried about. If you don’t get the job at the end of it, at least you have experience of what an interview is like, and the feedback can be adapted to future interviews so you can land your dream job.
Interviews are all about the way you answer the questions, so I thought it might be helpful if I made a list of questions for you, and summed up the way they should be answered.
Why do you want to work in PR?
Just be honest here and have something interesting to say. If you’re passionate, it will be apparent in your answer. You’ll be able to show off your knowledge of the industry and the importance of PR. If you aren’t passionate, maybe you shouldn’t be doing the interview in the first place.
How would you balance advocacy and objectivity?
Part of PR is promoting your organisation without deceiving the public. This is another situation where honesty is important. You don’t have to tell consumers every single detail of what the organisation is doing, but you should always report what is relevant to them with as little bias as possible. If you’re part of an organisation you believe in, stating the facts in a positive way will be more than enough.
What writing experience do you have?
Many interviewers stress the importance of good writing skills as past of an ideal PR job candidate. You need to know how to articulate ideas in a way that is undeniably clear, concise and impossible to take the wrong way. Make sure you take writing examples.
How would you put together a pitch?
Here is where you can talk about your research skills. Talk about your writing skills as well if they have not already inquired about it. Cite past experience if you’ve done pitches at previous jobs. You should also make sure you know what kind of pitch they’re talking about. All good pitches give facts supporting why the idea is worth the investment of time and resources, why is it the best choice and how the people helping you will benefit.
Is there anything our organisation has been doing recently that you find interesting?
If the interviewer asks you this question, he or she is probably referring to corporate news or news about the company as a whole. Knowing about the company will impress your employer since it proves you did your homework. If you’re feeling brave, talk about the things you would have done differently if you had the power in the company.
What are your favourite social media platforms?
There isn’t a correct answer for this one. Just have a thorough explanation and make sure to talk about how you make the most effective use of the platforms. If you have lots of favourite, focus on the ones most relevant to the job. Be prepared to explain niche platforms that the interviewer might not know about and do so in a way that isn’t patronising or condescending.
If you take on board these tips and score a great PR job, then you will be joining a growing industry. Literally every major company in the world needs some form of PR so there will never be a shortage of opportunities so just make sure that you know what you are talking about and stand out from the crowd.
Good luck in your future PR career!