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19.03.19

4 tips for nailing a PR interview

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Some people love interviews. Some hate them. Wherever you sit on the spectrum we have five common sense rules for you to nail your next PR job interview.

1. Don’t be a professional version of yourself

We know this sounds a little ridiculous but over 60% of securing a job is down to how well you build rapport with your interviewer. They want to get a feel for your personality and who you are at the core. If you’re putting a professional front on you are already creating a barrier to them getting to know you.

Be yourself. Ask questions, show interest where is natural for you and create conversation. The PR industry really is all about building rapport. Show you can do that.

2. Lead the interview

Line managers don’t interview on a daily basis. Therefore they often lack structure and focus when it comes to interviewing. They will often forget to dig deeper into your experience and make assumptions on your answers.

You can make sure you really get your experience across by:

  • Asking questions about the role and then resonating back relevant examples of your experience.
  • On every question you answer use an example. It brings your experience to life.
  • Don’t talk top line “Oh I ran a press day, we pulled together a bunch of influencers, held a PR stunt and delivered the media relations”. No! Go into detail – what was the brief and what is the how, what and why of what you and the team created to solve the comms challenge.

3.  Don’t be good at everything

Nothing scares off an employer more when a candidate states they have brilliant experience in something only to show through their answer that actually, they don’t. For example:

Q: “Do you have social media experience and can put together social media strategies?”

A: “Yes, I have solid social media skills and have delivered quite a few social media strategies for XYZ clients”

Q: “Great, can you give me an example?”

A: “On client XYZ, we created a content calendar that had one post per day. We also tapped into any national days like Pancake Day to generate content. We were able to grow our client from 500 followers on instagram to 1000”

Saying you have social media experience to then only highlight you’ve created a content calendar and worked on an instagram account with 1000 followers tells the employer you think youve got social down pat, but really don’t.

A better answer would have been – “Yes I do have social media experience but it’s on a very small scale. I have created content calendars around different thems, such as national days, and helped to grow small social accounts. However, I would need training & development in this area and am definitely hungry to pick up this skill set”.

4. Find out if the role is right for you

A lot of people are afraid to dig deeper with their questioning. But you shouldn’t be. It’s impressive to the interviewer that you want to know how you’ll fit into the team, what your day to day will look like and that you get clarity on things you are unsure of.

The general rule of thumb is a first stage is there for both parties to get a better understanding of each other – experience, role, culture, personality. If you’ve left that meeting with a good gut feeling, then a 2nd stage interview is your chance to dig deeper and ask questions that you don’t feel were covered in enough detail.

 

Want more advice?

If you’re an intern looking to get a foot into the PR world or an experienced PR professional looking to change jobs, get in touch with one of our consultants. We can provide guidance around salary, career trends and upfront advice on if you taking the right approach with your career search. Just click on the contact our team button below.

 

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