Some people love interviews. Some hate them. Wherever you sit on the spectrum we have four common-sense rules for you to nail your next PR job interview.
We know this sounds a little ridiculous but over 60% of securing a job is down to how well you build rapport. The interviewer wants to get a feel for your personality and who you are at the core. If you’re putting a professional front on, you’re already creating a barrier to them getting to know you.
Be yourself, ask questions and show where your natural interests in the role sit. Only ask questions if you genuinely want the insight. Asking questions for the sake of it never looks good. Showing that you can build a connection with the hiring manager will show that you can do the same with journalists and clients/stakeholders.
Line managers don’t interview on a daily basis. This means 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:
Nothing putts 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 you 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 to 1000 followers on Instagram”
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 you’ve 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 themes, 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”.
A lot of people are afraid to dig deeper with their questioning. 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 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. Things like experience, role, culture and personality will be assessed. 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.
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 your job search. Just get in touch via the button below.