The Role of Confidence in a PR Interview

With any job interview comes an influx of nerves and fear; you want to impress the hiring manager and show you’re the best possible candidate for the job. However, if you’re seeking a career in public relations, you might want to approach the interviewing process a little differently. In order to be successful as a public relations professional, you need to be determined and confident, and display these characteristics in your interview in order to leave a positive impression on hiring managers.

Read on to find out what role confidence plays in your PR interview, and how to best showcase it throughout the meeting.

Improved Communication

Before you can confidently step into your interview, reflect on your communication skills. If you feel they need improvement, practice answering common PR interview questions in front of the mirror or with a friend. Feeling self-assured can help you stay clear-headed and avoid becoming overwhelmed during difficult questions. Remember, in the PR world, you’ll need to be able to adapt quickly and think on your feet. A rushed answer will lead to a rambling or long-winded point and could demonstrate negative communication skills to your potential employer. Always prepare for the unexpected, and research potential situational questions you might be asked. Then, keep breathing and give yourself a minute to collect your thoughts throughout the interview. This will better build your confidence in the interviewing process and showcase the skills that the job requires. 

Proved Capability in The Field

Confidence is required in the PR position; it will help you better steer conversations, approach others, and sell your client. So, showing it in your interview shows off a vital skill for the job However, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. When expressing your past successes, don’t stray from the facts. Your interviewer will be more impressed by your honesty than your bragging. Additionally, don’t be afraid to acknowledge major learning experiences. The ability to recognize and communicate your lows, while expressing how you overcame them will show growth, as well as confidence in your ability. Your interview is a time to showcase your strengths, so don’t be afraid to hold your head up high!

Boosted Selling Skills

Confidence allows you to sell your resume with more professionalism and ease. It can turn the interview into more of a conversation than a quiz. Use this confidence to objectively view your strengths and create a personal brand around them that will help you sell your skills to the hiring manager. A strong personal brand can help you align yourself to the company’s mission and show why you would be a valuable asset to the position.

How to Improve Your Confidence

In order to sell yourself at the interview and land your dream job, it’s crucial to enter the meeting with high self-esteem. It will help you better showcase your skills, experience, and future abilities. Do what works for you to boost your confidence before and during every interview. 

Before Your Interview

Dressing for the job you want will not only show your professionalism to your interviewer, but it can also give yourself a subconscious confidence boost. If you look like you fit in, it will be easier to see yourself in the role. Just be sure to address any insecurities you have ahead of time so they don’t distract you during the interview and you can walk in with confidence.

During Your Interview

Carrying yourself with confidence doesn’t end at your interview outfit. Your body language can say just as much about your self-esteem, and if you’re not comfortable, it will translate. Avoiding eye contact, fidgeting in your seat, and keeping poor posture can present a lack of self-confidence and interest during the interview. Poor self-awareness about your nonverbal cues can make a difference between you landing the job or not. If you’re not sure what to do with your hands, use hand gestures while speaking to appear approachable, and always keep eye contact to show warmth and engagement.

Confidence is one of the most important qualities a PR professional can have. In your future role, you’ll be asked to guide clients and brands through difficult waters. You will often be the face in times of turmoil, as well as excitement. Having a poker face when times are hard and being able to reflect your company’s brand outward is paramount to success. Improving your own confidence and showcasing it well during the hiring process is a key ingredient to a long, successful career.

Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

8 thoughts on “The Role of Confidence in a PR Interview

  1. Excellent advice. I also recommend practicing with a friend or colleague. In an interview, the candidate should not just be answering questions. The candidate should be asking smart questions and also expressing a point of view. Candidates should have short anecdotes or mini-speeches internalized and ready to articulate when the opportunity arises.

  2. Great advice for building confidence during the interview process! My name is Bailey Redden, and I am currently a Public Relations major at Southeast Missouri State University. I was wondering, however, would it be ideal to have parts of the interview process memorized beforehand? Or would it be more practical to go into the interview with a good idea in mind of what the interview will be like and not come off as too rehearsed when in the interview process? Thanks!

    1. Research the job and organization thoroughly and practice a few key questions you should anticipate, but be sure to answer in an enthusiastic, not rehearsed manner. Previous blogs discuss interview questions to anticipate. Roll with the flow, maintain eye contact and feel free to ask the interviewer if you response was satisfactory. Engage the interviewer in the conversation–don’t make it just one sided about yourself.

  3. I found this advice to be extremely helpful. I am a college student at Southeast Missouri State University, majoring in PR. I know I will have many interviews in the near future, so I would like to be as confident as possible going into them. What advice would you give someone who has trouble maintaining eye contact when nervous? Is there anyway to really practice this skill?

    I know body language is just as important as dressing to impress, as you previously mentioned. How can someone improve their “nervous habits,” such as fidgeting, or even unintentional shaking?

    Thank you,
    Alayna G. Berry
    Junior at Southeast MO State University

    1. Preparation is the best way to settle your nerves. I always recommend taking several deep breaths before walking through the door for your interview, and remember to smile and give a firm handshake. Successful interviews usually come following a positive first impression. Nervous energy sometimes shows enthusiasm, so don’t get too worked up over letting the nerves play a role in your conversation.

  4. Hi my name is Lauren Jones and I am a Public Relations student at Southeast Missouri. I really enjoyed your article about the interview process of PR. With internship interviews coming up soon, I think that you article gave me a lot of helpful tips in what I can improve on and make sure to do when that time comes. My question to you is if there is a question you have no idea how to answer, how should you answer that without sounding unprofessional?

    Thank you.

    1. Ideally, you won’t find a question that you can’t somehow answer. If you’re really stumped, admit that it’s a great question that you’d like to give some thought to before getting back to them. Then be sure to do so in a follow-up note as soon as possible.

  5. Dear culpwrit,
    Thank you so much for this article. This article was very helpful for me not only me for everyone. who want to boost / improve or enhance their confidence it’s totally help for everyone. You shared very well. I learn many things from this article.
    “Thank you so much for listening to me.”

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