Jobs in the PR industry tend to require confidence, strong communication skills and good interpersonal skills. The interview stage is therefore an important step in helping hiring managers determine if you’re the right fit for the role.
Consultant and researcher Amanda Crowe and I put our heads together to come up with the following three key interview preparation tips to get ready for your first PR role.
1. Prepare answers to common interview questions
You can never predict exactly what you’ll be asked in a PR job interview, but by practicing answers to the most common interview questions, you can prepare yourself for a range of potential queries. You might start by writing your answers down, but it can also be really helpful to speak your answers aloud in the mirror or to another person. This can help you feel more confident in delivering them in the interview and allow you to notice where responses might be too long or wordy. Make sure to keep your answers relatively concise, and don’t rehearse too much since you want your responses to sound natural and personable. Common interview questions to prepare include:
– Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
– Why do you want to work here?
– What is your proudest professional achievement?
2. Have examples in mind to backup your skills
It isn’t enough to simply list your skills and personal qualities in an interview. Hiring managers already know this about you from your resume. The interview is the time for you to give real life examples of your competency for the role. Mention specific situations in which you overcame a challenge or produced measurable results in a previous role or work experience position. The STAR method is a great technique to keep in mind during interviews. Outline the situation you were dealing with, describe the task at hand, discuss the action you took and list the results of that action and what you learned from the experience.
3. Lean into your lack of experience
If you’re new to the professional workforce or you’re moving into the PR industry as a career change, you might worry that your lack of PR experience could make it difficult to find your first role. However, you can use your lack of experience as an advantage by focusing on your enthusiasm for learning and ability to rise to new challenges. Recent graduates make appealing candidates because they tend to fit easily into a company’s culture, they’re not relying on outdated knowledge or experience, and they’re often highly flexible compared to seasoned professionals.
Career changers can highlight their ability to bring a new perspective by transferring skills and expertise from another industry into PR. Many employers see career changers as particularly attractive candidates because they are ambitious, they relish taking on new challenges and they strive to take genuine satisfaction out of their work.
Job interviews can be incredibly daunting, particularly for first jobs after completing education or making a career change. By following the tips above you can go into your next PR interview with confidence in your skills and personal attributes.