Making it through the early stages of the application process is no small feat. However, you still have to prove that it would be a big mistake to pass up your skills and experience. The best way to do this is at the time of your interview. An interview is when you have the chance to make yourself shine and leave the hiring manager excited and hoping for more. Although you can expect to field some general questions about your education, why the company should hire you, or your skills and experience, the meat and potatoes of the interview comes from the questions you are likely to face that are specific to public relations. For this reason, you should always go into an interview ready to answer some common public relations interview questions, wow the hiring manager, and come out with a job offer.
6 Public Relations Interview Questions & Answers
1. Finding a balance between remaining objective and advocating for your clients is vital. How would you do this?
Although my job as a PR manager will be promoting my organization, I know it is important to remain as unbiased as possible. Sticking with the facts is a great way to ensure that I remain objective. When I work for a great organization, the facts will be enough. I simply need to present them in a positive way. This ensures I remain honest. However, I also understand that I don't have to disclose every last piece of information. I would always try to find that balance between telling consumers information they need to know without bias while also maintaining the best possible outcome for the organization.
2. Tell us about your writing experience.
Writing has always been a huge part of my life. I was editor of both the high school and university newspapers, and I minored in English in college. I know that having strong writing and communication skills are essential in this industry, so I did all I could to prepare myself for what would be required in this area. I have learned to write concisely without compromising my message.
3. How would you handle a PR crisis?
The first step in a crisis is to remain calm and understand that consumers are always going to be angry about something. The next step is to present the facts with total transparency. The public does not want to be mocked, and attempting to downplay the facts when they are clear for all to see never goes well. The last step is to, when appropriate, send a genuine, concise apology that addresses the issues without pointing a finger at others.
4. Social media is an important tool in this industry. Tell us about your favorite platforms and why they are your favorites.
I use various platforms, each depending on the target audience and goals for the organizations I am working for. Facebook is an excellent platform for people in their mid-to-late twenties and thirties or older, while Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter may be better platforms for younger individuals. Each has particular strengths that I can use to increase my reach to my target audience.
5. What are your long-term goals?
Public relations is a passion of mine. I have known it was what I wanted to do since my early college days, and it remains all I can see myself doing in the future. However, I am still a novice in many ways and need time to strengthen my skills and gain more experience. For the foreseeable future, I plan on learning under more experienced mentors. Once I am ready, I hope to open my own public relations firm and pass on what I have learned to the next generation of PR managers.
6. How flexible are you with your time?
While I like to find a good work-life balance, I understand that there are often time-sensitive issues that arise in the PR world, and a crisis can happen at any moment. The public never sleeps, and neither does PR. Knowing this, I am willing to do what is necessary to ensure that the job is done well, and if that means working occasional nights and weekends, I am on board.