5 Brilliant Public Relations Interview Tips

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You’ve almost made it to your dream public relations job! Now just one more hurdle is in front of you, the job interview. This single interview can make or break your chances at getting into your dream public relations position. The good news is your public relations interview can be a pleasant experience if you prepare. When getting ready for the interview, you should think back on your previous job experience and note examples that you can bring up with your hiring manager. These can be from your work life, your personal life or even both – so long as they support the unique skills and qualities the company is looking for in a public relations professional. Check out these public relations interview tips to ensure you slam dunk your interview.

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Public Relations Interview Tips

Emphasize Communication Skills: By definition, public relations involves relating – to the public, to clients, to potential investors and more. That means you have to be a good communicator – one who can hear, analyze and relay information to stakeholders in a clear, effective way. Prepare for your interview by thinking of ways your previous positions helped you become a stronger communicator. Perhaps you played a big role in client presentations or were responsible for preparing reports. Maybe you worked with the media to summarize complex company initiatives into radio-friendly sound bites. Whatever shows off your communications chops, now’s the time to bring it up.

Show You Can Work Under Pressure: Did your last job involve wrangling execs for last-minute interviews? Were you key in efforts to manage a sudden brand crisis? These are the types of things that public relations specialists face every day, and emphasizing your experience handling these high-pressure situations can make you stand out among other job candidates. Being able to work under pressure involves the ability to maintain a level head, calmly assess a situation and make an informed, smart decision – all within a limited amount of time. Chat with your interviewer about any instances that fall under that umbrella to increase your odds of getting the job.

Be Versatile: Part of what makes public relations so exciting is its diversity. This field can involve anything from organizing media training to managing ad spend and more. It can also involve being able to turn on a dime and shift focus and responsibilities to new areas of the business. That means the best public relations professionals are versatile and flexible. Show your recruiter you’re able to roll with the punches and get results. Talk about times when you were forced to switch gears unexpectedly – perhaps because another employee was out, or because a situation changed rapidly. Both are common scenarios in this fast-paced industry, and your ability to swiftly and adeptly adjust to the situation will earn you major points with your interviewer.

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Be a Quick Learner: Public relations professionals are the ambassadors of the brand. Media, executives and others come to them expecting accurate, concise information about the company or an emerging situation quickly. Therefore, the best public relations professionals are able to get up to speed fast. Consider times in your professional life when you were able to hit the ground running. These can include parachuting into a crisis, getting up to speed and implementing media measures, or simply taking over an account quickly. Be prepared with specific details showing what steps you took to learn the situation and formulate a plan of attack.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mention Media Connections: Be they online writers, print reporters, radio personalities or anything in between, members of the media are critical partners for any public relations specialist. Companies value good relationships with the media and look kindly upon candidates who come with their own well-established Rolodex of media contacts. Find ways to mention instances where you worked with well-known media outlets and be ready to describe how you build and maintain relationships with reporters and other media specialists.

Landing a public relations job interview can be a big step on the path to an exciting career. But to get your dream job, you’ll need to make a good impression on the hiring manager. Don’t go in unprepared. Try these public relations interview tips to wow your hiring manager and be on the road to a public relations job in no time.

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