5 Handy Public Relations Specialist Interview Tips

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You’ve created the perfect resume and landed the job interview. Now there’s just one more step to cinching your dream public relations specialist job: acing that interview! A job interview offers both you and your potential new employer a chance to try one another on for size. For the hiring manager, your job interview gives a chance to see firsthand how well you perform critical workplace skills such as acting under pressure and presenting information. For you the job hunter, a job interview is a chance to take the stage and wow your potential new employer with your presentation skills. It’s easy to see why having a slam dunk interview is so critical – and why having the public relations specialist interview tips below in your back pocket is invaluable.

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Public Relations Specialist Interview Tips

Do Your Homework: One of the easiest ways to blow an interview is coming in unprepared – and nothing screams “unprepared” quite like a job interviewee who doesn’t know enough about the company. We’re all guilty of responding blindly to a job ad, or perhaps scrambling to prepare for an interview we didn’t expect to get. However, it’s no excuse for not knowing the basics about your new potential employer. Being unfamiliar with things like its clients, its philosophy and its overall approach can come off as a sign of being unprepared at best and disrespectful at worst. Bone up on the company’s approach in advance by reading the company website, checking out its social media accounts and even reading recent press releases and news articles about the company.

Know the Lay of the Land: Public relations specialists are on the knife’s edge of the news, often acting as gatekeepers for dissemination of information from some of the biggest companies in the world. They have to stay current, and making an impression as a potential public relations specialist is reliant upon knowing about current events in the field. Which large company recently had a huge public relations disaster, and how did it fix it? What are the latest trends in the public relations industry? Find opportunities in your interview to work current events into your answers. Your interviewer is certain to be impressed by your knowledge of the industry.

Showcase Crisis Resolution Skills: A big part of many public relations specialists’ roles involves putting out fires threatening the company brand. These can range from negative news stories to social media hacks. Chances are your hiring manager will want to know that when the brand is in trouble, you’ll be able to respond quickly, calmly and efficiently. Do you have any instances in your professional or personal life where you were able to stay level-headed and think of a solution in the midst of a storm? Now’s the time to bring them up.

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Highlight Your Multi-Tasking Skills: Public relations specialists are marketing’s jugglers, often keeping many different projects in the air. They may be tasked with fielding reporter queries on one hand, managing a social media contest on the other hand, while finding a third hand to coordinate interview training for company executives. These professionals have a lot on their plates, and to get in the door as a public relations specialist, it’s crucial that you be able to show you can successfully keep several balls in the air at once. Perhaps you oversaw a site migration while organizing an annual company meeting. Maybe you simultaneously managed multiple enterprise-sized client accounts. Show your interviewer that you’re unafraid to take on multiple challenges at once to get one step closer to landing the job.

Emphasize Social Media Skills: Social media’s importance in the public relations toolbox is undeniable. Top public relations firms want professionals who offer a deeper than average understanding of social media and have mastered its use in a professional setting. Score big by relating how you have used social media in your work projects. Even if a public relations specialist isn’t called on to post to social media, he or she will most certainly need to understand how it works and its potential effects on the company brand, both good and bad.

An interview is a chance for you to wow your new potential employer. Don’t waste the opportunity. Use these public relations specialist interview tips to ace the interview and land the job of a lifetime.

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