You finally found success in the application process and have been called in for an interview. You may have created an awesome resume that got you recognized, but the interview is the employer’s chance to truly get to know you. The hiring manager is going to take this opportunity to begin to understand your work ethic, goals and personality, and you really want all of it to shine through. While there are several general questions that you can anticipate, there will be a number of inquiries directly covering the PR manager position. Your interview will start with questions on your interests, skills and qualities, but then it will move to specific questions on particular experiences and how they apply to the specific industry and position. You will want to be ready with clear specific answers.
We have crafted a list of common PR manager interview questions and answers to help you succeed in the pending interview.
6 Common PR Manager Interview Questions & Answers
1. What qualities do you think are necessary to be a PR manager?
It is important that those in PR are able to appropriately interact and communicate with others. It is particularly important that they are able to communicate calmly even in confrontational situations. Additionally, because they are creating an image of a company or person to the public, they need to anticipate public response. Finally, they need to have the creativity to create press releases and other materials that meet public expectations.
2. As a PR manager, you will be expected to work with different individuals and groups. Describe a time when you had to overcome a challenge in a group to successfully promote a product.
At my last PR firm, I was assigned to complete a project with an individual that I did not necessarily see eye-to-eye with on a personal level. We had some conflict in political and personal beliefs. However, I believe that it is important to set personal conflicts aside, and in fact it can be more beneficial, particularly in this field, to work with people with different perspectives. I made sure to listen to her ideas and understand where she came from. Ultimately, we were able to set our beliefs aside and get the job done.
3. How have you dealt with miscommunication in press releases, articles or other materials in the past?
In my last position, I would often write PR materials on social media for clients. In particular, we were working with a natural food company. In one of the media posts, I inadvertently used the term organic in place of natural as I was trying to create more variety in the material. However, the company had not been classified as organic, and they were concerned that I was misrepresenting them. I quickly apologized for using the term and communicated that I would quickly remove the ad and avoid this issue in the future. I certainly learned to be a little more careful with the thesaurus.
4. As a PR manager, you will be working with others. Have you ever dealt with a disagreement on a PR plan or campaign from a manager or co-worker? How did you handle it?
In my last position, I was placed in a group that was working on a PR plan for a cosmetic company that had recently ceased animal testing. I personally thought that this would be an important point to highlight since this is a central factor in consumer purchases. However, one of my co-workers believed that we should specifically leave this out of the approach, as he thought it would bring unnecessary attention to the problem. When handling the situation, I made sure to acknowledge what he was saying to create a rational discussion. This helped me demonstrate my own plan. Ultimately, the group voted and my plan succeeded.
5. Describe a time when you had to create a PR approach that satisfied a client’s expectations while staying true to the best approach.
Finding a balance between a client’s desires and the best approach can be hard. For instance, the makeup brand that was avoiding animal testing really wanted to target high fashion clients, but I thought that tapping into the cruelty-free market could be more beneficial. While on the surface these might seem extraordinarily different, I looked for common ground and tapped into an overlapping demographic.