Getting invited to interview for a public relations job can make you feel like you’re on your way to success. After crafting the perfect resume and a solid cover letter, the next challenge is to master the interview. An interview is your chance to show a hiring manager why you should be hired, and it is your way of selling yourself for the position. You can show how perfect you are for the job by understanding what some of the common public information officer interview questions and answers are.
As with many interviews, a hiring manager first spends time discussing general topics with you in order to find out more about your personality and working style. To prepare for these types of questions, you can start rehearsing your answers in front of a mirror. The other important thing to do before an interview is get a better idea of what the company has to offer. Knowing more about the company, the specific job and possible questions you may face can make you feel more at ease.
5 Public Information Officer Interview Questions & Answers
1. With this job you may have to work closely with the media. Give me an idea about your experience with various forms of media.
I have dealt with different forms of media throughout my career, including print, television and online news sources. I have built relationships with some local reporters to get my organization’s message spread in a timely and accurate way. I am also sensitive to deadlines that writers and reporters often face in their work, so I strive to provide complete information to them as soon as possible about different newsworthy topics.
2. Writing skills are important for this position. What are some of your writing strengths?
I have used my writing skills in all aspects of my career and have quite a bit of exposure to different types of writing within the public relations field. I have experience writing press releases, articles, media briefings, speeches and other forms of communication. I also have had to put together many different media kits for the various organizations that I have represented throughout the years. I thrive in pushing through deadlines and writing with a clear and concise style.
3. In this line of work, you often have to assist with a public official’s image to the public. How do you create a positive public image?
For public officials, such as government representatives or other people involved in the legislative process, the most important thing is to make someone accessible. When I advise an individual of what to do to in order to improve an image, I start with the social media presence. I believe that all public officials should have a visible presence online. Next, there should be an easy way for government higher-ups to be contacted by the public. When there is transparency, the population generally sees someone in a more positive light.
4. You may have to give speeches on camera for this position. What are your verbal communication abilities?
In my past jobs, I had to also give speeches or run press briefings. I feel naturally comfortable in this role of speaking to the public. I simply focus on preparing for the event ahead of time. I anticipate different questions if it’s not a speech, and I practice my answer delivery. I also run my information and stances by my supervisor in advance so any adjustments to the message can be made. I have found that if you know what you’re talking about, you can truly be able to come across as capable and informative while dealing with the media.
5. When there is a disaster situation, a public information officer is often on the front line. How do you think you would deal with a disaster or emergency situation?
In any situation that is high stress, most of all, I would try to convey a demeanor of calmness. Whatever the disaster is, individuals may get worried if I stand in front of them and begin to panic. I can put the public much more at ease if I explain what I know about the situation and get them to see that it is under control.
Being hired for a top government public relations job can be more of a reality if you master your public information officer interview questions. Then, you can start seeing your career take off to the next level.