While a sparkling resume and sharpened cover letter demonstrate both your commitment and your actual skills as a public relations representative, they won’t quite close the job for you by themselves. Face-to-face interviewing means making an impression, but it also means remembering that you are competing against of pool of other candidates that may all match your skills on the document side. To get the offer at the end of the process, you need to stand out in ways that make you memorable for the right reasons.
This means preparation. You’ll need to practice with interview questions common to all career fields, like “Tell me about your greatest failure?” You will also find yourself faced with industry-specific public relations representative interview questions that test your knowledge and your practice in ways that particularly fit the needs of your prospective employer. Learning successful approaches to navigating these questions can offer the edge you need, and one of the best ways to do that is to look at examples of successful answers.
5 Public Relations Representative Interview Questions & Answers
1. Why do you want to work in PR?
I chose this field for a few reasons. First of all, because it takes advantage of my reading and writing skills in ways that challenge me to be creative and to advocate for my clients. That was a huge point for me. I thought about being a lawyer for a while, but then I realized that the kind of advocating for clients that I wanted to do had a lot more to do with their overall perception and reputation, and with the way they market themselves to their own customer base or audience. In this field I can combine the creativity of working in advertising, the advocacy that I would have gotten through the law, and the data-oriented approaches from marketing all at once.
2. How do you balance objectivity and your advocacy for your clients?
No clients benefit from having a distorted view of their own playing fields. That is the important thing to remember about being an advocate Â— that the biggest part of your job is serving the clients, and that means telling them what they don’t want to hear when it happens to be what they need to hear. By doing this, I can advise them about the best ways to manage the information, allowing for better strategies and giving them a path forward that realistically assesses the options available in any situation. What I don’t do is take my opinions outside of client meetings, because in the end I need to implement the strategies they approve.
3. What writing experience do you have?
I started as a copy writer for an SEO marketing firm before I went back to school. That prepared me to both use research and advocate for a client’s reputation, and as my skills grew I eventually moved into ghostwriting branded pages and blogs. In my internship I found myself in a marketing and reputation management firm where I was tasked with preparing reports on our research, and that helped me to understand how to combine that advocacy with concrete details and data, to make persuasive and fact-oriented recommendations. Between those experiences, I feel I am ready to step into directly working with clients and organizing larger strategies that use both of those touchstones as key ingredients.
4. How would you prioritize and start your work day?
I usually start by checking the media outlets most relevant to my clients, as well as the fallbacks that I always check when I need to get my basic information for the day. Once I have sorted through any changes or overnight developments that might affect my clients, I look at what communications are due to whom, and also which clients are in the most need of direct intervention from me if their strategies are going to stay on track. From there I plan out my resources for the rest of the day, so no single client monopolizes my time and exhausts me.
5. What are your favorite social media platforms?
I am a big fan of anything that gets people engaged on multiple fronts. That means Instagram, Pinterest, any video sharing platforms, and of course, Twitter because it allows for easily propagating links and other re-shared information. Facebook is important, too, because it is big enough you cannot avoid it, but it is also hard to pin down target audiences through it because it is so large.