As job seekers preparing for an interview, we all know to dress appropriately, bring a copy of our resume, and be prepared for possible interview questions. Some people even go for advanced interviewing techniques like mirroring the interviewer’s body language. But here are five fresh tips you may not have thought about when interviewing for a PR job:
1. Read the PR Page on the Company Website – This is a quick way to get inside the minds of the company’s PR team. What have they been focusing on lately? What news is highlighted? Who are the PR contacts? Research those people because – unless the company has a huge PR team – you very well may be meeting them during the course of your interview. A company’s “Media” or “Press” webpage is a great way to snag insider intelligence.
2. Identify the Company’s PR Challenges – Taking the time to do this research is a win-win proposition. If they mention their PR challenges, you’re ready to respond knowledgeably. If they play hardball and ask experiential questions about what you would do if you faced such a challenge, well, you have that in the bag, too. And if you get the job, you’re that much more prepared for Day One.
3. Be Prepared for a Writing Test – It’s expensive to hire the wrong person, and more and more companies are relying on quantifiable processes, such as testing, before making a new hire. You may be asked to write a sample press release or take a word choice, syntax or grammar test. Go to the interview with your thinking cap on.
4. Quantify Your Achievements – PR isn’t engineering. You can’t boast that you built five widgets or increased manufacturing output by 240% and other PR pros know that. But human resources people? Not so much. If you’re applying for a PR job at a larger company, ultimately you will have to impress more than just the Vice President of Public Relations. Make sure to bring along some quantifiable stats – such as achieving story placement in 8 out of 10 local magazines for a previous client – to impress the less creatively inclined.
5. Dress Like You’re Going to Appear on Television – Who knows? As a PR person, you just might. A lot of a PR pro’s work is thankless and behind the scenes but appearances are important in our line of work. The company might be hiring because they’re getting ready for some major new PR pushes that will thrust them (and you) into the spotlight.
Competition for jobs is tough these days. Follow these tips and stand out from the crowd of faceless suits clutching their resumes.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html