So, you landed that coveted interview with a PR firm. Congratulations!
You should be excited – it’s not easy to get to the interviewing stage. But in addition to being excited, you should also well-prepared. Going into your interview for a new role in pubic relations feeling ready and organized will help to calm your nerves and give you a confidence boost.
If you’re interview is happening over Zoom or another video conferencing platform, as most interviews are happening these days in a post-pandemic world, then keep in mind that the way you come across on video matters. You should dress the same way for a Zoom interview as you would an in-person one. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should adorn yourself in tights and heels – but you want to come across professional and put together.
Aside from appearance, take a look at the most common questions asked during interviews for PR jobs and have an answer prepared for each.
1. What do you like about working in public relations?
Let’s get the most obvious question out of the way. Your interviewer, who is likely a publicist themselves, wants to know why you’re in the PR field. What is it about public relations that you’re passionate about? Did you always intend on working in PR, or did you stumble across it at some point in your career? You can go even deeper – if you have something that you love about PR and something that you hate, give your interviewer both! This will give them more insights into your personality and it’ll set you apart from other candidates.
2. What are your top strategies for pitching the media?
A big component of landing any job is showing your potential future employer how adept you would be at your job performance. In PR, knowing how to pitch the media is everything. This is when you can share your favorite pitching tactics that have yielded the most success. On the flip side, you can also share strategies that have not worked well for you, and how you had to alter your approach or switch up your strategy in order to get better results. It’ll show that PR firm that you are a problem solver and that you’re able to think outside the box.
3. How do you build relationships with journalists, reporters or other media professionals?
Much like your ability to pitch the media, being able to form relationships and have a good rapport with professionals in the media is a huge component of working in public relations. The PR firm is going to want to ensure that you will present its brand name is a good light, and that you have some connections and relationships with reports and journalists up your sleeve that you can bring with you into this new role and for your new roster of clients.
4. What are your top tricks for time management and avoiding burn out?
If you’re interviewing for a PR job, then you already know that the field of public relations is fast-paced and can be very demanding. Your potential employer is going to want to ensure you can keep up with the many moving parts of any given day, and that you can successfully care for your workload without becoming burnt out. Having strong time management skills and a self-care regimen is critical.
5. How do you build trust with your clients?
When you join a PR firm, you’ll need to manage your own clients – including effective communication and deliverables. Tell your interviewer the main ways you’ve built trust with a client in the past. Do you over communicate monthly goals? Have you provided several media placements for their brand? Whatever it is that you do to form a strong bond, be sure to share it!
6. How do you measure the success of your PR efforts?
This isn’t an easy question, and everyone measures success differently. But it’s important for the PR firm to understand how you think and how you personally measure your success. Is it in the number of media placements you secure each month? Is it in the new relationships you form with media professionals each quarter? Is it in the praise you receive from your boss or teammates? Is it in actual growth provided by analytics or metrics, such as growth in social media following on your client’s Instagram account, or more inbound traffic to your client’s website?
7. When was a time that you had to handle a PR crisis and what did you do?
No one likes this question, but it’s an important one. Along with the good is the bad and the ugly. No matter how hard you may try to prevent a crisis, they are always going to arise at one point or another, and they generally come out of left field. So, be open and honest with your interviewer. Have a solid example ready to go of when you encountered a PR crisis with one of your clients – tell them what happened that caused the crisis, and the immediate actions you took.
If a crisis that you personally encountered isn’t coming to mind, use a real-world example or something going on in current events, and tell them how you would handle it if that way you client.
8. Why do you want to work here?
This is a great opportunity for you to show off how much you researched the PR firm before the interview. Are they a women-led PR firm? Do they work with non-profit organizations? Make sure you know a few interesting facts and details about this particular public relations agency prior to going into the interview. It’ll show that you did your homework and your interviewer will definitely be impressed.
Looking for a job in PR? Apply at Pace PR!
We always have jobs openings at our PR firm in New York City. Visit our Careers page and apply to work with the PPR team. If you don’t see a role that’s right for you, then reach out to us with your résumé and we will keep your information on file for future opportunities that are perfect for your skillset. We look forward to meeting you!