Public relations in the workplace is necessary and important. It is needed as a management function in every successful business. Although at times, it can be very broad and diverse, it is essential for a company or client to enhance brand and reputation. Commonly mistaken for marketing, advertising and publicity, public relations falls into its own category. When applying for a position in PR and going through the interview process, it is important to remember to tailor your answers specifically to the company.
Don’t make the mistake of walking into an interview and talking about other career paths such as marketing or advertising if you are there for a PR position. Sometimes what you say can accidently sound like you may be applying for a different position. Staying fresh and current on your skills and knowledge of current events is a key quality to posses when going into an interview. While researching helpful tips to prepare I came across tips from smartrecruiters.com. The following tips are a few general questions that could potentially be asked while in your interview:
- What does public relations mean to you?
- Since public relations is so broad, it is helpful for an employer to see if your perception of public relations matches what they are looking for in their company. Showing your potential employer that you are well rounded will show them you know the true meaning of public relations.
- What skills have you acquired that would help you communicate client’s message?
- We all know that oral and written skills are needed to be successful in public relations, but it takes more. Assertiveness, passion, persuasion, and creativity are skills that set average apart from the best. Those professionals that harvest hobbies such as photography, editing and production knowledge or community outreach programs are the ones considered top notch.
- How can you use social media to reach and impress traditional media?
- If your personal social media sites are dull and unimpressive, what makes an employer believe that your work for them would be any different? Consider your personal social sites to be a direct reflection of the work you would do for your employer. If your personal social site is impressive, then most likely so is the rest of the work you will do.
- How would you handle a certain situation?
- Everyone would handle any situation differently, but in public relations, an employer wants to see if you are able to set up a solution to a crisis whether it be structurally or creatively. Take time to re-play the worst possible situation and stay calm before answering.
Written by Kathleen Duckworth, Account Coordinator
Kathleen is a senior at UNC Charlotte. She holds an Account Coordinator position for the firm and has experience in social media public relations as well as event planning.