It’s (almost!) graduation season so I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of helpful hints for recent grads looking to make their way in public relations or a similar field. Here’s a list of important things to remember during an interview.
1. Stand when shaking someone’s hand.
2. Bring multiple copies of your resume and hand them out at the beginning of an interview.
3. Bring your portfolio and offer to showcase your work, don’t wait to be asked for samples.
4. Be prepared to talk about how you get your news (this is public relations, after all, and a large portion of your day will be spent working with the media). Yahoo! is not an acceptable response.
5. Don’t looked shocked when we ask you to tell us about a time you made a mistake. We don’t expect people to be perfect, we know you’ve screwed up before (Lord knows we have) and we want to see that you’re capable of growing and learning from your mistakes.
6. Pertaining to #5, please be prepared to answer some tough questions including an honest response when we ask what your weaknesses are. This is a basic interview question and we want to know how you handle tough questions because this is a demanding career. You should know that PR is cited as one of the top 10 most stressful jobs today.
7. Please understand that there is more to PR that just event planning. Event planning is a tough job and it’s not one of our core services so we work with partners who specialize in that area. If you’re looking to experience event planning, we’re happy to refer you to one of our partners because you won’t get that experience with us.
8. Follow up the interview with a handwritten note. Not email, not text and not on Facebook. Try it.