PR is a competitive industry and landing your dream job is never easy. But interviews don’t have to be nerve wracking. In fact the more prepared you are, the calmer you’ll feel when you sit in that chair for the big moment.
I was one of those who graduated from university during the pandemic and it's fair to say it wasn't the best time to be job hunting as myself and my fellow graduates had to handle a disrupted job market with many teams furloughed, not to mention the extra headaches of video job interviews on multiple platforms such as Zoom, Teams and Google Meets.
Here are a few things I learned that hopefully might help others:
Spend some time researching the company you are applying to and look into the work that they do. You might find that you come across something that could be useful to mention in your interview. Perhaps you really liked one of their previous campaigns?
If this comes up in your interview, it’s a great way to show your employer that you are really interested in their company and you’ve spent time looking at what they do. Do dig deep though. Don't just mention the last case study on their website.
It’s always good to prepare for more generic questions like,“Tell me about yourself?” or “Why do you want to work for this company?” but you can never be too prepared. Whatever role you’re applying for, you’ll be able to find specific job questions for it online.
Try searching for something like “Interview questions for PR executives” or “Common interview questions for content writers.”
This way you’ll be prepared for any question that comes your way and hopefully nothing will catch you too off guard.
Have your own questions ready
Employers like to see that you’re keen and engaged so when it comes to that last part of the interview when you get asked if you have any questions...make sure you have some.
You may already have some general questions that you want to ask, but if you don’t here are some to get you thinking:
- What’s the working atmosphere like at the company?
- Which project or campaign is your favourite?
- What are your expectations of someone in this role and how do you think I could exceed them?
This will show your prospective employer that you really are interested in the job and doing well at it.
Try to avoid technical difficulties
If you are having a video interview make sure you’re sitting somewhere quiet and with good internet connection.
You’ll also want to make sure you have the correct app downloaded and set up for your interview. Sometimes these apps can be fiddly so test your speakers and your mic to avoid any hiccups in your actual interview.
Set up a test call with a friend or family member so you can test that everything works okay.
Of course sometimes things don’t always go to plan and technology can mess up at the most inconvenient of times but by doing this you minimise the risk of that happening.
If you’re heading into the office you should be dressed well anyway and the same goes for zoom interviews.
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should be sitting in front of the camera in your favourite hoodie. You should still dressing a presentable manner to show your effort and eagerness for the job.
Try not to be too nervous and just be yourself. Your prospective employer will want to see what you’re like as a person too to determine how well you will fit in the team which is important for them and for you!
Right before the interview do something that calms you down,maybe stick on some music, or call a friend or try some calming apps.
The more calm you are, the smoother the process will go.
And if you enjoyed this post here are some more tips from me on how to kickstart a career in PR.