Interviewing is much like going on a first date with someone you have been crushing on. You’ve done your research on the company, you like what you see, maybe even fallen head over heels for it, and now it’s just about seeing if the two of you are a fit. While my number one piece of advice for interviews is to keep in mind that this is just as much about seeing if the company is right for YOU as if you are right for the company, it is almost impossible to swallow those pre-interview jitters.
Will I be good enough?
Do I have enough experience?
What if I say something stupid?
Though there is no perfect formula to acing the PR interview (every firm is different and has different needs), you often hear superiors talk about recent hires like, “they just had that certain something.” So how do you give yourself the PR girl je nais se quoi? Learn to talk the talk.
Interviews are just as much about smooth, intelligent conversation as research and presence. Instead of running your mouth on the latest episode of The Pauly D Project, come prepared with some conversation topics you can speak to fluently. Each one of these will show how you are truly vested in becoming a PR girl:
Show off your media savvy – Even if you’re looking for an entry level job, an interview is the time to brag about how truly obsessed you are with the media. A smart interviewer will ask what kind of publication you read on a daily basis, so be sure you list more than TMZ.com. It’s smartest to list into categories: “For celebrity news, I check XX every morning. For world news I read XXX twice a day, and I have a personal interest in beauty and fashion so I also always read XXX magazines, follow XXX blogs and XXX on Twitter.” Don’t worry about going overboard here – in public relations we talk with outlets every single day, so show the love.
Have a couple PR superstars in mind – Did you love a recent Facebook activation your favorite makeup brand recently did? Did a toothpaste company blow it out of the water with a popup event? Are you interested in seeing what a natural food line comes up with next? Interviewers want to see that you’re looking at the industry, so come with a few examples of public relations stunts or programs you admire.
Fake it ’til you make it – In your first few interviews, it is absolutely natural to be shy and nervous about giving it all away upfront. An interview, especially one in PR, is not the place to clam up. Practice your interview skills with a friend so you’re comfortable with the flow of a Q&A. Smile, and remember to breathe. An interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. Laugh a little and show your stuff, and you’ll knock it out of the ballpark.
How do you talk the PR girl talk?