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How To Prepare for Your PR Internship Interview

By Tori Schubert

February 3, 2017

After submitting application after application, getting that email interview invite is enough to make anyone’s heart flutter. However, after that initial moment of excitement, there is almost always a sense of anxiety. Nerves are normal, and a great way to remedy them is to be prepared!  Here are some essential tips to help you prepare for your PR internship interview:

Tips to help you prepare for your PR internship interview

Have An Elevator Pitch

One of the most commonly asked questions in an interview is the general “tell me more about yourself” question. This is your chance to show the interviewer what your skills, experiences, and aspirations are. It is also highly recommended to relate your experience with the particular position you are applying for. For example, if the role is more social media-based concentrate on how you managed accounts or ran social media campaigns in your previous roles.

Know the Company

Before going into any interview it is essential to research the company. Being knowledgeable on the company’s past campaigns, clients, mission statement, and more will enable you to showcase your strengths and ask more informed questions about the company. You can research them by looking at more than their website. Check out their social media channels, look up competitors, and read recent news coverage. It is good to bring all of this into an interview and show the company that you are interested and invested in them. You can also ask questions about things you found such as more information on a certain campaign.This will definitely give you a leg up!

What Do You Love About PR

It is important to sell your interviewer on the passion you have for the public relations industry. Ask yourself before going into an interview why you chose to go into this field. Employers don’t want you to recite a line from your PR 101 college lecture hall. Have a thoughtful answer, and if possible relate it to what the job requires. You can also mention favorite PR campaigns that you have seen over the years and how they inspired you. 

Be Authentic

Employers want you to be yourself! They have probably interviewed a lot of people, so they will be able to tell if you are putting up a facade. If you are lying about your skills or trying to change your personality to fit in, the company is not the place for you. Be honest about what you are looking for, employers will almost always appreciate that. It is also important to be open, and willing to learn. If an employer asks if you know how to do something that you are not versed in, tell the truth but offer to learn. Companies always are looking for dedicated, hard workers. 

Know Yourself

Another common question is, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”. Be sure to understand your skills before you go into an interview so that you are prepared for this question. If you are especially good at something that you saw in the job description, focus on those. In terms of weaknesses, try not to list anything that is an essential PR task, but also don’t lie. A good tactic is to choose a weakness that could easily be twisted into a strength. For example, if you say that you overthink sometimes, this can be construed as meaning that you are invested in your tasks and always want them to be the best they can be. 

Ask Questions

Always come prepared with questions for the interviewer. It is a common practice to ask people if they have questions at the end of the interview. If you say no it gives off an air of disinterest. There is always more you can learn about the company, or the position you are applying for. Some questions you can ask include; What opportunities are there for interns, What is your favorite campaign you have worked on, What is the company dynamic like, and so on. 

Be In The Know

In PR it is essential that you know what is happening in the world around you. You should always be checking the news, but especially leading up to your interview date check current events. It would be even more impressive if you checked the news surrounding clients that the company you are interviewing at has. It is a big possibility that one of the questions you are asked may be “Where do you get your news?”. Make sure you are not blindsided by this, and have a couple publications or websites that you read articles from once a day. 

Say Thank You

At the end of every interview be sure to thank the person you have interviewed with, and shake their hand. This shows respect. It is also a very good idea to follow up with a short email the next day, or even a handwritten note. You will show that you are dedicated, and invested in the company and the role. 

A Summary: How to Prepare for Your PR Internship Interview

  • Have an elevator pitch
  • Know the company
  • Know what you love about PR
  • Be authentic
  • Know yourself
  • Ask questions
  • Be in the know
  • Say thank you

These are just a few suggestions to help you prepare for your PR internship interview. By doing this you can ensure that your making your interview the best it can be. There are definitely more tips and tricks out there so go ahead and do your research. I hope that with the help of this blog you can land your dream job!

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