Next in our series of blog posts from Group Gordon’s summer interns, Emily Perelman applies lessons from navigating nerve-racking PR situations to overcoming interview butterflies in any situation. 7.30.15
Everyone knows that pre-interview feeling of butterflies, the combination of excitement with nervousness, and, sometimes, even slight perspiration.
In PR, an industry with few guarantees, those jittery feelings are par for the course. Whether pitching news to a reporter or advising a client in advance of a media interview, the lack of certainty means those butterflies rarely go away completely – no matter if you’re a seasoned PR pro or on your first media appearance.
After a summer spent learning more about PR, I’ve come to see that successful maneuvering in a PR situation requires many of the same skills that make for an excellent job interview: portraying a positive image, radiating confidence, and preparing extensively. Whether it’s for a summer internship or a full-time job, these PR strategies should help you ace any interview.
In order to be fully prepared for any type of interview, it is essential to do extensive research. In PR, that means understanding a reporter’s beat, a media outlet’s orientation, and a client’s key messages and goals. In a job interview, that means learning everything you can about the company or interviewer.
And that Interview prep extends beyond basic research about what the company does. Learning the company’s values, being up-to-date on recent announcements or awards and understanding the corporate culture will help you convey genuine interest and knowledge in the job opportunity and blow away your interviewer. As important as it is to portray your readiness to take on a new job, it is also essential to ensure that you are confident. Anticipating possible questions and preparing answers and examples will also help boost your confidence level throughout the interview.
Have A Good Attitude!
A good attitude can go a long way! This tip is a big one and one of my favorites. Enthusiasm and positive energy are appealing to any interviewer at almost any job. In the PR world, reporters can be hurried on deadline or bombarded with pitches, so getting your client on their radar is going to be much easier if you’re nice and considerate of their time. Just like clients, journalists want to work with someone who is passionate about what he or she is pitching, and an interviewer will look for that in a candidate as well.
Stay on message!
In PR it’s crucial to always stay on message, whether in a straightforward media interview, in response to a crisis situation, or in the face of a particularly aggressive reporter. That means not getting thrown off track by unforeseen questions or getting defensive. Staying calm, collected and in control of your message is a necessary skill in any job interview as well. Sticking to your strengths and focusing on the unique abilities you bring to the table will help you effectively convey why you would be an asset to a given company. And that will help you pass the interview with flying colors and land the job!
Pitching a client and pitching yourself to an interviewer are nerve-racking yet exciting processes. In order to hone your interview skills, follow these tips and master pitching yourself like a PR pro!