Interviewing is not easy, and the job hunt landscape can be tough to maneuver. Below are a few tips to help you best capitalize on the limited time you have as a candidate to convince someone to hire you.
- Lack of passion/definitiveness for career choice doesn’t look good. Even if you don’t have your heart 110% set on a certain realm of PR or subject matter, don’t be so forthcoming about it. I know it sounds deceptive, but with an eloquent and well thought-out answer to the question “why PR?” you cannot (and shouldn’t) be faulted for not screaming from the mountaintop: “I will only work in healthcare PR! I love it so much!” PR offers a wide variety of opportunities and subject matters. No one can fault you for diving into fashion PR and then realizing it’s not a good fit for you. Get experience and find out what fits you best. That takes time. But while figuring out that passion, craft a solid response for when you are asked about your career choice and goals.
- Assuming you got the job. This personally just rubs me the wrong way. I received a thank you email from a candidate once saying “I look forward to working with you.” Hold the phone. Did you mean “I look forward to the opportunity to work together?” No matter how well you think the job interview went, you didn’t land it until an offer letter is in-hand.
- Lack of eye contact and confidence. PR success tends to favor those with confidence. If you don’t have what it takes to be forthright and confident in your delivery during an interview, what would lead me to believe you would be in the position?
- Ask questions. I love it when candidates ask prepared questions peppered with spontaneous ones related to the conversations during the interview. Asking both types of questions shows you’re prepared and able to think on the fly.
- Be organized with your work samples. I interviewed a candidate that produced his writing and media placement samples in a haphazard and messy fashion sprawled out on the conference table. I didn’t know where to look. I bluntly asked the candidate about his organizational skills as I was skeptical. Get a nice folder for you resume and samples. Clip papers in a binder if that’s necessary to keep you organized when sharing your work.
As always, I’d love to hear your best practices and tips for a great interview. There’s always more to learn. Hope these tips are helpful! Thanks to my colleagues Sourav, Kate and Brittny for their input on these tips as well.