By the Stand Agency team
As you may know, we are recruiting at Stand Agency (if you are interested in joining us, get in touch!). Interviewing possible candidates caused discussion here about what makes a good impression when looking for someone to join your team? Here are a few thoughts from us for those looking to embark on a career in PR. Please join in and add your tips below.
It’s so important to have lots of interesting things to say about yourself at an interview to show your passion and enthusiasm for PR.
If you are just starting out in your career and lack on-the-job experience, you’ll need to talk about volunteering, work experience, your interest in social and traditional media and your observations on good campaigns, launches etc. Pull out how this has built up your knowledge and skills suited to PR and comms like writing, public speaking or framing a point of view. Never underestimate how good other candidates will be at this kind of stuff. Go in with real examples, fresh opinions and ideas, to show you have really thought about what working in comms and PR would be like.
Cultivate your interest in areas in which you want to work. Staying interested and engaged in your work (and clients) is a recipe for success.
Having a genuine interest in the thing you are promoting helps enormously – clients can tell and journalists can tell. Enthusiasm is contagious. Don’t be closed off to what you can find interesting – it’s amazing how, with an open mind, even an apparently ‘dry’ topic can become fascinating when you start to explore it.
It may sound obvious – but in interviews it’s very easy to tell who really pays attention to the media, and who has spent a hurried few minutes flicking through a newspaper before they came in.
Consume all kinds of media – broadsheets, tabloids, high-brow, low brow, online, broadcast and print. It’s impossible to advise a client or think up a brilliant campaign without having a very clear sense of what will work as a story. You’ll need to know the media so well you instinctively know what will make a good story, and how different publications and journalists will cover it. Diversifying your knowledge into a range of areas has its advantages outside of work too; you will find your pub quiz ability improves immeasurably!
When you go to an interview remember to be as relaxed as you can and let your personality shine through. Show a genuine interest in the agency and person interviewing you. We all look to work with people we like and can get along with, so give examples of you being a team player, and be as open and warm as you can. In a small team like ours (there are 9 of us at the moment), it is important that everyone gels and trusts each other. Interviewers will always be thinking about how you would fit in with their team so be aware your interviewer is interviewing you for personal as well as professional skills!
Now relax. Smile. And sell yourself as you intend to sell in a story.