Check it. Glassdoor came out with a list of 25 of the hardest company interviews in 2013 and thankfully for us, PR agencies are not on the list. But I mean it’s really no surprise that the interview process is getting harder…and longer… and more and more painful. And of course, that’s exactly when I decided to embark on that wonderful journey.
Interviewing for PR agencies is no easy task. It’s gruesome. It’s long. It’s intimidating. And in PR, with the high turnaround, interviewing is a skill that should be mastered. And though you are probably never fully ready for the back and forth, it helps to know a bit about the process…
STEP 1: Meet the HR Girl and impress her. Become buds.
So you’ve scheduled a call after numerous emails/ twitter and LinkedIN job searches/ online applications. You think you have a foot in the door, but you really.really.really.don’t. The first call is usually with the HR or recruiter to see if you are the right fit. Sometimes that awkward “how much would you like to get paid” comes up (actually in 90% of my interviews-post-NY that came up first) but this is the perfect time to see if the company is a fit for you as well by asking questions right back. Then if you’re a match for what the team is looking for, HR will be in touch.
STEP 2: Meet the head honcho PR Girl and impress her. Become buds.
So you sent a thank you note the next day then waited a week and reached back out and successfully, she was in touch. You’re going to have another phone call… this time with the PR leader. Prep yourself about the company, possibly the clients you will be working on, but mostly just know how to sell yourself by knowing what talents you have (“so me and details, we get a long perfectly, Also this thing called writing, mastered it.”) Then if you’re a match for what the team is looking for, HR will be in touch.
STEP 3: Meet the Writing Test and try not to cry.
Oh what, she likes you and now you have a foot in the door… that is if you don’t fail at writing. Yes, that’s right PR Girls have to take (timed) writing tests on spelling, grammar, vocab…
Side story – One time before I walked in to take my writing test, home girl interviewee said “Oh, UT students are so bad at writing.” A) Thanks for that. B) And no, I nailed it. C) Peace.
STEP 4: Meet the PR girls and impress them. Become buds.
So you passed your writing test. Congrats. Now you are invited to the office to meet the team. AKA now they want to know if you will click with the larger team, after all it’s all about team work. This time it’s not so much your talents, which they know you have, but about you as a person. Know how to sell yourself by just being yourself. Let your personality, fashion, hobbies shine!
Bottom line: become buds,