PR 101: 5 Tips for Acing an Interview and Landing a Public Relations Internship!
This is a guest post by Melanie DuPont, junior publicist at Katz Public Relations.
As you approach the end of fall semester, you are probably busy submitting applications with hopes of landing the perfect internship for spring.
One of my roles in my position at Katz Public Relations is to conduct phone interviews and hire interns, so I want to pass along my top 5 tips to help you along the way.
Make sure you read the internship posting thoroughly.
One of the biggest issues I run into when speaking with prospective interns is that they don’t often read our posting carefully.
For example, we specifically request that our interns be available 2-3 days per week from 10am-6pm and then occasional nights and weekends for event coverage. Often, when I get candidates on the phone they’ll tell me that they are only available from 10am-3pm or not at all on the weekends.
It is extremely important that you read the internship requirements carefully before committing to an interview.
When I am interviewing a candidate, I love when they ask questions regarding the position. This shows me that they have taken the time to research our company as well as the position requirements and are genuinely interested in pursuing an internship with us.
Have ideas on how you can contribute to the company.
In our internship listing, we specify that we work with entertainment/talent. With this in mind, I love it when a candidate can give me specific ways on how their skills can fit our needs.
Do your research on what the company specializes in and come up with at least 2-3 ways that your qualifications can help improve productivity.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give if you’re looking for a PR internship is to go in with the mindset that you’ll need to be flexible.
PR is not a 9am-5pm job. There will be days that you’ll have to start early, stay late, and change around your entire game plan if a client needs something urgently. This is especially true in a small boutique firm like ours.
I say this not to be discouraging, but to encourage you to make sure that your schedule will allow for a certain degree of flexibility before applying.
Have a good closing sales pitch.
The final question I always ask in interviews is “I am interviewing several candidates for this position, why should I choose you?”
This is your opportunity to sell yourself in 1-2 minutes. Reiterate what you can bring to the position and why you would fit in well in the office. This helps me narrow down candidates and separates the serious from the casual.
Just be careful not to oversell your qualifications. I have your resume pulled up during the interview and can see right through tactics like that.
I hope this list helps as you begin to seek out PR internships. In short, when you've been chosen for an interview: be honest, be genuine, and make sure your motivation shines through. If you showcase these three qualities you're well on your way to securing a fulfilling and beneficial internship.
Apply to be a spring 2015 intern at Katz Public Relations HERE!