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How to Beef Up Your Knowledge Before the Interview

Pool of Knowledge

The public relations industry is constantly changing. It seems like every day there are new tools to master. How can you make sure you’re up to speed when it comes to your next job interview?

Get Smarter

Industry learning opportunities are endless. One way to stay current about happenings in the public relations field is by reading blogs, both about public relations as well as the industry you want to work in.

How do you find the right blogs to read? Start with this list of the top 100 PR blogs and then choose the ones you like the best. Check out the links and blogrolls for each blog to find find other related sites and blogs to read.

Press releases
Searching for releases in your industry or areas of interest will give you topic ideas and domain knowledge to potentially share in an interview. By reading press releases, you can get ideas you can incorporate in the releases you write for your clients, too. While we’re on the subject, you should be reading all the recent releases from any agency or company you interview with before the interview.

Follow both industry journalists and other PR folks on Twitter. Once you find someone to follow, check their Twitter Lists to see if they’ve categorized other industry people you should follow as well. Sites like Listorious and WeFollow allow you to search a category to follow new people. It’s a great place to start in following thought leaders.

What Hiring Managers Want You to Know

When you’re in your next job interview, what will the hiring manager want you to know?

They expect you to be up to speed on changes in both public relations and the industry you want to work in. That means if Obama passed an economic stimulus package that affects physicians moving to electronic medical records and you’re applying for a job at a healthcare company, you better know all about it!

They expect you to know about the them. If they have a tagline, memorize it. If they have posted their mission statement, read it thoroughly. If you have the job description, you should understand it and have your questions prepared. Read through all their press releases – you should know about the company’s latest news and management hires. If asked, you should be able to name their top five clients. You should also have a general knowledge of the hiring manager’s background by checking out LinkedIn or doing a bit of internet research prior to the interview.

Hiring managers also like you to have diverse interests that will help in coming up with creative ideas and story angles. And every hiring manager in the public relations industry will expect better than average writing skills. Before the interview, prepare a few samples of your work and make sure they are relevant for the position.

Photo credit: Ian Muttoo


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