Happy Hump Day my fellow PR peeps! I was recently looking over my blog and I said to myself, “I haven’t been helpful in weeks! All I talk about is ME, ME, ME” and I am not that kind of blogger, so it’s time to get back in gear with some advice.
As you may or may not know, I am finishing up the last 6 months of my university career (thank God) and I am moving to New York City in June. Because PR is such a competitive field, I have already started to reach out and get some interviews, but how am I interviewing from 3,000 miles away? Phone Interviews!!!
Yes, I have been doing a few phone interviews (I’ve done 3, so far) and they are a little nerve-racking, but I have honed in on some great practices that have gotten me some amazing feedback (and some top notch opportunities). I’ve listed my top 5 tips below, take a look:
- Have a “script” beforehand: I put script in quotations because I’m not saying a word-for-word, but make sure you have some key points down that you can reference in case you get nervous. You can bet they are going to ask a few all-time faves, like: what made you get into PR (NOTE: DON’T SAY TO GET FREE STUFF), your favourite PR campaigns at the moment, why you want to work there. Having some of these down beforehand will help you from stumbling on yourself.
- Research Research Research: I’m serious you guys, don’t be that entry-level/internship candidate who just wants to work “anywhere” (even though you are and you do), but make sure you know something about the firm: who are their clients? Does this particular office have a specialty practice? Being able to add in these little zingers shows that you are passionate about the firm and what they do.
- Let the interviewer speak: I am guilty of this big time. I am so eager to get my point across that I sometimes over talk the interviewer. Let them say a whole sentence and then count to 3 and answer. In a confident and slow voice (but not too slow)
- Don’t be bringing up irrelevant $h!t: Yea, I cursed. This is my blog. Anyway, if she/he asks about your experience with press releases, then talk about that, not your 3-legged cat named Hobbles. They are asking these specific questions because it pertains to the specific job you are interviewing for. This is where those scripted notes I told you to make come in handy: you already have all of your info in front of you (having a copy of the resume and cover letter you sent in front of you would be a big help, too)
- SEND A THANK YOU. You guys, I’m serious. Thank them FOUR times: at the beginning of the interview, at the end of the interview, via a follow-up e-mail AND a snail mail note. You are showing how polite you are AND by sending the e-mail a bit afterwards, you are refreshing your name in the search. Sending the snail mail refreshes you in the memory a few days later (but no later than 4 days later!)
Well, that’s all I have for today. I know this is kind of late in the day (uh, I do work, people), but you can use this info anytime! Remember, a phone interview might be a little more relaxed, but you still want to be prepared; just breathe, speak slowly and make sure your voice is confident.