Top 20 Interview Questions for Public Relations Specialist Jobs

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Top 20 Interview Questions for Public Relations Specialist Jobs

Though often underrated by outsiders, PR is crucial for both public and private organizations, as well as individuals, and as a PR specialist, you will find countless job openings out there as covered over at If you have found one and are preparing for an interview, the following 20 interview questions should be of great help to you.

Why do you want to work in PR?

When answering this question, try to find a good balance between what you want to gain in this job and what you want to bring to the company. According to, you can refer to your love for the work in PR, citing how you would enjoy speaking for the company or working on particular campaigns, and how this job helps you to grow professionally and gain satisfaction in life.

What do you think is the main goal of PR in our company?

The interviewer may also inquire about the role of a particular PR worker, depending on the job you apply for. As discussed over at, your answer to the question should be simple: To help improve the reputation of the company, to ensure that good word spreads out, that the public is informed about the news, that people keep the brand in their subconscious mind, and will remember on it when deciding about making a purchase or whatever else action the company wants them to take.

How do you imagine a typical day at work to be like?

Since great PR specialists don’t sit in their office, waiting for an email or report from someone so that they can “produce” some news, the most important thing when answering this question is to demonstrate a proactive approach to work as articulated over at Also, make sure you adjust your response to the role you are trying to get.

Talk about your most successful PR campaign

When answering this question, clearly explain the goals you had with a particular campaign, and how you managed to meet them with the campaign. Remember, it is not awards or media attention that make a campaign successful, but whether you managed to meet the goals you set, and whether your employer benefited from it.

Talk about your least successful PR campaign

To follow up on the previous question, you should also expect to be asked to talk about your least successful PR campaign. Everyone has had a bad experience at work, which is why you should not be afraid to talk about a campaign you were involved with which failed. This will show the interviewer that you can admit to making and that you can also learn from your mistake, which is why you should outline what you learned and what you would do differently next time. Don’t badmouth your former employer or coworkers when answering this question.

What media do you use in your work, and why would you use such media in our company?

As per, you should do your homework before going to the interview. This involves checking the company’s social media channels and googling news about the company so that you can try to understand its PR strategies and the prevailing media the company uses. This will help you answer this question as you would already know the media that would be effective as far as the company is concerned.

How do you keep your cool when clients and senior-level executives are clamoring simultaneously for your time and attention?

Your answer will reveal a lot about yourself and whether or not you have a realistic outlook on what a pressure cooker PR can be and how you approach time management according to the subject matter experts over at Make sure that your answer demonstrates your ability to work under pressure and to manage time effectively.

How do you think social media has changed stakeholder relations?

This question is designed to help the interviewer gauge how you view digital media channels for one of the core elements of PR – media relations. When answering this question, as discussed over at, make sure you reveal how you plan to meld Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other relevant channels with the personalized aspects of building relationships with reporters, editors, and producers if given the job.

What do you think are the most valuable methods of combining the “art” that is inherent in PR with the metrics (the “science”) that C-level executives now demand from communicators?

This technical question is designed to let the interviewer gauge how much currency you place on deploying measurement tools to gauge the success of campaigns and whether you have a head for numbers, which is increasingly becoming very important for PR candidates.

How is the Web changing crisis communication?

Your answer to this question will give PR managers a good idea of how much you appreciate the power of online communications, in which the Web can be a help (responding to a crisis in real-time), or a hindrance (differing to the Web when the human touch is called for) to managing the crises that most companies will face at one point or another.

What is a press release?

The press release is the most important tool for suggesting a journalist or media as outlined over at hence why you should know what it is and how to describe it. Your answer should contain a reference to a press release as a pseudo-news story that presents the most newsworthy and unique aspect of your product, company, or service in a format and language familiar with the journalist and target audience.

Tell me about free publicity

As explained over at, free publicity is only a monthly subscription. You should also know how to describe it, and your answer should include the latest news on editorial changes, new publications, and upcoming publicity opportunities relevant to the company you are interviewing for.

What are some of the things a public relations specialist should know?

According to the gurus over at, when answering this question, you should tailor your answer to the company you are interviewing for and it’s needs. Some of the things a PR specialist should know include, being aware of the newspaper or website that enables you to reach your target audience most effectively as well as having experience with both new and old media.

Name some of the social media optimization or monitoring tools

This question is designed to help the interviewer gauge your proficiency with these tools which any top PR specialist needs to know all about since they make business posting and monitoring across different platforms easy. Some of the tools you should mention include Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Virtue, Postling, and many others. Prioritize the tools that you know which you are also sure the company uses.

Discuss some of the challenges that public relations specialists are facing

Your answer will tell the interviewer your grasp of the PR industry and how prepared you are to tackle some of the common challenges PR specialists face. Some of the challenges you can mention are PR for mobile users, continuous monitoring of products in real-time, image-driven content, hyper-personalized content, among others, and mention how you have embraced these challenges and meet them head-on.

Do you have experience writing press releases?

Other than asking you to describe what a press release is as discussed earlier on and covered over at, you may also be asked if you have experience writing them. If you do have experience writing press releases, you should tell the interviewer more details about your experience. If you don’t, express your interest in learning how to write them, and discuss your other writing skills.

Tell me about a time you used teamwork to solve a problem

As a PR specialist, you are guaranteed to work with other people in your role as pointed out by the gurus over at This is why this question is commonly asked as the interviewer wants to know if you have the skills and experience to work well with others. Think about a time you had to work with others to complete a challenging task, and explain what your role was in the team and how your efforts helped the team solve the problem.

How do you tailor a message to a target audience?

This question is designed to help the interviewer gauge the methods you use to create targeted messaging. They want to know if you have research skills to find out what marketing methods work for a target audience. When answering the question, explain each step you would take to find out what kind of messaging is effective for your target audience as discussed over at

Why do you want to work for our company?

Your answer to this question will let the interviewer know if you are genuinely interested in working for the company and if you are passionate about this role. Do some research to learn more about the company’s clients, projects, and initiatives, and look at things such as the company’s work culture, values, and mission statement, and then provide two or three reasons why this would be a good company to work for.

Imagine that a young woman lost her arm in one of our production plants as a consequence of not respecting the safety rules. What would you say to the media representatives?

Finally, you may be confronted with a short case study, typically related to some unpleasant accident. You should, therefore, also be prepared for such a scenario, as your answer will demonstrate whether you understand the job and know how to do it.

In this particular case, you should start with expressing the deepest regrets, apologizing to both the affected woman and everyone else involved, both physically and emotionally, in the case. Then you should clearly explain what happened, why the accident occurred, and assure the media representatives that such a situation would not happen again in the future as the company will take measures to ensure that the safety rules are kept in the workplace.

When answering this question, the interviewer doesn’t expect to hear a perfect speech from you, and they are only checking your way of thinking, whether you understand the basics, and whether you are not afraid of the task.

This article only just begins to scratch the surface as far as this topic is concerned, and you can uncover more details by checking out the top-rated and

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