Hello spring, hello internship application season! If you’re a sophomore or junior, I’m sure you’re feeling the heat of trying to solidify your summer plans. After submitting numerous applications, we all hope to move on to the interview phase. However, interviewing for your dream internship opportunity can certainly spark some nerves. A great way to alleviate some stress is to prepare well. Listed below are eight common PR internship interview questions to help you practice!
1. “Tell us about yourself” The “So, tell me about yourself” question — we all get it. This is an opportunity for you to showcase who you are, what experiences/skills you have and what particularly your career aspirations are. Consider having an elevator pitch ready so you can highlight each of these three areas. Also, make sure to align your past experiences with the position you’re seeking.
2. “Tell us what you know/like about our company” This is a common question that will narrow down who has invested time in learning more about the company and is passionate about pursuing the position. Head to the company website and pick out the mission statement, frequently found phrases and words, news involving the company and campaign work its staff have done.
Furthermore, it will definitely look impressive if you say “Oh, I found this great campaign on your website; can you tell me more about it?” This will prove that you are passionate and well-educated on the company. Additionally, you can tailor your answers so you sound like the candidate they’re searching for. This is definitely doable if you look through the position description.
3. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Understanding who you are and what your skills are is crucial to having a successful interview. Knowing what sectors of the PR industry you’re especially good at will benefit you in the interview process. When listing off weaknesses, you do not want to say things that are essential in the PR field, but obviously don’t lie. An example of a good weakness is that you’re impatient and want to complete tasks right away. This weakness is especially easy to spin into a strength, which is something to always consider doing when listing off weaknesses.
4. “Who do you consider our top three competitors to be?” This really tests how well you know the industry. Make sure to do in-depth research about the industry, come up with reasonable competitors and integrate substantial points as to why they are.
5. “What are your favorite aspects of public relations?” While this might be a very simple question, a simple answer is not really the right way to go. Employers want to hear beyond that “textbook” answer. Instead, speak about personal stories that make you hungry for a career in PR. Think about what aspects of the industry really electrify you and align with your strengths. Something you should not say is “I love people!” While PR professionals do interact with people regularly, as is the case with many jobs, the interactions serve to a high purpose and goal.
6. “If you were given tasks of equal importance that had to be done by the end of the day, but you knew you weren’t going to finish it all, what would you do?” Basically, how do you prioritize your tasks? If you’re a planner (like I am), then really highlight on that. Talk about how you strategize your time to the highest efficiency in order to complete as many tasks possible, but still producing exceptional work.
7. “What are some of your favorite PR campaigns?” This is the perfect time to show your personality and your interest in the industry. Interviewers want to get to know you, so pick campaigns that incorporate your passions and talk about how they further your desire to be in the PR industry.
8. “Where do you get your news?” With a career in the PR industry, it is a MUST that you know what is happening in the world around you. Always check current events leading up to your interview date, if you don’t already, and be prepared to discuss them in an interview. To answer this question, you could talk about how you read theSkimm each morning or articles on whichever major news website you follow. This is not an extensive list by any means, but these are some common questions asked in interviews. The main point is to be relaxed and show your true, professional self. Understand your strengths and how your past experiences align with the position you’re interviewing for. Remember that you don’t just wish for dreams; you work for them. Best of luck on your interviews!
By Katrina Waelchli, VP of Social Media