Shelley Spector, president of Spector & Associates, as well as the founder and director of the Museum of Public Relations, spoke to the members of The University of Alabama’s PRSSA chapter on Oct. 17, 2017. Spector focused on the interview process, as most of those in attendance are working on their internship and job applications for the upcoming year. Spector spoke to the students on “10 ways to stand out from your competition.”
With years of experience working at Hill & Knowlton, RuderFinn and the American Stock Exchange, Spector has seen her fair share of interviews. Before she began explaining the top 10 things to do to master an interview, she stated, “Those who have the most internships and have the most results from those internships are going to be the most successful.” This advice further emphasized how important it is for students to go into an interview prepared so that they can land the internship they want.
Spector also highlighted the importance of thoroughly researching the potential employer and having customized answers, showing active engagement in current events, and having a basic elevator pitch already prepared.
“When potential employers ask why you want a job in this firm, do not say ‘because I like people’ or give a general answer. Have an answer specific to that company’s specific work,” Spector said. “Researching a company beforehand shows intuition and a certain level of care that is required. Having a thorough knowledge of the company is pertinent to any interview!”
Having a knowledge of the world and the things happening in it gives the individual interviewing not only a talking point, but also shows the potential employer a certain level of constant intellectual growth, Spector said.
“You need to have an elevator pitch that lists all your writing and speaking qualities, public relations experience, and includes your ‘brand,’ or Unique Selling Proposition,” Spector said. Potential employers will more than likely ask you to give them a short pitch, which should be well thought out and perfected, she explained.
Spector finished by telling students to just be bold, confident and know what you’re doing. With those three things, she said, the interview is sure to be a success.
By Caroline Wigley, General Member