1. Your resume should, first and foremost, be accurate. I won’t comment on embellishing a little bit, but if you put outright lies on your resume, there’s a good chance that you will be caught. Not only will you not get the job, but word may spread through the PR community that you’ve lied on your resume. Plus, if you need to lie on your resume, you’re probably not qualified for the job to begin with.
2. Research the company where you are interviewing. Know who the company’s clients are, or what the company’s business is if it’s an internal PR job. Spend some time looking at the press they’ve gotten and think about ways to improve upon their media coverage. Be prepared to discuss the business or the business of the clients, as well as the PR angles related to the company.
3. Arrive a few minutes early and be dressed to impress. Most importantly, understand the culture of the place where you are interviewing. If it’s a Fortune 500 company, proper business attire should be worn. For a boutique firm, however, you may be able to go a more business-casual route. Regardless of how formal the setting is, be well-groomed. I generally have a beard or some sort of facial hair. It’s OK for me to bounce around my Brooklyn neighborhood looking like a wolf-man, but when I have meetings I make sure to groom myself appropriately.
The one I want to point out, because I’ve checked on this for potential employee:
4. Be pleasant to everyone you encounter before, during and after the interview. I once rescinded a job offer to someone because they treated our office manager like dirt while they were waiting to be interviewed. (The office manager told me about the incident after the interview.) If you’re a jerk, at least wait until after you’ve got the job nailed down before everyone knows it.
I always ask every person an applicant came into contact with on his or her interaction with the applicant and their opinions. It’s a very good method of figuring out how someone will mesh with your group.
Are you looking for a job? Currently hiring someone? If so, what’s your tip?