Ask the PR Stars: How do I stand out from other PR candidates?
- by Natasha Angileh
- 5 Feb 2016
In our new series, Ask the PR Stars, we'll be answering your burning questions around all things PR! In this first post we'll answer a question we get asked frequently by junior PRs.
I keep getting to the final interview stage, but am always pipped at the post by those with slightly more experience. What can I do to stand out from other candidates?
We've seen many fantastic PRs be pipped to the post by another candidate. There are a lot of factors that a hiring manager will consider as part of the process, so it's no reflection on them or their experience - you've gotten to final interview stage after all!
PR has many niches, and it's likely that there will be someone who has more relevant experience than you do. You've really got to go the extra mile to prove you're the right person for the job.
By preparing and researching the organisation thoroughly, you'll be able to talk confidently and passionately about them and what they do. Where other candidates might scratch the surface, you'll be able to give more detailed responses, demonstrating a genuine interest in their work and leaving a lasting impression on your interviewer.
Along with relevant experience, hiring managers will be trying to find out if you'll be a good fit for their team so personality is hugely important.
"Purpose is no longer a buzzword. It's a must-have. Passion and purpose will keep people focused on the job at hand, and ultimately separate the successful from the unsuccessful." - Richard Branson.
Try to prepare some interesting questions beforehand that show you're familiar with the company and are interested in its culture. It'll start a discussion with your interviewer and you'll be able to show that your values are aligned with theirs and that you'd work well together.
We've seen people who, on paper, ticked every box that a hiring manager was looking for only to not demonstrate any passion at interview stage, and thus losing out to someone with less relevant experience.
One of the great things about the Career Moves PR, Marketing & Digital team is that we're here at each stage of the interview process. We get to know companies and hiring managers, so we usually know exactly what they're looking for. It allows us to coach and mentor junior candidates throughout the hiring process and successfully going on to secure job offers at some of the best agencies and in-house teams.