PR grads: What to say (and avoid) to ace an interview

Saying you’re a “people person” isn’t the way to sell yourself to employers. Here’s what they really want to hear.

Some have probably done their research and have a list of must-work-for businesses, while others are blasting every company within a 50-mile radius, just hoping that one will bite.

Regardless of what type of job seeker you are, let me give you a piece of advice: Don’t tell me, “I’m a people person.”

Yes, it’s true, to be in public relations you need to have a certain type of personality. You must be well spoken, be able to convince your potential employer that you can sell a story to the toughest reporter in 30 seconds, and be able to learn a series of clients in myriad of industries in a matter of weeks.

If you tell me you’re a multi-tasker, I’m listening. But if you tell me you’re a people person, you’ve lost me.

Just because the word “public” is part of our industry doesn’t mean that being a people person is the selling point for your potential employer. We are communicators who must disseminate clear messages concisely to the right audiences via the most appropriate mediums.

It’s not just about being personable. Granted, it might help you win over a new client in a business meeting, but it is not going to get you your first PR job.

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