My name is a Mariah Ponce. I am a third-year Communications major with a specification in Public Relations. I didn’t discover my love for public relations until it was brought to my attention by my cousin who has a career in this profession.
I have always been a creative and outspoken woman, but never knew where I could put my characteristics to good use. After endlessly looking for a major to declare, I finally found Communication and Media Studies. Because I am a people person and always thinking outside the box, I knew public relations was a step in the right direction.
With hopes in pursuing a career in this field, I looked endlessly for internships to gain hands-on experience. After one interview with my dream internship, I landed the job right away, earning my spot on the &co. Public Relations team. Starting in May 2019, I will begin my first experience within public relations, gaining a taste of what my career could potentially look like.
When applying for internships, the interviewing process is never easy. Within the public relations profession, personality and professionalism are key. Here are five tips that helped me land my dream internship in one shot!
Tip 1: Be Early. Show Them You Are Punctual.
Once you have your foot in the door and the company has agreed to an interview, plan ahead! Make sure you know when and where the interview is being held and don’t be on time - be early!
Arriving early will give you time to prep in the car and get the pre-interview jitters out. As I said, personality is key, if you are filled with anxiousness, the interviewer can tell. By getting there early, you won’t feel rushed, and you’ll have time to collect yourself and walk into that interview knowing you are confident. Being early can not only help you but also your possible employer, because you’re letting them know you are reliable. Being there early shows them you are excited and ready to interview. If you are late, that reflects poorly on you and doesn’t help your chances of scoring the job.
Tip 2: Print Out a Color Copy of your Resume.
Within the public relations field, you want to make sure you alway show your personality through your work. People often think resumes need to be black and white but that’s not always the case. In public relations, employers like someone who will think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to add a little personality to your resume. After all, it is a reflection of you. In addition, bring that resume to your interview. It shows you are prepared. Most of the time possible employers don’t even remember your past experience and education. Giving them a little cheat sheet lets them know you are prepared and reminds them of what you have accomplished.
Tip 3: Study Up and Do your Research!
When prepping for your interview, don’t stress. Do your research! Knowing every detail about the company not only educates you about the company you are hoping to work for, it also helps if your employer asks you any trick questions. Knowing details about the company can also help you keep up a memorable conversation. You will impress your future employer by dropping information about their company, for example who they represent, what services the company offers, and much more. Letting them know you are doing your research will show them you are prepared!
Tip 4: Ask the Interviewer Questions.
Interviewing at times can get a little repetitive. Asking questions can help you break away from the typical conversation and let your interviewer know you can spark interesting conversation. Public relations relies deeply on your ability to talk. Asking questions about the company and the employer can help you stand apart from the type A candidate. If you have trouble sparking conversation, prepare questions to ask before your interview.
Tip 5: Follow Up with a Thank You Email.
After your interview, it is important to follow up with your interviewer. Emailing them one-to-two days after will let them remember you, as well as show them you are professional. The email should thank them for their time and ask when you can expect to hear back from them. Simple emails like this can help you stand out from others. Everyone is busy, and thanking people for taking time out of their day to meet with you is always appreciated. Even if you don’t get the internship, that is okay. Still thank them, because you never know what doors they can open for you.
Following these five easy steps can help you stand out from other interviewees. Interviewing is always an intimidating step in the hiring process, especially for public relations employers. For any job that entails a creative and outspoken person, you need to show you are personable and will be the right choice for their company. Using these tips and being confident will heighten your chances of landing your dream internship, like I did!
You slaved over your resume, you landed a couple of interviews, and you finally got your first public relations internship. You may be wondering, now...