Posted At: March 13, 2013 2:15 P.M.
by Martina Kaiwi
As young PR professionals prepare for their job interviews, many dread the notorious face-to-face interrogation.
Even though PR practitioners understand the power of words and the relationships they can create or destroy, when representing ourselves it becomes a little more difficult to communicate objectively. I hope this blog will encourage applicants to thoroughly research interview strategies to gain the confidence they will need to become better interviewees and/or communicators.
We all remember the famous opener, “Tell me a little about yourself.”
Skip Freeman, author of “‘Head Hunter Hiring Secrets’: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed Forever,” tells prospective interviewees not to fall prey to that line.
To better respond to a soft opener like this, we must understand its purpose. Its point is to examine how well you speak, if you use proper grammar and how well you keep your audience engaged.
Interviewers don’t ask questions just to ask. Freeman’s theory is, “through the entire process, every contact you have with a prospective employer is intended to exclude you from the final list of candidates.”
To better prepare, Freeman cleverly suggests breaking your answer into three different parts. The first and second segments can be memorized, like an elevator pitch, and the third segment can be tailored for the position for which you are interviewing.
Specifically, the first part of your answer should reflect your job history in one to two sentences. By condensing your work experience to a few snidbits, your answer can be easily retained and hopefully later relayed.
The second part of your answer should contain a short narrative that illustrates a major accomplishment in your life. Make sure to stay away from the inverted pyramid story structure that forces your audience to listen all the way to the punchline.
The third part of your answer should reflect the organizational culture of the company. Make a point to include your career goals and how they are relevant to the job for which you are applying. If done correctly, this segment will be the longest and most remembered.
For more information about Freeman’s strategies, you can buy his book at Amazon. I hope Freeman’s book will help educate prospective applicants and interviewees on how to take control of their reputations by learning how to better communicate on their own behalf.