When we meet with PR candidates ahead of their interviews, we brief them on the agency they’re meeting with, talk through the specifics of the role in question, and go through which key skills should be a focus during the interview.
A question that often crops up during our chats, is what the candidate should be asking at the end of the interview.
When interviewing for any role, it’s of course really important to demonstrate your interest in the position you’re being considered for, and also in the company you’re meeting with. You can do your research, review the job spec, check out case studies, read the blog, and generally have a good overview of the company, so your questions should really reflect what you’ve already found out yourself.
On the flip side, every interview is a two-way conversation, and this is your chance to find out what you need to know about the company, in order to decide if it’s the right role for you!
We’ve listed below some of the top questions that we think are worth asking –
- What clients might the role be working on?
It’s pretty common in the PR industry for the intended client portfolio to be flexible, dependent on who and when the agency hires. Asking about which clients you might have the chance to work on, is an obvious way to check that the potential clients are aligned with the type of brands you want to be working with.
- What is the company culture & team structure like?
Finding out about the overall culture and the teams’ way of working, is quite important. If you’re used to a highly structured or hierarchical agency, then somewhere with a super flat structure and laidback approach may not work for you … It’s also great to get a feel of the team set up, who you’d be working most closely with and what the general vibe of the office is. Is everyone suited & booted and slightly more ‘corporate’, or is everyone in jeans & trainers, with the radio on and a dog running around? It’s so vital to make sure the culture is right for you.
- What training & development opportunities are offered?
A good training & development programme is one of the most important factors to consider when changing roles, for around 95% of the candidates we work with – irrespective of level of seniority. Ensuring that your next employer can offer you long term career prospects, training opportunities and general support within your role (if that’s what is important to you) is fundamental when it comes to deciding whether the agency is a good fit.
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
Asking the interviewer what they most love about the agency, gives you an opportunity to get a sense of the positives about being a part of the team. It might be a favoured client they’ve worked with, their fabulous team mates, or the way that senior management look after their staff. Whatever their answer, it’s a brilliant way to get an honest and positive insight into the business.
- What’s your favourite campaign you’ve worked on recently?
You can always spin this one around and mention a case study you’ve looked at, or a post on their social channels of a campaign you’ve seen them run – and ask them about it! It’s a great way to open up the conversation and also to get a sense of the agency’s approach to client work.
- What do you see as the main challenge for me in the role?
This is an opportunity to understand if there are any elements of the role which the interviewer might perceive to be an area of weakness for you, and to respond accordingly. Being able to reassure them with an example from your current job, or to talk through how you’d approach the task they feel might be more of a challenge for you, is a fantastic way to really showcase your abilities and address any concerns they may have.
- Is there anything else I can address for you that I’ve not covered?
Final question – do you ever feel once you’ve left the office, that you completely forgot to tell them about x, y or z? Maybe it didn’t come up, or the conversation digressed and it was then forgotten. This is a good way to re-focus the interviewer before you leave, to make sure they have all the information that they need from you!
If you’re looking for more tailored advice on interviewing, then please do get in touch as we’d love to help!