What A Textbook Won’t Tell You About Interviews

As communications students, we are used to having the rules of interviewing drilled into our heads. By now, I can rattle off these rules as quickly as I can recite the Pledge Of Allegiance. Over time, this interview “code of conduct” becomes common knowledge to us. Sure we know showing up late to an interview is the kiss of death. We know it is better to overdress than to underdress. Having a resume (which should not exceed more than a page) and writing samples on hand is crucial. But as I enter my senior year and look at how my interview skills have expanded over the years, I have learned some pointers that have helped me survive nerve-wracking interviews. Here are three not so cliche interview tips.
Google is your friend- Everyone tells you to research the company before going into the interview. It is important to know what exactly the company does and to read over its mission statement. If interviewing at an agency, be able to name their clients and different advertisements they created. However, nobody tells you to Google the person who is going to interview you. Look over his or her LinkedIn page. In addition to checking out what they do at the company, see where they went to high school or college. What organizations are they involved in? Who are they connected with? It’s a small world. Chances are, you may know somebody in common. Maybe your high schools played each other in football. Perhaps they volunteer at the some organization as you. These connections can serve as conversation starters and relax the atmosphere.
Be a news junkie- Professionals in any field of communications must have an awareness and understanding of world events. They must know what is happening around them and figure out how it affects their company or client. When you are interviewing for an internship, you must show the company you pay attention to things outside of your college bubble. I once went on an interview where they handed me a current events quiz. I was blindsided by this, but was also very grateful I scrolled through the news on Twitter while waiting for the subway.
Smile…a lot- Public relations professionals must have strong interpersonal skills. When interviewing for a PR internship, you must show them you are friendly and approachable. Walk through the door with your should back and a smile on your face. Smile whenever you meet an employee. Not only does this show the company you are excited about the possible internship, but it will also help you relax. Smiling often triggers “happy” signals in your brain. In turn, you will feel more positive which will lead to feeling more relaxed. Before you know it, those interview jitters will be gone!
The more you interview, the less anxiety-ridden you will be throughout the process!  What do you do
to prepare for an interview?  Tell us in the comments.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Lauren Bentley.

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