36 Public Relations Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 31 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interviewing for a public relations role, interviewers may ask you questions that specifically relate to that type of position. Some of these questions may ask about your experience, skills and unique background that qualifies you for the position. Learning about these questions may help you succeed in interviews for public relations roles and secure the position.

In this article, we provide 36 interview questions you might encounter during a public relations interview, including ones with sample answers that you can reference.

10 general public relations interview questions

It's common for an interview to begin with hiring managers asking a series of general public relations interview questions. This helps a hiring manager learn more about candidates and provides them with a chance to explain more about their personalities and work styles. Here are 10 examples of general public relations interview questions you may encounter during an interview for a PR job:

  1. What excites you about the public relations industry?

  2. What's your ideal work environment?

  3. Do you work well in team settings?

  4. What are your biggest strengths?

  5. What sources of media do you regularly follow and why?

  6. What motivates you?

  7. How do you manage your schedule?

  8. What aspects of our company interest you?

  9. How do you stay organised?

  10. What methods do you use to prioritise work?

Related: How to Answer 'What Is Your Ambition in Life?' in an Interview

10 public relations interview questions about experience and background

After a hiring manager asks introductory questions, they may begin asking about your work experience and background. A hiring manager might ask these questions to learn more about your skills and experiences that have prepared you for the role. These questions allow you to discuss your past work experience and detail how you're an ideal candidate for the available position. Here are 10 questions about experience and background for a PR role:

  1. Do you have any applicable experience?

  2. Do you have a preferred media method for your clients to prioritise using?

  3. Do you have any other background that has equipped you for this role?

  4. Can you tell us about a digital campaign in which you participated?

  5. Can you tell us about a print campaign in which you participated?

  6. What PR achievement are you most proud of earning?

  7. Do you have any writing experience?

  8. How did your education prepare you for this role?

  9. Which skills did you develop in your previous role that you can apply to this position?

  10. Do you have any previous experience working with radio PR campaigns?

Related: What Can You Do With a Communications Degree? (With Examples)

10 in-depth public relations interview questions

Hiring managers often ask in-depth questions to determine your specific work processes and the methods you use to complete your tasks. These types of questions may vary based on the type of PR role to which you're applying. Here are 10 in-depth questions you may answer during an interview for a PR role:

  1. How might you develop a strategy that functions for both print and digital campaigns?

  2. What does public relations mean to you?

  3. Can you describe an experience in which you had to answer a challenging question in an interview? What did you do?

  4. How do you use social media to best serve your clients?

  5. Describe a social media issue you experienced. How did you resolve it?

  6. What's the difference between public relations and advertising?

  7. How do you typically measure the results of a campaign?

  8. What's your strategy for working with an aggressive reporter?

  9. How do you develop a relationship with a new client?

  10. How would you navigate a large-scale PR crisis?

6 interview questions with sample answers for public relations professionals

Here are six interview questions with sample answers that you can use as a reference while preparing for an interview as a PR professional:

1. What types of media do you have the most experience with?

If a hiring manager asks you about your experience conducting media campaigns, they may want to gauge your expertise regarding different types of media relations. For example, if their company focuses on digital public relations, try to highlight your experience with digital media platforms. It's often best to share specific details about your media experience to properly illustrate your previous work.

Example: 'I have experience handling projects associated with digital, print and broadcast media. I'm most experienced with broadcast media since I represented professional athletes who frequently participated in on-screen media appearances. Aside from my work with those clients, I've created digital PR campaigns for a few projects and am working to expand my skills by seeking certification in digital media.'

Related: What Does a Public Relations Officer Do? (With Salary Data)

2. Why do you want to work with our company?

Hiring managers may ask this question to determine if you're going to thrive in their company environment and understand what you know about their organisation. Your response can highlight the skills that make you a good fit for the role and describe the advantages of working for the organisation for which you're interviewing.

Example: 'I believe I can excel at this company because my skills as a communications professional make effective in securing media coverage and keeping clients satisfied with their goals. Specifically, I have a well-established record of managing media campaigns and a positive reputation among my clients. I've always heard great things about your company and through my experience, I know that your company provides some of the best public relations services in the country.'

3. How do you develop trust with your clients?

Hiring managers may ask this question to public relations professionals to gauge the quality of their previous relationships with media sources, clients and colleagues. Be sure to explain examples of how you've developed trust with your clients in the past.

Example: 'I have a reputation for being a hard-working, honest public relations professional who meets deadlines while simultaneously maintaining my reputation. With this reputation, it's easier to establish trust with new clients. Regardless of if they're aware of my work or not, I tend to begin with a long-form interview of the client to understand their long and short-term career and media goals. I've found this assists in developing strong relationships with my clients and positively influencing their media coverage.'

Related: Public Relations Skills: Examples and Steps to Develop Them

4. Why did you decide to pursue public relations as your career?

Hiring managers may ask this question to learn more about your passion for the role and your motivations to choose public relations as a career path. In your response, demonstrate that you're a great cultural fit for their collective and describe the advantages of working in public relations.

Example: 'I decided to pursue public relations because I enjoy learning how media professionals communicate concepts through various forms of media. I also believe I can positively contribute to a company's reputation by gaining trusted relationships with customers, clients and colleagues through my skilful communications. I've always been a people-focused individual with a keen interest in understanding motivation. Through this inherent interest, I've developed my public relations abilities and found the career to be a true passion of mine.'

5. Can you give us an example of how you handled a crisis situation?

An employer may ask this question as part of an interview to assess your problem-solving abilities. Crisis situations are common in the public relations industry as such professionals often work harder for their clients during times of negative press coverage. Hiring managers may expect you to have a few examples of crisis situations you've experienced from your past work experience.

Example: 'At the end of last year, I was representing an artiste who was involved in a car accident. They were originally going to the season premiere of their show, but due to the accident, they were at risk of missing it. Because of my reputation for solving problems, the client asked me to become personally involved in the crisis. I was able to secure several interviews with media outlets and quickly strategise the artiste's plan of action based on their availability. The end result was that they appeared on every episode and achieved optimal performance.'

Related: A Complete Guide to Public Relations Officer Skills

6. How would you respond if a client disagreed with your proposed PR strategy?

Hiring managers may ask this question to gauge your communication styles and your team-building skills. Use it as an opportunity to show how you handle a conflict situation.

Example: 'I always ensure my PR campaigns align with my client's primary objectives and media goals to ensure that they're satisfied with the results. If a client disagrees with my proposed PR strategy, I ask for their input to gain a better understanding of what's important to them. This allows me to create an effective, mutually agreed upon PR strategy that focuses on the client's core message. It's rarely a good idea to create PR strategies without first consulting the client.'

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