Grab your Ray-Bans

By Matter

According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of public relations specialists is expected to increase 24 percent during the 2008-18 decade, much more rapidly than the average for all other occupations. Don’t believe me? Try entering graphic designer, teacher, lawyer, or pharmacist into the online Occupational Outlook Handbook.

If you share the belief that mid-80s music videos can best depict an industry’s feelings toward government statistics, I also invite you to check out Ragan’s PR Junkie blog on this very subject.

Hiring and expansion have certainly been the latest trends at Matter. With a new influx of candidates — resumes and writing samples in-hand — stepping into our offices to potentially join our team, I’ve been frequently thinking about prepping for and executing an interview — whether readying a client, journalist or yourself. While job-seeking and media briefings might not seem innately entwined, I believe some best practices are shared.

Here are a few things to consider for your next big face-to-face:

1. Research the company: learn as much as you can beforehand — know the agency’s (or company’s) products, services, clients, management, culture, dress code and anything else that comes to mind.

2. Know your audience: seems obvious and easy enough for a media contact or client, but this bit of preparation is equally important before you meet an agency exec. Almost any PR pro is on Twitter, LinkedIn or a company blog — so use these platforms to demonstrate your ability to dig and do research from the jump (and, of course, show your work by sharing feedback, observations and questions).

3. Listen and adapt: be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Pay attention to details of dress and decor that often lend advantageous hints to help you tailor your presentation.

4. Always follow up: this is a major part of both effective PR and landing a job. If you go dark after an interview with the press or with an agency rep, it’s not too likely that you’ll hear anything back — don’t shy away from touching base afterward.