From The Recruiter’s Desk: How To Make The Best Impression In an Interview and Land the Position

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Lindsay Olson is a partner and recruiter with Paradigm Staffing (and PRNewser guest columnist). She specializes in helping companies and agencies find public relations and communications professionals throughout the United States. Olson has over ten years experience recruiting in the PR industry and also writes a career-related blog at You can find her on Twitter via @prjobs.

Olson’s latest column addresses a question on the minds of many PR pros currently on the job hunt: what are the most important things to consider that make the best impression during the interview process and ensure success in landing a PR position?

Job seekers are certainly not lacking advice from career experts on how to get a job in today’s job market. Most of it applies in any job market – good or bad. I thought it would be helpful to get more specific and ask a small group HR professionals working in PR agencies their advice to help a candidate make the best impression during the interview process and ensure his or her success in landing a PR position.

This is what they had to say:

“Do research prior to applying. Find out what you can about an agency’s culture, management team and staff, history, clients, community involvement, etc. Candidates should make sure they know all they can before applying and interviewing,” said Sara Walker, Vice President of Human Resources and Operations, Saxum PR. “This helps them know if they would enjoy working at the agency prior to even applying and if they would be a good fit within the agency.”

“When you forward your resume for the first time, absolutely include your writing samples and online social media activity. Be careful with your online activity when it comes to grammar – use of good grammar is declining dramatically,” said Lori Hedrick, Vice President of Human Resources, Marcus Thomas, LLC. “We can’t have someone with poor writing communicate with our clients. We check it out before someone even walks in our agency. Overall, candidates who demonstrate they are well-read, creative, smart and interesting are attractive to us.”

Andra Brigmohan, Human Resources Manager at Veritas Communications added these tips:

  • Demonstrate enthusiasm.
  • Show a range of capabilities (this is especially important in the current job market).
  • Show your familiarity of social media tools.
  • Research before approaching the agency. Get information about each practice. Show you have done your research through the questions during the interview.