We work in a creative industry, so day-to-day office attire can be a little more casual than the norm. There are definitely some guidelines to follow, however, when you are coming into a PR agency to interview.
- You should always wear a suit to an interview. Make sure nothing is too tight or too short. If you want to add a pop of color somewhere, you can wear a shirt in a pretty color.
- Don’t wear anything that shows your toes; conservative heels are the way to go. If it’s cold outside, wear tights.
- If you have a tendency to play with your hair, you should probably pull it back. Playing with your hair during an interview would be very distracting to the people interviewing you and they wouldn’t be focusing on all of the wonderful things you have to say!
Once you land the internship or job of your dreams, you should take a couple of weeks to feel out how people dress in the office. Dress professionally and try to stay away from jeans until you know it is 100 percent OK to wear them.
Just remember that your appearance does matter and it is the first impression you give. And, the better you look, the better you feel, so you’ll be that much more confident going into your interview!
-Mary Featherstone, Porter Novelli Atlanta
In November, I posted two columns of advice from my interviews with Porter Novelli Atlanta HR Manager Tia Jackson. Besides sharing tips on preparing your portfolio and resume, Tia outlined basic steps for building and strengthening your professional network. In this final installment, we’ll review some interviewing basics that—believe it or not—some young PR professionals just seem to miss.
Eight MUSTS for Interviewing
- Dress appropriately: clean, pressed and proper
- Mirror the tone of the interview
- Be confident, positive, enthusiastic and genuine
- Listen to the questions that are asked…then answer
- Get a business card from all the interviewers
- Do not mention salary during your first interview
- Send a “Thank You” note within 24 hours of the interview – hand written cards are much preferred
- Have appropriate follow-up on your application status: try a call or email once every 2-3 weeks to follow-up
I hope this series is a useful resource for college students or young professionals looking for that next PR opportunity. Be sure to check out parts 1 and 2:
- SEAL THE DEAL: Start Building Your Resume and Portfolio Now!
- SEAL THE DEAL: Perfect Your Professional Network!
—Mark Avera, Porter Novelli Atlanta