1. Home
  2. Interview questions
  3. Public Relations Manager

Interview questions

Public Relations Manager

Best interview questions for your hiring process

Public Relations Manager Interview questions

A Public Relations Manager, generally known as a PR Manager, is responsible for a company’s external communications, particularly with media outlets and journalists. 

Before you start with the interview process, you should keep in mind these are the main attributes that a great candidate will have: 

  • Your PR manager will be working with people all day, both internally and externally, so it’s essential that they are a confident person who enjoys the nature of the role. 
  • Very well organised with the ability to work on different projects at once. 
  • Good connections within the media industry would be a plus. 
  • Experience with organising press releases. 
  • PR managers will also be the first point of contact for any negative press. So, some media crisis management experience would be beneficial. 

Interviewing a Public Relations Manager

Now you know the basics of what you should be looking for in your candidates, you can think about the types of questions you’ll want to ask. A mix of behavioural as well as hard and soft skill questions is a good start. Take a look below for the questions that we think are essential. 

How to open the job interview

Even the most confident of Public Relations Managers will get nervous before an interview. To get the most out of your time with a candidate it’s important to make them feel at ease around you. This will mean you get the best answers to the questions you ask. 

To ensure this is the case, you can ask some positive opening questions to start. These should be easy to answer and are usually about the candidate’s background or general experience. 

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What do you like the most about Public Relations?

What do you find the most challenging about your job?

Behavioral Questions

What has been your biggest PR challenge so far?

Being a PR manager can be a tricky job, usually with a few different projects going on at once. This question will give you a good idea of how they deal with pressure and stress. 

What has been your proudest moment while running a PR team? 

This will give you a good sense of their personality and passion for their role. 

Which are your favourite PR firms, and why? 

Staying up to date with the media and press is essential for this fast-moving role. There’s no right or wrong answer, but the answer here will give you an idea of the candidate’s style. 

How do you keep up to date with current trends in the industry?

Again, this question is designed to find out what the candidate is like as a professional and how well versed they are in the industry. 

What sources of media do you follow? What are your favourites and why?

Of course, it would be particularly beneficial if the candidate has the same sort of style in media as your branding. It’s not essential, but it would help them hit the ground running.

Soft Skills

What’s the difference between PR and Advertising?

This is a simple question for any experienced PR Manager. Advertising is much more about selling, whereas PR is about raising the awareness of your brand.

How would you train a mentee or colleague looking to be more successful in the PR field?

Maybe your candidate would be a great fit for a future manager. It might also give you an idea of their values, if they’re open to knowledge sharing it would be great for everyone in the team. 

What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses? 

Another quite simple question, but not unimportant. This will give you a good scope of how much future training they might need and in which areas they’ll need support. 

How do you manage a busy schedule with multiple tasks ongoing? 

Multitasking and working on multiple projects is a huge part of this role. They should know how to best keep themselves organised as well as deal with other team members and external stakeholders. 

How do you develop and sustain relationships with new clients? 

Having strong relationships with agencies and journalists is a great plus in this role. If they try to stay in touch with people in the industry it will make life a lot easier when it comes to needing some coverage.

Hard Skills

How do you go about measuring the success of a campaign? 

Here you could specify a particular campaign that your organisation has worked on as an example and discuss what the best KPIs to track could be. 

How can social media affect your PR strategy?

In this digital age, social media can massively impact any PR campaign. It’s a benefit to have some social media experience. 

How does PR support teams such as Events Management or Content Marketing?

Working with different teams and departments is a huge part of PR, having a good idea of how their role affects other work will help to determine deadlines and priorities. 

Have you previously worked on crisis management in relation to the media before?

The PR department will also be responsible for managing negative media. Knowing that a fast response time and having some copy templates in place to send out is important. 

Do you have experience in both digital and print media?

Even though communications are becoming increasingly digital, print media is still a large part of PR and media communications. Having connections and experience in both would be beneficial. 

How do you typically measure the success of a campaign?

Depending on the project there will be certain KPIs to track. You can give the candidate an example of a project and discuss how, when and what to track, as well as how to work with that data to improve for next time. 

Operational / Situational Questions

Could you talk about any professional relationships you’ve established with media partners? 

Having a backlog of media connections with good relationships is always a huge benefit in PR. Specifically, what you’re looking for here is examples of how involved the candidate is in the industry. 

How would you deal with a client or manager that disagrees with your PR strategy? 

Being able to manage lots of different stakeholders in an appropriate manner will be essential to the smooth running of the PR department. Strong communication is the best practice in PR. 

Have you ever had to deal with a lot of negative media attention? How did you deal with that and what was the outcome? 

Again, crisis management hopefully won’t happen, but just in case, you should have someone on the team that is confident with reacting fast and appropriately to reduce damage to your brand. 

How do you manage to create a balance between remaining objective and advocating for your clients? 

This is another question to ensure the candidate’s communication skills are excellent. A good candidate will know how to change their tone and approach depending on the situation and audience.

Hire better, faster, and smarter

With automated & optimised workflows

Sign up – it’s free

Start hiring and prepare your interview

All platforms are available for you to promote your job through JOIN.

Create job ad for free
See more articles