Top Interview Questions to Impress a PR Agency

Joey Bertschler

Landing a job at a top PR agency can be as much about the questions you ask as the answers you provide. I've been through my fair share of interviews, and I know that nailing those questions is key to making a lasting impression.

In the fast-paced world of public relations, it's essential to demonstrate not just your communication skills but also your strategic thinking. I'll guide you through the types of questions that can showcase your expertise and help you stand out in a crowded field of applicants.

Whether you're a seasoned PR pro or just starting out, preparing the right questions can be your ticket into the agency of your dreams. Let's dive into what those questions might look like and how they can tilt the scales in your favor.

Why Are Interview Questions Important in Landing a Job at a PR Agency?

In my years of experience, I’ve learned that nailing an interview at a PR agency isn't just about how well you answer questions; it's also about asking the right ones. Interview questions serve as a critical tool for job seekers. Not only do they provide a deeper understanding of the agency's culture and expectations, but they also reflect your enthusiasm for the role and your strategic thought process.

When I'm in an interview, I use questions as a way to demonstrate that I've done my homework. Understanding an agency's client roster, recent campaigns, or PR strategies, and posing questions about them, can highlight that I'm genuinely interested in the agency's work. Showing interest in the agency's future by asking about upcoming projects or expansion plans can indicate that I'm thinking long-term and can envision a future with the company.

Most importantly, the interview is a two-way street. While the interviewer evaluates my suitability for the agency, I’m also assessing whether the agency is the right fit for me. In my experience, well-crafted questions can help uncover the management style, team dynamic, and potential growth opportunities. By asking about professional development or continuous learning programs, I’m also communicating that I’m eager to invest in my growth—a trait that’s highly sought after in the dynamic field of public relations.

The competencies of a PR professional extend beyond traditional communications skills; agencies are looking for individuals who can think critically and adapt swiftly. By inquiring about the biggest challenges the agency faces or the key skills they value in their team members, I’m able to gauge the realities of the position and showcase my problem-solving abilities.

Moreover, asking questions can serve to clarify any uncertainties, removing potential hurdles that could arise later in the decision-making process. Remember, asking the right questions can make all the difference in landing that coveted position at a top PR agency. Here's what you should keep in mind:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the agency's work
  • Show long-term interest
  • Communicate a desire for growth and development
  • Uncover the role's challenges and necessities

Asking insightful questions resonates with interviewers because it indicates dedication and foresight—qualities that are indispensable in public relations.

Communication Skills: Questions that Evaluate Your Ability to Communicate Effectively

Every PR professional understands that the heart of public relations lies in communication. Whether it's writing press releases or pitching to the media, effective communication is key. I know that during an interview, just stating that I possess great communication skills isn't enough. It's about showcasing these skills through the questions I ask.

I always prepare a few questions that demonstrate my ability to engage in meaningful dialogue. For example, I might ask, "Can you provide an example of a campaign that required a significant level of crisis communication, and how the team managed it?" This not only shows my interest in real-world scenarios but also gives me an insight into the agency's approach to challenges.

Another question I don't shy away from is, "How does the agency measure the effectiveness of communication strategies?" This allows me to understand their success metrics and whether they align with my understanding of PR analytics.

Inquiring about the systems in place for internal communication is crucial as well. I’ll ask "What tools or platforms does the team use to collaborate and stay informed on ongoing projects?" With this question, I'm not just digging deeper into the operational aspect but also demonstrating my adaptability to various communication methods and tools.

Essential questions to include:

  • How do you ensure message consistency across different media channels?
  • Can you describe a situation where you had to adjust a communication strategy midway through a campaign?

These questions serve as a medium for me to highlight my knowledge of dynamic communication strategies and flexibility in my working style, traits that every PR agency looks for in a candidate. Remember, asking the right questions is just as important as answering them – it's a two-way street that can lead to valuable insights and a strong first impression.

Strategic Thinking: Questions that Assess Your Ability to Think Strategically

In the realm of public relations, strategic thinking is a non-negotiable skill. It's what sets apart a good PR professional from a great one. When I walk into a PR agency interview, I'm fully prepared to dive deep into strategic discussions to showcase my capacity for forward-thinking and planning.

Here are examples of questions to ask in an interview that demonstrate my ability to think and plan strategically:

  • "How does the agency adapt its strategies for a client in a rapidly changing market?" This shows I'm considering the inevitable flux in market conditions and how the agency anticipates and responds to these changes.
  • "Can you provide an example of a successful long-term campaign, and how the initial objectives were met over time?" I'm looking not just at immediate outcomes but also at how tactics evolve to sustain success.

I might delve into their metrics with a question like, "What metrics or KPIs does the agency prioritize when evaluating the success of a strategy?" A question like this suggests that I'm results-oriented and understand the importance of aligning strategies with measurable goals.

I always ensure my questions spark discussions on critical thinking and problem-solving. I may ask about a time when the agency's strategy did not perform as expected and how they navigated that challenge. This demonstrates that I'm realistic, knowing that not every plan is foolproof and that adaptability is key.

By posing questions that prompt an interviewer to talk about strategic processes, I position myself as a candidate who appreciates the complexities of PR work. I convey my understanding that strategic thinking is much more than just a buzzword; it's a core function of the agency's success. Moreover, it reveals a hint of my approach to strategic challenges and my eagerness to engage with them head-on, scaling my expertise with that of the potential future team.

Demonstrating Expertise: Questions that Showcase Your Knowledge and Experience in PR

When I step into an interview at a PR agency, I know it's my chance to shine. It's critical to ask questions that not only illuminate the agency's values and methods but also highlight my deep understanding of public relations dynamics. My experience in the field equips me with the insights necessary to probe effectively.

One of the primary areas I like to explore involves the agency's approach to media relations. I might ask, "Can you detail a recent successful media strategy your team executed, and what you think set it apart?" This reveals their tactical approaches and allows me to weigh them against my own experiences. I might follow up with, "How does your team stay ahead in this rapidly evolving digital landscape?" illustrating that I'm keen on staying current and innovative.

Analyzing previous campaigns is another approach that demonstrates my expertise. I'd ask pointed questions such as, "What were the key performance indicators for your last major campaign, and how did they align with the client's objectives?" By doing so, I highlight my understanding of measurable outcomes and strategic alignment between client goals and PR initiatives.

Furthermore, seeing the bigger picture is quintessential in PR. I make it a point to discuss broader industry trends by asking, "How has your agency adapted to recent shifts in the PR industry, such as the rise of influencer marketing or the importance of corporate social responsibility?" This shows that I'm not just focused on day-to-day tasks but also consider overarching industry movements that impact long-term strategic planning.

Lastly, I demonstrate my grasp of reputation management by asking, "What's your team's protocol when dealing with a public image crisis?" This touches upon crisis management skills, a crucial element of PR, and indicates that I'm prepared to handle high-pressure situations adeptly.

By crafting my questions around these topics, I cast a spotlight on my expertise and experience, which are indispensable in a competitive PR landscape.

Stand Out from the Competition: Questions that Help You Differentiate Yourself from Other Applicants

When you're sitting across from the hiring manager at a PR agency, remember, it's just as much about them wanting you as it is about you wanting to be part of their team. In a field where everyone can seem to offer the same set of skills, the key is to shine brighter than the rest.

One strategy I've found effective is to delve into the agency’s specifics. Ask about the metrics they value most when assessing the success of a campaign. This shows you’re results-oriented and that you speak their language. Another great question is about their crisis management approach, exploring cases where they’ve successfully navigated choppy waters – it’s a subtle nod to your strategic thinking.

Next, consider probing into the agency’s future by asking them about upcoming trends they’re preparing for. It’s a chance to demonstrate that not only are you up-to-date with the industry’s pulse, but you're also thinking ahead – a trait eagerly sought after in the fast-paced world of PR.

Industry-specific questions don’t need to be your only weapon. Differentiate yourself by also expressing curiosity in their team dynamics and culture. It may seem commonplace, but asking for their definition of success or the best attributes of their top performers can provide valuable insights into what they value. You're not just looking for a job; you're seeking a role where you can excel and contribute significantly.

A question that I have always favored is asking interviewers about challenges they encountered in the industry and how they have overcome them. It offers a dual benefit – you learn from their experiences, and you invite them to view you as a peer interested in collaborative problem-solving rather than just another candidate.

  • Ask about campaign success metrics
  • Inquire about crisis management examples
  • Probe future PR trends they're preparing for
  • Explore team dynamics and company culture
  • Invite a discussion on overcoming industry challenges

By designing your questions to establish a connection with the agency’s goals, you’re not just evaluating if you'd be the right fit; you're simultaneously showcasing that your vision aligns with theirs. It’s these conversations that can tip the scales in your favor when they're making the tough decision of who to bring onto their team.


Landing a role at a PR agency requires more than just answering questions; it's about engaging in a dialogue that showcases your expertise. I've shared how to highlight your knowledge of media relations, campaign strategy, and the ever-evolving PR industry. Remember, it's also crucial to show you're a cultural fit by delving into team dynamics and how you navigate challenges. These discussions not only demonstrate your PR acumen but also your readiness to contribute to the agency's success. Keep these tips in mind and you'll be well on your way to making a memorable impression in your next PR agency interview.