Pitch Yourself — Round 1

Man and woman at desk with LED sign saying big pitchLast month, we announced the launch of a new feature on PRBC which we like to call “Pitch Yourself“.  In case you haven’t heard about this exciting initiative of ours, “Pitch Yourself” gives our PR job-searching readers the opportunity to have their very own video interview live on PRBC.

We really want to help anyone who is struggling to find a job in the industry by putting them in front of our terrific audience of PR professionals (yes, that means you!) and giving them a chance to toot their own horn.  And, as we figured, what better way to do that than by staging the one time where you’re supposed to talk about yourself and your experiences as much as possible- a job interview.  A video job interview- for everyone to see.

Finally (after making you all wait on the edge of your seats I’m sure) we’d like to present you with our very first “Pitch Yourself” video! In a surprise move, we turned the interviewing duty over to Paige Holden (@paigeholden) of Bliss PR and had her ask questions that she would use in a real entry-level interview.  We’re sneaky like that.  Paige spoke with Holly Grande, who has been looking for a full-time job in PR since she graduated from Boston University in 2008.  She is currently interning at Edelman in Washington D.C. and is ready for her next great PR experience.  Want to learn more about Holly and see how she did on her interview? Watch the video and check below the video for Paige’s comments on the video.

Comments from Paige Holden, Senior Account Executive, Bliss PR

Holly did a great job with this interview and it was a pleasure speaking with her.

Strengths:

  • Holly did a fantastic job drawing on her both her college and internship experience. I was able to get a really good sense of her work at Edelman and left the conversation feeling confident in her social media experience, especially  when it comes to blogging and blogger outreach.
  • Holly kept her cool when I asked a difficult question about why her time at Edelman ended. She was able to compliment Edelman and her experience there, while also providing a good reason as to why she is not working there now.
  • Holly was honest, friendly and approachable.
  • Holly came across as passionate and willing to learn, which is critical in PR. I left the interview with the sense that she would add good energy to any team.

Weaknesses:

  • When I asked Holly what news story had recently got her attention, she said the Google Wave launch story, but didn’t reference a particular outlet.  I actually wish Holly had referred to a different news story from a specific publication. This would have been an opportunity for her to show that while she likes social media, she is also interested in traditional news outlets. This is important since most clients still value traditional placements versus a blog hit.
  • It’s very important for interviewees to ask at least one question at the end of the interview. This is critical for two reasons. First, it shows that they are interested in the company and not just going through the paces. Second, it is the best way for the candidate to find out if the company is a good fit for them. Even though she did not know she was talking to BlissPR until right before the interview, there are generic questions about corporate culture, position descriptions, etc. that would have been appropriate in this situation.

About Paige Holden

PHolden-smPaige has six years of experience in public relations and specializes in developing and implementing wide ranging communications strategies with a focus in high visibility media relations campaigns. Lately, Paige has been focusing on creating programs that leverage social media for BlissPR’s B2B clients, including blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, SEO and much more. The sectors that she works with regularly include accounting, retail and consumer products, executive search, HR consulting, health issues and social networking. In addition to her client responsibilities, Paige drives entry-level recruitment for Bliss PR.

Looking for a job in PR and not having much luck? Want to build up your online portfolio?  Check out our Pitch Yourself Page for more details on being featured on PRBC.

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  • http://twitter.com/CTMichaels CTMichaels

    This was great. What a great opportunity! And to see Paige Holden is a real person is fabulous too!

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  • http://twitter.com/DaveBenjamin David Benjamin

    Interesting concept. I'll be curious to see how this series develops. I can't say it was the best interview I've ever seen conducted but…

    Good job!

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  • drwright

    I am not looking for a PR Job, this is my first time here , LOVE THIS BLOG!

    Dr. Letitia Wright
    The Wright Place TV Show
    http://wrightplacetv.com
    http://www.twitter.com/drwright1

  • jay Hamilton

    look into the camera; smile; don't sit with a window behind you. Her answers were so-so.

  • paigeholden

    Thank you CTMichaels! It was fun.

  • paigeholden

    Thanks David. I'm interested to know what you would you have done better?

    Paige

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  • http://blog.blisspr.com/ RebeccaNeufeld

    Having actually conducted entry-level interviews with Paige before, I know she's a great interviewer to kick off the Pitch Yourself series!

    And Kudos to Holly for recognizing an opportunity to learn and grow as an interviewee. Well done, Holly! Paige has offered great constructive criticism here, hope you find it useful.

    One more piece of advice for entry-level PR peeps when it comes to what happens after you nail an interview: Hand written thank-you notes are a MUST if you want to continue to make an impression. I still have “Thank-yous”, the handwritten ones, from entry-level people I've interviewed years ago!

    @ratothebec

  • Laney

    Rebecca,

    Agree with the hand written notes. I did that when I was doing my entry-level interviews. Then after more than a year of working I applied for another position at one of the places. One of the first thing the interviewer said was “I still have your thank you note. I kept it even after we moved offices.”

    Makes a difference!

  • jeffespo

    This is a great service that ya'll are adding to the blog. It offers a real-time critique of interviewing skills and can help Holly as she attends some actual interviews.

    Oftentimes, we won't be let onto our flaws or points that need improvement. Hopefully this helps her out in landing a job.

    Also, kudos to Paige for helping out for the post. This not only helped Holly, but I am sure it helped Paige improve on her personal interviewing skills. (Note – not a dig, but rather somewhere all of us can improve – we don't have HR next to our titles)

  • paigeholden

    Thanks Becca! :-) I agree with the handwritten note. Sometimes, even in the digital world, there needs to a more personal touch.

    Missin' ya in NYC!

  • paigeholden

    Hi Jeffespo,

    Thanks so much for the kudos – this was a really fun project to work on. Holly was a great sport for participating.

    I didn't take your comment as a dig at all – interviewing is challenging and there are always new tricks to learn :-)

    Thanks for taking the time to post and have a great day.

    Paige

  • Jackie

    Enjoyed watching this! As I begin the PR jobsearch, I definitely got some enjoyment out of watching someone else field these interview questions, rather than always being the one fielding them :-)

  • paigeholden

    Thanks Jackie. Good luck on your hunt!

  • http://twitter.com/MShahab Mariam Shahab

    Actually listening in on potential interview questions and answers is a great learning opportunity! Thanks for this! Hope you post more of these soon.

  • http://twitter.com/MShahab Mariam Shahab

    Actually listening in on potential interview questions and answers is a great learning opportunity! Thanks for this! Hope you post more of these soon.

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  • kimberlydixon

    This is such a great idea, thank you for posting! I am currently in the process of transitioning back into PR after a couple years in media, so I definitely appreciate the refresher. Keep up the great work! :)

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