Tag Archives: Job

3 Interview Rules to Live By

30 Jun

Being a recent college grad, I’ve been on my share of interviews, which sadly ended there. From what I’ve been told is the standard interviewee etiquette, like being on time for interviews, looking attentive, and always following up.

Now during and after some of my interviews I’ve noticed that interviewers don’t follow the same standard, which in my own opinion would be nice if they did. Here are a few things that both interviewers and interviewees need to take into consideration:

  • Time–Everyone keeps a schedule and no matter who they are they like to keep to it. This being said an interviewer arriving late for an interview is wasting one person’s time and possibly a few other people. By making a company wait for you this gives a bad impression as to how you may be as a full time employee. On the other side, an interviewer making an interviewee wait is just as bad. I’ve actually experience and was kept waiting late in the afternoon for a half hour. Needless-to-say this is NOT something I enjoyed and neither would anyone else. This gave me a bad first impression for a company that already wasn’t so thrilled about and helped me really make up my mind about not wanting to work there. Bottom line: No matter who you are never keep someone waiting. It’s rude and very annoying!!
  • Focus–During the interview, look interested! I mean you did apply for this position for a reason and need to show the interviewer that you really do want the job. Pay attention to your body language because that definitely shows your eagerness and interest in the company. At the same time an interviewer needs to be aware of their body language. Being interviewed while the interviewer seems completely uninterested makes it hard to focus. Again I’ve experienced this and it threw me off from what I was saying about my experience. Bottom line: Be aware of your behavior to keep a positive attitude in the mind of who you are meeting with both interviewer and interviewee.
  • Responding–After every interview, it is standard to send a thank you note. Interviewers understand that sometimes because of time an email may be all they receive. However, if there is time, a handwritten note is still very much appreciated. No matter the form that you are sending a thank you, make sure that is personalized. Include some points discussed in the interview to show what you took away from the conversation. Now hopefully since you’ve taken the time to go to their office to meet with them and personalize a thank you note you’ll get a response on whether or not you’ve gotten the position. It’s definitely the worse sit around and wait for weeks wondering if you got the position, especially if they gave you a time frame of when they’d get back to you (which has passed). Bottom line: Remember to send the interviewer or interviewee either a thank you or an acknowledgment of the status on the position.

OK so as much as this was a blog post, it was also a way for me to blow off some steam. I’ve had all of these problems in interviews over the past couple of months. As a job seeker, I would like for interviewers to show the same level of respect as I show them. What are some horror stories you’ve experienced in the job hunt? Are there ways that we could point them out to interviewers while being polite?


Lets Hit a Homerun Through #HAPPO

18 Feb

It’s the bottom of the 9th and the team is down by two runs. Who do you want coming up to bat you know will not only tie the game but also bring home the winning run? OK maybe we’re not at the end of an all important game so close to winning but that’s the feeling any agency feels when they are close to landing a new business client. When I heard about #HAPPO, I thought what a FANTASTIC idea for all of graduating public relation major seniors to participate in and get our name into the PR world.

My answer to you as to who you want coming in to seal that all-important deal is ME! New and excited to step up to the plate for your company is Brittany James, senior public relations major at Quinnipiac. Let me tell you a little bit of facts you’d find off my rookie card to see whee I have been and have accomplished through my PR related experiences.

  • Public relations intern at Cashman + Katz Integrated Communications—I draft press releases and pitch letters, analyze and evaluate social media for our clients and their competition and conducting research for client Facebook pages
  • VP of Fundraising for Quinnipiac’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter—helped to raise money for members to attend the national conference and helped develop a campaign for a New Haven, CT based non-profit
  • Public relations intern at Goodman Media—researched blogs for clients, sent out mailings, and compiled media lists

Over the past four years, I have developed some very important skills not only from my PR related experiences and class work but also exploring into new projects on my own. Being that skills are part of the whole package that will continuously grow and improve, I am always up for a new challenge. I recently just asked a friend to teach me the basics of Photoshop before we graduate. Here are some of my skills that I have started to learn and I’m sure there is more for each I haven’t tapped into just yet.

  • Being proficient in Microsoft Word, SPSS, Bacon’s
  • Familiarity of Blogger and WordPress formats
  • Having knowledge of Associated Press Style
  • Knowledgeable of various social media platforms (ie. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)

Well now that you know my where I have been and what I know, I bet you are wondering what kind of entry-level team I’m looking for so that I can utilize the skills I’ve learned so far. Being from Westchester County in New York, it has always been one of my dreams to work in New York City. Following my first internship, I knew immediately the agency life was the one for me, given my need to have a few projects at once so that I can break away from one sometimes and come back with fresh new ideas. Some areas I have taken a keen interest in are sports, fashion, entertainment, beauty, food & wine, and health. Now this is not to say other areas that PR firms focus on are not going to catch my eye.

From experiences, I have realized that there are a few key things I need in my work environment, which will help me produce my best work. I’m looking for a team that can get along with each other in any situation, whether it is business or a social setting. Knowing how others interact outside of their work is beneficial because it really shows where a person comes from and will hopefully teach others a bit about themselves. I believe having a good relationship in the work environment not only benefits the company but also the clients.

You should add me to your team because of the hard work and determination I am willing to put into my work daily. From all my work on both campus and at my internships I have become such a more focused contributor on any project I take on. With each day I am continuing to learn both on my own (I love taking on a challenging project) and with the help of others. Also paying attention to details is something I strive for in each piece of work.

Here are a few last things you should know before I hit that big homerun for you. I was recently just named “Tweetheart” by Deirdre Breakenridge and Valerie Simon for next month’s #PRStudChat because of all the connections I have made within the Twitter community. Thanks again ladies=) I’m a MAJOR tweeter, using my account to interact with other PR pros and students and my friends. Since last summer, Twitter has become one of my favorite things to use. I’ve met many amazing people all over the country and my relationships continue to grow on a daily basis. Also another PR pro, Sarah Evans, presented me with an amazing opportunity to be apart of her post for #HAPPO on PR pros telling employers why they should be hired.

If you want to get to know me more leave me a comment, drop an email (byjames624@gmail.com) or send me a tweet (@bitty_boop), I’d love to connect a grow from what you have to offer. Also you can check out my resume or connect with me via LinkedIn. In addition to this blog I keep two others for class, one about MTV and the other Target, and another Twitter account (@brittjamespr) to go along with the MTV blog. Thanks for coming to check out my post. I hope we can knock this one out of the park and really develop something great!!!

Let the Hunt Begin

12 Jan

“How many of you have started to search for jobs?”-Quinnipaic University Campaigns professor

I was asked this back in September and my first reaction was are you kidding me I just started my internship and don’t even know if it’s something I want to eventually pursue. Luckily it was something I became interested in but that still left that question lingering in my head.

Yes I know there are many posts about finding a job but sometimes writing something out yourself helps to put things in perspective. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. It’s just about that time when all seniors in college are gearing up to lock down after graduation plans. Some are continuing school (I’m so going to miss it) and then others, like me, are looking for that first real job. Here are some helpful steps to get anyone through the process.

  1. Research– Look up companies that provide areas that strike your interest. Public relations agencies specialize in many different areas due to their client base which provides many opportunities. Different areas within a company could lead to gaining new interests in areas you’ve never considered. One way I found companies was through the list found here: O’Dwyer Public Relations News: PR Firm Rankings
  2. List– Make a list of the companies you would definitely consider working for if given the opportunity. This obviously helps to organize your thoughts and interests. I did mine in Excel with columns for the company (clearly), contact name, address, phone number, fax, and email just to name a few.
  3. Investigate– Do more research but this time on the companies individually. Know their background, the CEO, practice areas, and case studies with specific clients (limit to about 2 or 3 that way you’re not overwhelmed). Look up the contacts for the internships/jobs.
  4. Network– Networking with PR students is always great because they know EXACTLY what you’re going through and may be able to help. Also you may be able to help them in their search. From your contacts you’ve found for each company, begin to network with them through LinkedIn and Twitter. Interact with them on a PR and somewhat personal level so they can know the real you. Then when your application comes across their desk they’ll remember you and all the interaction you’ve had prior to you applying.
  5. Gather materials– Since I was in high school, I’ve had a resume and continue to update it after every work experience and project I complete. One of my professors has always recommended that we submit our assignments in PDF format, which I have come to learn have its benefits, like the formatting won’t get distorted. When I send my materials in over the next few months, they will be in a PDF. Over the past 3 years (I started my PR classes my sophomore year), I have developed a lot of writing pieces and they are very scattered throughout my computer in different folders. Making your portfolio all come together will make everything easier so that you’re not looking for a particular piece at the last minute. Also, hopefully over your time in college you have asked professors for recommendations. It also helps employers to see what others see in you and the potential they believe you will have in your career.
  6. Apply– Send in your cover and resume (some companies may also ask for writing samples). This is probably the easiest step. Make sure though you send it the way the company has requested the materials be sent. Even if there is no entry level posted on the company’s website they will most likely accept them. And who knows a month from when you sent materials, you could get a call for a new position that has just opened up.

Hopefully from all of these steps, it leads to an interview. I’ll most likely do a later post on how to approach an interview and the DOs & DON’TS.  If while reading this you found somethings I missed PLEASE let me know so that I can edit. I’d love to share any information you may have.