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Public Information Officer Interview
Questions

23 Questions and Answers by Christina Erne

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Christina Erne is a meteorologist and a journalist at News 10 ABC in Albany, NY.
Job Interviews     Careers     Business    
Question 1 of 23
Are you able to remain available for contact 24/7?
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How to Answer
A successful PIO ultimately turns their job into a lifestyle and is able to help out anyone asking for information about a company or needing questions answered at any time of day. The candidate should talk about how their availability would affect the way they work, and talk about their ability to answer tough questions no matter the time of day.
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1.
Are you able to remain available for contact 24/7?
A successful PIO ultimately turns their job into a lifestyle and is able to help out anyone asking for information about a company or needing questions answered at any time of day. The candidate should talk about how their availability would affect the way they work, and talk about their ability to answer tough questions no matter the time of day.

Christina's Answer
"I understand how crimes and tragic events can take place any time of day. For that reason, being a PIO for a police department is a job where I will have to be on call whenever I am needed. I feel that I work the same early in the morning as I do late at night and will be successful whenever I am called upon."
2.
How are your writing skills?
The candidate should discuss their writing strengths and why they believe their writing skills fit the job well. They should have knowledge of writing press releases, media releases, answering questions on behalf of others, and more. They should demonstrate that they have the skills necessary to write eloquently and clearly for that organization.

Christina's Answer
"I went to college for writing and I believe I write clearly and concisely. I am great at writing for organizations because I write in such a way that anyone reading my press releases will understand me and will have no problem knowing exactly what I mean."
3.
Why should we trust you to be our spokesperson?
The hiring manager is looking for someone who can be trusted to speak on behalf of an organization and all its members. The candidate should be proven to be trustworthy over time and has had success in the past with representing someone or something well. The candidate should discuss their past experience and reasons why they are the best fit to do the job based on their trustworthiness.

Christina's Answer
"You can trust me because I agree with all of your company's values and decisions and I believe that once I know them inside and out, I can accurately share that with the world."
4.
What similarities are there between yourself and our company?
The candidate should discuss what similarities in values they have with the company they are representing. This demonstrates that the candidate has done their research into the company, and isn't just taking the job because they need a job. Instead, they should show that they are interested in carrying out these values for the company. The candidate should discuss what similarities they have found and why this is beneficial to the company.

Christina's Answer
"I have found that both myself and the company value being very open with the community. I do not like to lie or hide when there are questions, and I have noticed in the past that this is something you agree to as well."
5.
What is your experience being a spokesperson for a company?
A PIO has to be very good at speaking well, writing well on behalf of others, and making decisions that represent a company or organization. The candidate should discuss their experience speaking well and making smart decisions for others. They should talk about their success in the past making tough decisions and being a great contact for a company.

Christina's Answer
"Although I have never been a PIO before, I was previously a reporter and I have much experience working with PIOs. I know how difficult their job can be to speak on behalf of others and coordinating meetings and media events, and I believe I am organized and good at remembering future events."
6.
What is your experience responding to tough questions on the fly?
A PIO is expected to be able to come up with answers quickly to tricky questions, like in press conferences and over the phone. The candidate should discuss their ability to think fast and come up with answers that are responsible and accurate.

Christina's Answer
"I understand how much pressure a PIO is under when they are put on the spot. However, I consider myself a quick thinker and am able to think calmly before responding."
7.
How do you work under stress?
PIOs often work under stressful situations when they have to speak to the public on behalf of a company in very short notice. They also often only have a short time to prepare for certain events and meetings. They must be good at thinking on their feet and appearing calm to whoever they are speaking to regardless of what is really going on. The candidate should talk about their ability to speak well under difficult times and tough pressure.

Christina's Answer
"I know how to work under stress because I have worked for years as a PIO and understand how much of a tough skin and calm personality you must have for the job. I will add a relaxed but intelligent air to the job."
8.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
The candidate should discuss what their short term goals are within this career. The interviewer is looking for someone who is hoping to grow within the position and improve their skills to be a very successful PIO in the future. The candidate should discuss where they see his or herself in the company in the future and why they have confidence they can reach this point.

Christina's Answer
"In five years from now, I see myself being known by every local television station and company as a very trustworthy source. I want to develop my contacts so well that I am always available whenever someone needs me, which ultimately makes your company look reachable and agreeable."
9.
In what ways will you improve our relationships with the community?
The candidate should be someone who is passionate about reaching out into the community and making their company an accessible place that is interactive and cares about others. The candidate should discuss the ways in which they hope to make the company involved in the happenings of the surrounding areas and how their involvement in this will strengthen them.

Christina's Answer
"I believe I will greatly increase the way our company is viewed in the community because I love going out and meeting all of the politicians, owners of stores, and more in the community so they can grow to trust me. In this way, once they need something from us or vice versa, the relationship has already been established."
10.
Do you consider yourself a good multitasker?
A PIO is constantly busy with multiple jobs from writing press releases, to responding to emails, to keeping up with the latest news and information within the company. The candidate should discuss their ability to manage a hectic schedule and still work at a high level of efficiency.

Christina's Answer
"I consider myself a very organized person, which makes it very easy for me to manage all of the tasks at hand I have."
11.
How does this position fit into your career goals?
The candidate should discuss how far they have come in their career thus far and why they have found him or herself at this stage of life to take this position. They also should discuss what some of their future plans may be as it fits with the job they are hoping to get. While the future may be uncertain, the candidate should remain positive that they are interested in holding this new position for a number of years to form relationships with the company and the public.

Christina's Answer
"I have always loved working in the public and in the past have taken a number of jobs as a writer. However, I now feel ready to speak confidently on the behalf of another company."
12.
What is your experience speaking on camera?
A PIO is expected to speak for the company in a variety of ways, one being speaking on camera for local or national broadcasts when the need arises. The candidate should discuss their ability to speak well on camera, and any training they have had in doing this.

Christina's Answer
"I have experience speaking on camera in a series of other jobs I have held in the past. I speak clearly and keep my emotions limited based on the situation. I feel I will be a great representative for your company."
13.
What other career paths are you interested in?
The candidate may discuss other career paths they once considered or other passions they may have to show their versatility. They may use this time to talk about other skills they possess that make them a good PIO, and ultimately talk about why they have chosen this career path in the end.

Christina's Answer
"I previously considered being a reporter because I loved telling stories. However, I found out that being a public information officer is like reporting, except just for one specific company. I enjoy being an expert on one company."
14.
Do you consider yourself an emotional person?
Oftentimes, PIOs have to perform interviews about situations that are tragic or that have done great damage to the company. The candidate should discuss their ability to talk about tough subjects without injecting their own opinions into it and are able to speak objectively on behalf of the company.

Christina's Answer
"When I am passionate about a subject, I often struggle not to reveal that. However, over the years, I have learned how to hold back my own opinions and simply speak on behalf of my company I am representing. This ability to speak about facts rather than emotions makes me a good PIO."
15.
Why do you want to represent our company?
The candidate should choose a company with values that they agree with or align with. During this time, the candidate should answer by describing why they believe representing this company is a good idea for them, and why they believe they will be successful based on their similarities.

Christina's Answer
"My values really resonate with your organization, because I agree with your desire to feed the homeless. For this reason, I want to represent you and share some of our common desires with others."
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23 Public Information Officer Interview Questions
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Interview Questions
  1. Are you able to remain available for contact 24/7?
  2. How are your writing skills?
  3. Why should we trust you to be our spokesperson?
  4. What similarities are there between yourself and our company?
  5. What is your experience being a spokesperson for a company?
  6. What is your experience responding to tough questions on the fly?
  7. How do you work under stress?
  8. Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
  9. In what ways will you improve our relationships with the community?
  10. Do you consider yourself a good multitasker?
  11. How does this position fit into your career goals?
  12. What is your experience speaking on camera?
  13. What other career paths are you interested in?
  14. Do you consider yourself an emotional person?
  15. Why do you want to represent our company?
  16. How do you create relationships within the community?
  17. Why do you want to become a PIO?
  18. What are your benefits expectations?
  19. What is your salary expectation?
  20. What is your least favorite part of the job?
  21. What is your favorite part of the job?
  22. How would you describe your social skills?
  23. What unique skills do you bring to the job?
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