Recruiting Process for Advertising & Public Relations

To increase your chances of landing a job, it is important for you to use all of your available resources. The recruiting process has many steps including career exploration, industry &, organization research, applications networking and interviewing. The Villanova Career Center has resources including Handshake, Big Interview, Vault Career Guides and many others (including our staff) to help you along the way.

  • Common Entry Level Jobs include: Media Planner, Junior Associate, Coordinator, Trainee, Clerk, Assistant, Account Executive. For more examples of titles, duties, salary, education levels and more, visit the “Vault Guide to Advertising Jobs” and the “Vault Guide to Public Relations Jobs
  • Internships: For summer internships, applications typically open at the end of the fall semester or in the early spring semester. Corporate companies and larger agencies tend to open applications in the fall and may have earlier timelines than the boutique and smaller agencies. If you have an interest in a specific employer, it would be beneficial to periodically check for internship applications starting at the beginning of the fall semester.
  • Full-time positions: Applications for full-time positions typically open in the spring semester for a May graduation. You may also want to consider a Rotational or Leadership Development Program, which is often a popular route for emerging advertising/PR professionals. These programs typically open in the fall semester. It is also not uncommon to pursue an internship post-grad.
  • Search for jobs and internships on Handshake, CareerShift company websites, social media, industry and job association sites, professional associations, through university recruiting programs and recruiters. Since Villanova is a target school for many companies, it is recommended that you search first on Handshake.
  • For more information on the recruiting process, job boards, and professional associations, visit the “Know the Field” chapter in the Vault Career Guide to Advertising, and the Vault Guide to Public Relations

Fit and Experiential Interviews:

  • You should be prepared to answer Behavioral Interview Questions—a set of questions to assess whether you have the soft skills and motivation to succeed within an agency or company. These often include general questions about your background and why you want to work for the organization, combined with behavioral-based questions asking you to give examples of past experiences. Use the S.T.A.R. approach to structure your examples; Situation/Task that you were facing, Approach and actions you took to address the issue, Result of the actions you took. Learn more about “Developing Your Interview Stories” in Module 5 of Big Interview’s Written Curriculum.
  • Increasingly, video conferencing and asynchronous, pre-recorded interviews are becoming common for first-round interviews. You can practice being recorded for an interview through the Big Interview platform–a free resource offered through the Career Center.
  • If you would like to practice common questions you may expect from an advertising or public relations interview, including communication and organizational skill questions, check out Advertising interview questions and the Public Relations interview questions within the Advertising industry question sets in Big Interview.

Task-Oriented (Testing) Interview:

  • For some positions, applicants must take tests in addition to interviews. Sometimes interviewers will want to see you in action; for example, you may be asked to write a press release, draft a mock print ad or do a mock presentation or pitch.
  • The It is also recommended that advertising and public relations professionals have a portfolio. This could be a physical portfolio, but you should also have an online digital portfolio. Popular portfolio websites include, Adobe Portfolio, WordPress, Flickr, Crevado, and many more. 
  • When going into an interview, you should also be aware of current events, popular advertising campaigns and be able to speak to marketing/PR strategies that are interesting to you. There are various online resources to help you stay up to date including:
    • Advertising Industry News (
    • Ad Age
    • Adweek
    • Insider Intelligence – eMarketer
    • MediaPost
  • For more information on interviews in advertising and public relations, visit the “Interviewing” chapter in the appropriate Vault Career Guides: Vault Career Guide to Advertising, and the Vault Guide to Public Relations.
  • The Career Center offers one-hour mock interview appointments that can be scheduled via Handshake to further develop interview skills and receive feedback. As a Student, you can also reserve interview rooms within the Employer Engagement Suite. For more information on interviewing, please visit the Career Center’s Interviewing webpage.