Mock Interview with CIPR’s Phil Morgan

This is an article by Phil Morgan.
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Phil Morgan, Director of Policy and Communications at the CIPR answers some common interview questions to provide inspiration for PR graduates.

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

Something armor-plated and hard to kill.

 What can you offer us that another candidate couldn’t?

No one else has my combination of wit, insight and modesty.

 Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Continuing to build what I hope will be a successful career.

What are your three strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: Loyalty, dedication, commitment to professional development and improvement

Weaknesses: Personal admin. Tendency to work long hours/weekends, steak and kidney pie

What three words would you, your previous boss and best friend use to describe you? (can be the same words or different)

Me: loyal, able and reliable

My Boss: loyal, able and reliable

My Best friend: Useless prop forward

What kind of media do like to consume in your spare time?

Books, Radio, the internet, Television

What three websites do you visit most frequently?

The CIPR Conversation (indispensible), BBC News, The Guardian

What do you feel has been your greatest achievement and why?

During a 5 year stint as chairman of my rugby club, I established a mini and youth rugby section. This was a major effort involving recruiting and training volunteer coaches and administrators and was part of a long term, ongoing strategy of club renewal, which I also developed and lead and which saw the club moving to new grounds. The process drew on work related skills including lobbying the local authority, gaining wider stakeholder support, media relations and fund raising. In my final year as Chairman I won the “Pro-Active London Volunteer of the Year” Award and was presented with a certificate in recognition of the achievement by the Mayor of London. The youth section continues to flourish, with well over 100 children aged 5-15 playing rugby for the club every Sunday during the season. I developed my love of the game playing minis and youth and I am very pleased to have been able give young people the chance to play rugby.

 Tell me about a challenge that you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome that challenge

Among my greatest challenges has also been my greatest achievement. See above. My general advice for answering this question is to suggest remembering two quotes – “Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” (Winston Churchill, 1941) and “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” (Samuel Beckett, 1983) – Don’t quit, keep trying, keep going, keep learning from your mistakes and your experiences and show that you are always willing to do so.


  1. jane wilson says:

    Loyal, able, reliable and likes going to pubs where a pint costs £5.10!!

  2. Phil Morgan says:

    I think I could simply shorten the Beckett quote to “fail again” to cover that one.

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