If you’re reading this, we’re assuming you’re looking to commence a career in estate agency, and that you will hopefully have interviews coming up. An interview can be a daunting prospect, but with the right mindset and preparation, you should be set up to succeed. Your interview for a property industry position is a chance for you to show off your passion for the industry and discuss both what you can offer your potential employers and what they can offer you.
In this guide we will be looking at the kinds of questions you’ll be asked at a property interview, how you can prepare and what questions you might want to ask when you’re able to.
What should you do before your interview?
Before heading to an interview, there are a number of subjects that you will need to research so you are well-versed on details about the position and the company.
One key aspect to research is the typical career progression that you may expect in the industry and with the employer so that you know how the position you’re applying for will help your career journey.
In terms of the company itself, looking into its values, its recent major projects or key clients it works with can be a great way of familiarising yourself with the firm. This will prepare you for any questions that the employer may ask you about the company to make sure you know who you’d be working for.
Make sure you know your CV thoroughly and are prepared to expand on any aspects of it, especially, for example, if you are asked about a past experience in a different job or industry, or a project that you worked on.
What interview questions will you be asked?
At a property interview, there are going to be a number of different questions asked, ranging from motivation-orientated questions concerning why you want to apply, to commercial awareness questions which focus on your knowledge about the property market.
Firstly, let’s focus on the motivation questions. These questions are designed to find out why you want to apply for the job, and to understand how you would fit in at the company and with your co-workers. Some examples of motivation questions are as follows:
- Why would you like to work for [this company]?
- Why are you interested in the property industry?
- What are your core values and goals, and how do they reflect and relate to those of our business?
- Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Make sure you answer these questions genuinely and relate your answers to the job you’re applying for. Your answers need to be supported by evidence, so if you are asked to talk about the company’s values, make sure you reference some recent actions or projects they’ve undertaken that support those values. Questions about your future goals and chosen sector are used to gauge your knowledge of the industry and how seriously you are considering the role you’re applying for.
Secondly, there are the commercial awareness questions, which are designed to get you to identify current affairs and their impact on the property market. Some examples of these questions are as follows:
- How do you think [current event e.g. Brexit or interest rate rise] will impact the industry and market?
- Are house prices going up or down at the moment?
- Have you heard about the ban on lettings fees?
- Do you think the on-line estate agents like PurpleBricks and Yopa are affecting typical high street agents?
Interviewers want to see that you’re up to date with current news and events in the property industry, so it is a good idea to do your research by reading current news sources and making sure you can expand on what you’ve read.
Other questions you could be asked may be based on your competency and your strengths. These questions are looking to understand your skills, abilities and technical knowledge for the job you are applying for, as well as your behaviours and qualities.
Questions that you could be asked based on these topics are:
- Describe a time when you demonstrated [skill].
- What three skills would you bring to this company?
- How would you deal with a client who is unhappy with your advice?
- Do you find deadlines motivating or intimidating?
In this part of the interview, the best way to approach these questions is by using the STAR method. The STAR method asks you to explain the Situation, describe the Task, explain your Actions, and present the Result. Do not be afraid to ask questions to clarify what they have asked before responding.
What questions should you ask?
Once interviewers have finished questioning you, there will be the opportunity to ask some questions of your own to further expand your knowledge of the position they are offering and the company itself. This also shows your interviewers that you are seriously considering the position. Make sure to avoid any questions that have been covered in both the interview and online.
Example questions can include:
- What is the best thing about working here?
- What have you found to be the biggest challenge when working here?
- I read on your website/in the news that [topic] – could you expand on this?
Remember, don’t panic!
While interviews can be a nerve-wracking process, it’s important to remember not to panic. Be true to yourself and answer any questions as honestly as you can, remembering that they are only asking you these questions so that they can establish whether or not you would be a good addition to their company.
If you’re looking to find a job in the property industry, we can help! At Property Personnel, as one of the UK’s leading property recruitment consultancies, we specialise in careers in all aspects of residential estate agency and can help you find the perfect position. Contact us to find out more about how we can lend a hand.