Interview tips and guidelines
Congratulations! You've completed the first part of the recruitment process and secured an interview – well done!
The interview process can be daunting, so we've put together some tips and guidelines to help guide you through.
Remember, you have received the interview because your experience, skills and education generally fit the position so don't be nervous! This is your opportunity to expand upon your resume and really show the company who you are and why you are the best candidate for the role and company. You will need to show:
• Do you have the skills to do the job?
• What can you bring to the business?
• Are you a good cultural fit for the team and the company?
Preparation is key
Research: Learn all you can about the company and the role before you go to the interview. This will allow to you have a better sense of what to expect and to prepare insightful questions – if you ask a question that could have been answered by visiting their website you will show you have not done your due diligence. Don't restrict your research to the official company website – you'll be amazed how much information is out there on the smallest of companies.
Ask Questions: Find out who will be interviewing you and the format of the interview. Are you required to bring anything?
Plot a Route: Make sure you know exactly how you are going to get to the interview and leave plenty of time. If your interview is early, remember to factor in peak hour traffic. If you must take public transport, do not leave your arrival to the last minute - delays are not an excuse for being late.
Study: Go over the job description with a fine tooth comb, matching up your experience and skill sets to the role. Think about what questions they could ask and prepare your answers. Look over your resume and see if there are any areas that might cause concern for the company and prepare answers should they arise. Feel free to run any of these by us for feedback.
First Impressions Count
How the company first sees you will set up the tone of the whole interview. You want them to immediately recognise that you are a professional individual who could make a positive contribution to the company.
Arrive on time: Being late for an interview is unforgiveable and could result in the company choosing not to see you. From their perspective, it shows a lack of planning and respect for their schedules. Always ensure you are in the area early – find a local cafe, have a glass of water, freshen up and relax. There are no bonus points for arriving flustered and out of breath.
Wash your hair. Brush your hair. Pull it back and ensure it is smooth. If your hair is past your shoulders you MUST have it up in a neat pony tail or bun. Ensure any pieces of hair that cannot be pulled back are held in with spray or pins. Boys - don't go overboard with your hair product. An interview is not the time to show how modern and fashionable you can do your hair, it's the time to be neat. Once you have obtained the position you will be able to see what the standard is within the office and can amend the style appropriately.
Within the real estate market, staff are expected to wear corporate dress. Depending on your role and the company, the level of 'corporate' can differ. For your interview, however, you must take this to mean the following:
Male: Business Suit with Jacket, Tie, clean black or brown dress shoes. Ensure the tie is subtle (no crazy patterns/cartoons/language). Make sure everything fits properly – too loose is as bad as too tight.
Female: Business Skirt or pants with a neat top or business shirt or a business (suit) dress. Clean, close toed plain (black/brown/cream) shoes. If you are wearing heels they must not be too high and you can walk normally. If you are wearing a skirt, wear stockings. Ensure that no underwear can be seen through your shirt. Too tight is as bad as too loose.
Even if it is incredibly hot, you MUST be in corporate ware. The interview will take place inside where there will no doubt be air-conditioning. You can always change as soon as you get home!
Jewellery and Make-Up
The only jewellery you should be wearing are earrings (if your ears are pierced), a watch and (if applicable), a wedding/engagement ring. Wearing more jewellery than this can cause you to fiddle with it nervously – best to remove the temptation and not wear it! Earrings must be plain studs or small hoops – no dangly or attention grabbing.
Make up should be clean and natural – leave the eye-liner and blue eye shadow for the weekend! Be easy on the bronzer too – unless you have just come back from Bali, you don't need to look like it! (It also rubs off on your shirt and looks dirty).
Tattoos and piercings
Without exception, tattoos must be covered up, either by clothing or cover up make-up. All visible piercings other than 1 hole in each earlobe should be removed or covered with flesh colour tape. Real Estate is not an industry that looks at visible tattoos or multiple piercings favourably – save showing them off for the weekend!
Make sure your nails are clean and free of polish (clear is fine). Iron your clothes and shine your shoes. Don't spray on too much cologne, perfume or deodorant – you don't want the smell to overpower your interviewer. Do not have a cigarette after you are dressed for the interview – the smell will be in your clothes.
If you have any questions about how you should dress – feel free to give us a call.
Turn your phone OFF: A ringing or vibrating phone is incredibly distracting during an interview.
Body Language: Stand up straight, shoulders back – this is the most confident posture. Be sure to make direct eye contact and greet the interviewer with a warm, firm handshake – but don't grip too hard! During the interview, sit up straight and allow the interviewers hand placement to guide yours. Ensure you do not have any jewellery on your hands other than a watch and wedding ring – people tend to fidget with these when nervous.
You have the experience- show them!
Examples: Make sure you can back everything up with a real world example. This quantifies your responses to questions and makes you appear more capable.
Provide Outcomes: Always explain what the outcome of your actions was – this shows what you have achieved not just what you have done.
Listen: Whilst the company wants to hear from you, you also need to listen to them. Make sure you listen when they are asking questions, rather than rattling off what you want to tell them. Often they will provide clues within the question as to how they want it answered.
Concise Answers: Don't talk too much. When we are nervous, sometimes we prattle on. Make sure your answers are clear and to the point. Then stop talking. If they want to know more detail, they will ask you.
Be Honest: You will only fall into problems if you stretch the truth. Either you will be found out during the interview when you are unable to answer a technical question, or their expectations of you will be inflated so that you are not successful. They already think you are a good candidate – lying is not needed!
Ask Questions: You will have prepared some questions prior, but you may find something comes up in the interview – feel free to ask. This is the time for you to learn about the company too!
Be Positive: Always talk about any past experiences and employers in a positive light. If you speak negatively, you may cause the company to think negatively of you.
Be proud and passionate: You have done great things! You are a Real Estate professional! Be proud of what you have achieved and show how passionate you are about the industry and the role.
Salary: RECD will have had salary discussions on your behalf so there is no need for you to mention salary. If the interviewer brings it up, only then is it appropriate. We will have spoken with you about the most appropriate way to answer any salary queries.
After the interview
After the interview, have a think about how it went. Where there any times you were stumped? Did you feel comfortable with the people and the office? Do you still think it is a role you would like to do? Once you have done this, give us a call and let us know. We love hearing how the interview went prior to speaking to the agency!
An interview can be a lot of fun, even if a bit nerve wracking! Remember – if you have prepared, presented yourself well and answered all questions openly and honestly – you have put yourself forward in the best light possible. GOOD LUCK!
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