We all make mistakes, but luckily these ones are easy to avoid. Don’t let one of these interview missteps stand between you and your dream job.
Failing to Confirm
Did you know that you should always call or email a day in advance to confirm your interview? This is a professional courtesy.
You should be exactly five minutes early for your interview. And, as the saying goes: if you’re on time, you’re late! Avoid showing up more than five minutes early, though, because it can be distracting.
If your interviewer offers you a cup of coffee or tea, politely decline. Why? If it spills, you’re in BIG trouble! A little bit of water, however, is always fine.
Failing to Follow Up
If possible, you should send a handwritten thank-you note immediately after your interview. It will make you stand out from other applicants. If not, a carefully worded email thanking your interviewer will suffice - but avoid text messages. It’s important to keep it professional.
A Weak Handshake
This might sound crazy, but your handshake conveys your confidence. Shake hands firmly, and always look people in the eye when you speak to them.
Always bring a portfolio with the following: three copies of your resume and cover letter, contact information for three or more professional references, a pad of paper, and a pen.
Your resume is a reflection of you. Make it flawless. Poor formatting, grammatical mistakes and spelling errors speak loudly about your ability to pay attention to detail.
Like it or not, your appearance matters, especially in real estate! Research the culture of the office. Dress just a little bit nicer than they will expect you to dress on a daily basis. When in doubt, wear a suit. Make sure your hair is styled, your shoes are shined, and your nails are trimmed. Don't overdo the perfume or cologne. If you smoke, hold off before the interview. Smelling nice is just as important as looking professional.
Do you know what to say during your interview?
The way you communicate can either make or break your perceived professionalism.
Speak in full sentences.
“Yes, please,” instead of “Yeah,” “No, thank you,” instead of “no thanks.” Avoid space-fillers such as “like,” “um,” and “ya know.” In other words, speak like a professional!
Know your elevator speech.
Be prepared to answer when the interviewer says, “Tell me about yourself.” Make it professional and succinct - and let them know what makes you special!
Tell the why.
Highlight why you are the most qualified candidate for the position.
No hiring manager wants to hear how awful your last job was.
Focus instead on what you accomplished while you were there, what you learned, and how that position gave you the experience you needed to move on to your next opportunity.
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Your interviewer wants you to ask questions! Come prepared and aim to impress with this all-encompassing list.
What skills or qualities are most important to being successful in this position?
Can you describe the company culture?
Can you tell me about your management style?
How will you know when you’ve found the right candidate for this position? In other words, what is important to you?
What is the next step in the interview process?
This company and this position feel like a good fit for me, and I really believe I could do a good job for you. Do you have any questions or concerns that would cause you to not offer me this position?
If I don’t hear from you in _ days, may I call you to check in?
Don't be shy! Your interview is your opportunity to learn more about the company and the role.
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