Preparing for the interview

After successfully writing a comprehensive CV (part 1 of the series), the hiring manager is sufficiently intrigued to invite you to an interview. Your recruiter has now set up the interview, this is the job you want, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for; do not let the crucial preparation stage trip you up. This article looks at the key points of preparation to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.

Preparing for the interview

The first step is to conduct a review of the wider market place; you can refer to our blog “London is booming – taking a look at the London property market.” Naturally, you should have a good understanding of the wider property market but you should be clear in your own view of how you think the market is reacting and which direction you think the market is heading. There is a very good chance that a discussion of this nature could take place considering the nature of the economy.

The second step is to conduct a thorough review of the company. Even though this is the job you really want and the company you have been striving to get into, there is probably a lot you do not know about the brand; for example, what are the brand’s core principles? What is the company’s structure? What has the company achieved recently, for example, have they opened a new office, have they been awarded a contract by a developer to be the main agency that will sell/ let the units? Being up to date with the company’s current affairs is always a great talking point.

The third step is to thoroughly familiarise yourself with the branch you are interviewing for. I always say to my candidates this is of huge importance as you want the hiring manager/director to be impressed by your knowledge of his or her business. Take note of the branch stock levels and what is in their current register, view their website and the property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation for example) to gain insight. What market share does the branch have compared to its competitors? Take note of stock pricing; research the average prices for one, two, three, four bed houses and flats etc. in the area. If you are going for an interview which could be for several branches, pick an office and do a mini case study exactly on the above.

The fourth step is to conduct an area review of where the branch is located. Let’s say for example that the area is Chelsea, what are Chelsea’s hotspots? The area is renowned for its fashion boutiques, numerous bars and clubs, beautiful parks and open spaces, as well as the annual flower show and a football club that has built its success splashing out ridiculous amounts of money every year (who wouldn’t be successful!?) etc. Chelsea has excellent transport links with access to both the M3 and M4 motorways and Central London & the City are accessible by the tube or a short taxi journey. Chelsea has an array of excellent schools so it appeals to young families. As you can see, armed with this info you have bags to talk about and if you worked in the Chelsea area you could tell your applicants everything they needed to know and more.

The fifth point relates closely to point 4 (know the branch); conducting a review of the company’s competitors in the area shows the hiring manager/director that you understand where the branch sits in the market place. You will be able to see what type of stock they have compared to others, are they low, middle or high end placed; you will be able to tell them that due to your experience you can help grow a specific market etc.

The sixth step (I could have placed this point higher up as very important) is to hone in on YOU. What I mean is that if you are in a sales orientated role like a negotiator you must know your figures. What have you achieved in your time within the property sector? Show how you have progressed whether it be your figures, responsibility or output. If you have had a bad quarter for example you need to explain why. If there is a gap on your CV in terms of dates you need to explain why. Do you have you a plausible explanation of why you are looking to move jobs (not just because you fancy a change) and lastly what can you bring to the role, why should you be hired?

Additional advice

My last point is really quick and simple, research the person who is interviewing you. If the company’s website has staff profiles, give it a read. Are they on LinkedIn, if not ask your recruiter what he or she is like and I am sure they can fill you in. Try to find out their work history and interests as that is always a great conversational piece.

If you do the above to the best of your ability I am confident you will have a successful interview. One big point though that I want to add is, it’s not just about saying and doing all the right things, you have to mean it. If this is the company and the job for you then really go for it; if it’s not then do not go to the interview as your heart will not be in it.

I hope the above helps and if you need any advice please do not hesitate to contact us at Marcus George Recruitment today on 020 7998 1936.

Article written by Matt Miel

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