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Be Prepared for the Interview

Take the time to review the Candidate’s resume prior to the interview. Jot down specific questions related to clarification or amplification to help you better understand the Candidate’s work record. This will help prevent you from forgetting to ask the questions. Having a prepared list of questions also has the benefit of allowing you to better focus on the Candidate and his/her responses. We also suggest leaving compensation out of first round interviews.

Treat All Information Confidentially

Assume all Candidates are employed and have not actively been on the job market. We suggest that any Candidate’s information be held in confidence by the Interviewer. We strongly recommend that the Interviewer not begin to check references or casually “check someone out” prior to the interviews taking place. This could place the Candidate at risk of his/her current employer finding out that the Candidate is out interviewing. The Real Estate & Construction industry is a relatively small world with an active rumor mill and you don’t want to jeopardize any Candidate’s current employment. References should only be checked once interest has been established on both sides.

Candidates Have a Shelf Life

A Candidate’s interest level is peaked once the interview process starts. We recommend a thorough, well thought out interview process, which may include three or four separate meetings that can be spread out over several weeks. Maintaining open lines of communication with Candidates is critical throughout the interview process. We don’t recommend rushing the interview process, but taking too much time between interviews can negatively affect a Candidate’s interest level.


Budget Uninterrupted Time for the Interview

We suggest that the initial interview be conducted at the Interviewer’s place of business. We also suggest that the first interview with each Candidate be relatively short; no more than 1 to 1 ½ hours. The purpose of this first meeting is not to get answers to all of your questions, but rather to gauge and evaluate chemistry and exchange enough information about each other to establish mutual interest. Phone calls or people walking into the office can be a distraction and disrupt the flow of the conversation. Also, please put down your mobile device.

Be Prepared to Sell the Company and the Opportunity

It is very important for the Interviewer to be prepared to:

  • Provide a brief introduction to the Company to include some history, present activity and future plans.

  • Describe the position in detail including its relationship to the organizational chart as well as its importance to present plans and future activity.

  • Short and long term goals for the potential hire.

Gathering Questions/Asking the Right Questions

The purpose of the interview is two-fold:

  • To gather information and insight into the Candidate and to assess compatibility/chemistry.

  • Provide the Candidate with enough information and insight into the Company, the Position and the overall opportunity for him/her to assess interest level.


To gain insight into the Candidate requires asking the right questions. You need to get the Candidate talking. Open-ended, fact finding questions beginning with Who, What, When, Where, Why and How are probing questions that can help you do that. As the Candidate responds, look for a “Thread of Success” in their background.

Some suggested questions are:

  • How would you describe your management style?

  • How and Why did you decide on a career in Real Estate/Construction?

  • What type of work environment is most attractive to you?

  • What has been your biggest failure professionally and how have you responded?

  • What type of manager do you work best with?

  • When faced with a problem at a specific site, what action do you take to correct the problem?

  • Career wise, Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • What professional goals have you set for yourself?

  • What has been your most significant success?

  • How do you rate your team building skills?

  • What’s the best way to attract and hire the best?

  • How do you spend your free time?

  • What gives you the most satisfaction at work?

  • You can only cover so much ground in a first interview; that is why we suggest a “multi-interview” process.The better prepared you are, the more effective you’ll be in securing the talent you need.

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