Five questions you should ask in an interview

Published on: 10 Jul 2023

5 Questions You Should Ask in an Interview

Every job interview these days, including real estate and related professions, will offer you the opportunity to ask questions. Of course, leaving time for questions is very normal at the end of the interview, but with informal interviews more frequent, they can also come up as you go (and help turn the interview into something more conversational).

Regardless of when the time presents itself to ask questions of your interviewer, how do you know what to ask? Well, it’s all about making sure you leave the interview with a clear picture of what the role is, what the company or real estate agency is like, and ultimately whether the job is right for you. Here’s some key themes for questions to help you do that.

1. Ask your interviewer about what success in the role looks like

Job adverts and position descriptions are sometimes pages long, outlining a long list of duties and responsibilities that they want from the person who ends up in the job. But quite often most roles will have their key duties, the ones where the most value or success is derived and consequently where the most focus should be applied. As well, hiring managers or HR teams will have a clear picture of the type of person they think will be successful in the role. So, by asking what success may look like within that job, you will be able to get a much better insight into where the company wants the role to focus, what personality traits they are looking for, and overall, what your day-to-day may look like if you’re offered the job. For example, it could be as simple as knowing what your expected sales or rental numbers could be, or how many new listings you’re expected to bring onboard.

2. Ask your interviewer about career progression and/or training and support

When you accept a job offer you want to make sure that the company will be able to provide you with the training and support, and progression opportunities, you’ll need at different stages of your career. Ask your interviewer how the company facilitates these things. Especially if you are a graduate or new in your real estate career, training, mentoring, and general support will provide a lot of benefit, and those later into their real estate careers will want to know that there aren’t ceilings to their career opportunities also. If you are a graduate for example, are there rigid support systems in place or will it be more ad hoc? Will you get paired with an experienced agent in your field that can guide you or are there specific people you can always go to that will help you instead?

3. Ask your interview about the company culture

The job interview is the perfect time to get in-depth information on the company and its culture, ensuring the things you value match those of your potential future employer. Your interviewer obviously has first-hand information on this, so comparing what they say especially to the research you did before you came into the interview can be very interesting. Does what they say about the office vibe and the other employees match what you’ve heard in the industry? Does what they say about their company values match their external messaging perhaps on their website, or does it feel a bit like they’re giving it lip service? Are the team a social bunch of people, and people you feel like you may want to be around daily?

Company and office culture will be some of the biggest elements to you enjoying your role, so now is the time to make sure it’s as you think it is and as you want it to be. It could be as simple as figuring out whether the other agents are purely heads down, each person individually focused on sales, commissions and getting listings, or are more holistic and work as a team, helping others, and socially get on with one another.

4. Ask your interviewer about the best and worst parts about working there

No job, real estate or not, is perfect every single hour of every day. Each comes with its own challenges, be it in the role, with office dynamics, as a result of the impact of the wider market or industry. Don’t be afraid to ask about the downsides, as these will give you a lot of valuable insight into what you may come up against if you work there, and help you decide whether those are the types of things you even want to have to deal with. Not into corporate red tape or potentially those further up the chain that are a bit controlling or micro-managing? Perhaps the agency has unrealistic monthly sales and listing targets. These are the type of things you’ll want to know about (if the interviewer is willing to share of course). Conversely, there will be a lot of great things about the company, so you’ll want to ask about these also.

5. Ask your interviewer about next steps in the hiring process

Lastly, knowing where you stand when you leave the interview about what the next steps are and when you can expect to hear back will give you a lot more reassurance. By asking whether there will be more interviews and who they may be with, and when you’ll hear by, will also give you time to research and prepare for these next steps if you’re successful.