As well as needing to have certain certifications, a successful real estate agent needs to have strong people and communication skills, as well as the ability to sell homes and sell an agency's services. During interviews, you'll need to provide evidence that you have these abilities and will be a strong addition to the agency.
What Employers Want to Know
During an interview, employers will ask general interview questions to get a sense of your skills and experience. Interviewers will also ask specific questions about real estate. You may get situational questions, which focus on how you've handled a given situation in the past. Behavioral questions are also common - these focus on how you would handle a future situation. As well, expect questions designed to find out what certifications and licenses you have.
Finally, many questions may be geared toward understanding how you work in the real estate environment, which can be fast-paced and competitive and requires strong organizational and communication skills. In your responses, make an effort to highlight these skills (you'll find a full list of common skills needed in the real estate industry at the end of this article).
Potential employers are also interested in how you carry yourself. Presentation is key in this role - you'll need to appear organized and professional in your appearance.
Real Estate Agent Interview Questions
Practice your response to these questions. In many cases, it can help if your response uses the STAR technique, which frames your answer in terms of situation, task, action, and result.
- On average, how many homes have you sold each year as a real estate agent?
- How do you utilize the Internet and social media to sell homes?
- How do you stay organized and ensure that you never miss an appointment or arrive at one late?
- Do you have experience using video and virtual tours to market your home?
Tips for responding: Assuming you do have experience using video and virtual tours, an ideal response would provide an example of how you've used this technology to sell a home.
- What do you know about brokering sales and leasing transactions across multiple property types?
- Tell me about a time when you struggled to build a relationship with an owner, investor, tenant, or broker. What would you have done differently?
Tips for responding: One strategy for responding to this kind of question is to show how this situation was a learning opportunity for you. Focus more on how you'll handle the situation in the future than what went wrong. You want to avoid saying you've never struggled to build a relationship since that can seem dishonest.
- What do you find most challenging when you accompany prospective clients on property tours? Why?
- Do you have any experience designing marketing materials?
- What, in your opinion, is one way to avoid showing the same customer multiple properties for months and months?
Tips for answering: In your answer, it can be helpful to discuss how you manage customer expectations, use information gained during your first showings to tailor the next rounds, or talk about the importance of the initial meeting with the customer.
- What qualities do you believe make an excellent real estate agent?
Tips for answering: Many of the essential skills and qualities for real estate agents are listed below. This is your opportunity to highlight the areas where you're strongest. For instance, you could say, "I think communication skills are essential. For a real estate agent, it's just as important to listen and understand what a client needs as it is to talk up a property."
- Tell me about a time that you made a mistake with a contract, lease, or another form of paperwork. What did you do, and what could you have done differently?
Tips for answering: Pick your mistake wisely! If you once missed out on a million-dollar listing, now's not the time to mention it. Instead, you could mention a near-miss or a relatively small error. Keep the focus of your response on how this would never reoccur.
- What real estate licenses do you have?
- Describe a time when you worked with a demanding owner or client looking to purchase a home. How did you handle the situation?
What to Wear for a Real Estate Interview
When preparing for an interview for a real estate position, deciding on appropriate attire is just as important as familiarizing yourself with the types of properties sold by the agency. What you look like is the first thing the interviewer sees, and in the competitive real estate industry, you need to project a competent, conservative, professional image.
For your interview, that means professional interview attire. Men will need to wear a well-fitting suit in a conservative color, white, or pastel shirt, conservative tie, dark socks, and dress shoes. Women can choose between a pant or skirt suit, blouse (not low cut), hosiery, and closed-toe pumps. Hair, make up, and purse (if carried) should be neat and conservative, jewelry minimal, earrings only in ears.
Carry a briefcase or portfolio with your resume, a pad, and a working pen.
Real Estate Skills List
Here's a list of real estate skills employers seek in the candidates they hire. Skills will vary based on the position for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill. Mention these skills during your interviews, and incorporate them into your resume and cover letters.
A – G
- Asset Management
- Attention to Detail
- Building Codes
- Condominium Regulations
- Customer Relations
- Detail Oriented
- Educating Clients
- Environmental Knowledge
- Following Up
H – M
- Home Owners Associations
- Internal Rate of Return Knowledge
- Knowledge of Income-Producing Property
- Knowledge of Purchase Process
- Lead Follow Up
- Lead Generation
- Making Personal Connections
- Market Analysis
- Microsoft Office
- Municipal Law Knowledge
N - S
- Oral Communication
- Problem Solving
- Property Knowledge
- Property Management
- Property Taxes
- Real Estate Codes
- Real Estate Law
- Real Estate Market
- Real Estate Taxes
- Rental Properties
- Setting Expectations
- School District Knowledge
- School Taxes
- Single Family
T - Z
- Team Building
- Time Management