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Tips to Nail Your Next Commercial Real Estate Interview

Recently, our team partnered with the Graduate Real Estate Council at Cornell University where we worked with their students in providing mock interviews with Cornell alumni. Our goal in this effort was to help these students at the beginning of the school year prepare themselves to nail their next commercial real estate interview with nothing to lose!

Each student interviewed with 2 hiring managers and was given feedback from their peers and the interviewers. After all of it was said and done, we all came back to the room together and discussed how they could come off as stronger candidates in a Commercial Real Estate interview. As a result, we shared tips to nail their next interview.

wooden board with multple nails

Investigate everything about the company for your commecial real estate interview

Know the mission of the organization, the team, where the interviewer went to college, what deals they are currently working on, how they fund their projects, and who their clients are. By being able to showcase knowledge of the company you are interviewing with, you’ll far surpass the other candidates.

A good quote that I live by is: “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” By being the most “in the know candidate,” the interviewer will know you care more than the other candidates; therefore, they can trust you that you will be prepared on the job as well.

You can get this information by reading up about the company, talking to current/former employees/clients, and looking at their website.

Back up your answers up with facts

When you are talking with the interviewer about certain skills you have obtained in school or on the job, talk about specific examples. This also needs to be on your resume.

Words and phases like:

  • For example…
  • Let me tell you about a story when I…

Smile & laugh to nail your next commercial real estate interview

By smiling and laughing you will come off as someone likeable! Someone positive! Everyone wants to be around happy people.

Interviews can be scary, and anxiety-ridden, but they don’t have to be. Think about the interview as if you are talking with a friend.


Be personable and ask questions

There is a stigma in interviews that the interviewer should do the asking, and you, the interviewee, should do the talking. WRONG! You should treat it like a conversation. You are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you so ask follow up questions.

One interviewer said, “Would you pass the airplane test?” Which means if the airplane was stuck in the air, would you rather push them off the plane or could you talk with them and become friends?

Create a background suitable for success

If you are interviewing for a position online, make sure there are no noises in the background, phone/Skype/Teams notifications are off, you have good lighting, and you aren’t looking down on the camera. It should be an eye level or a bit above.

Keep Practicing to develop this skill

If luck = preparation + opportunity, you need to give yourself many chances of preparing. You prepare by having multiple networking calls per week and reaching out to people in the industry to learn more about them. All this will enable you to tell your story more often, which will give you more confidence when in front of an interviewer.

If you’d like to learn more about how to network with others in the industry, you can review our LinkedIn 101 series that highlights how to go about this, who to reach out to, how to find them, and what kind of questions to ask.

Are you looking to get a job in Commercial Real Estate? Sign up for Career Connections so we can match you with top companies that are looking to hire.

About the Author: Tucker is the Head of Training and Career Services at A.CRE where he works with universities, companies, and candidates to provide training and job placement. Prior to A.CRE, Tucker spent two years at the 9th largest executive recruitment firm, where he focused on recruiting top talent in Commercial Real Estate. Tucker holds a BBA in Real Estate Finance from Southern Methodist University. While at SMU, Tucker was President of the Real Estate Club and was instrumental in providing guidance and connecting students with careers in CRE. Tucker currently resides in Dallas, TX. Please email Tucker if you would like to talk.