Knowing common interview questions and answers can make you feel more comfortable going into an interview setting.
Whilst you can never be 100% sure what you’re going to be asked, having a general overview and awareness can help you feel more prepared.
There’s nothing worse than feeling totally stumped when a recruiter or employer asks you a question as it can suggest gaps in your knowledge and could hinder you getting the job.
That’s why we’ve created this blog post to give you an idea of typical interview questions and answers to stand you in good stead. To make life easy, we’ve broken the post down into the following sections depending on the scenario:
- Common interview questions and answers – these are generic questions that get asked in most interviews regardless of what role you’re applying for.
- Construction Project Manager interview questions and answers – these questions are specific to the role of a Construction Project Manager.
- Property Manager Interview Questions and Answers – these questions are specific to the role of a Property Manager.
- Real Estate Analyst interview questions and answers – these questions are specific to the role of a Real Estate Analyst.
By starting with generic questions before moving on to role-specific questions, it gives you a complete understanding of what might be asked in an interview setting.
NOTE: It’s important to note that each answer is only an example and you must tailor your answer to the specific role you’re applying for. Don’t take these answers words for word, but instead use them as a solid template to build your own responses around.
That said, let’s take a look at some interview questions and answers that can help you secure your next job.
Common Interview Questions and Answers
As noted above, there are some general questions that are asked in most interview situations.
These questions are designed to help the prospective employer get to know you a little better so that they can work out if you’re a good fit. Whilst you need to be capable of performing the role from a skills and capabilities perspective, you also need to suit the company culture.
As a result, these questions are more focussed on your personality, interests, goals, and values so the employers get a better understanding of who you are.
Tell me a bit about yourself
The interview often starts with general, open questions.
Use this opportunity to give an overview of your career history, including any accomplishments and accreditations, before moving onto why you’ve applied for this position.
“I’ve worked as a property development manager for 8 years, working closely with Architects, Engineers, Contractors, and other professionals to complete a range of projects. I really enjoy my work, especially when I get to use my talent for planning and improving efficiency. I’m now ready to move up to a more challenging level, which is why I’m interested in stepping up to Senior Development Manager.”
What skills do you bring to the role?
Employers want to know what skills and experience you bring to the role as this lets them evaluate whether you’re a suitable fit.
This question also allows a prospective employer to identify your key strengths as this will impact what projects you work on if you get the role.
For the answer below, we’ll use the example of someone interviewing for head of property development.
“Throughout my career I’ve built up a range of skills including project management, communication, financial management, knowledge of real estate regulations, and creativity and problem-solving. This means I can manage complex projects and deliver successful outcomes for all stakeholders.”
Why attracted you to the role?
This question allows the employer to see if you’ve done your research!
Instead of just turning up to the interview with little idea about the company, it’s wise to do some background research first. This involves finding out what the company does, what clients they work with, who the leaders are, and their primary product/ service.
This is also a great way for them to assess your interest and motivation so make sure you highlight the aspects of the role that genuinely excite you. This can be a great way to differentiate yourself from other candidates, so make sure you know your stuff!
“I was impressed by the reputation of your company within the real estate sector, and your diverse portfolio of clients. The responsibilities of the role also align perfectly with my skill set, and I’m excited about the prospect of leading development projects throughout their lifecycle. On a more personal note, I really value the company’s commitment to sustainability, and believe my experience in delivering sustainable development projects will really boost this area.”
What motivates you?
An employer wants to make sure you’ll be motivated and enthusiastic about the work you’re doing as this affects your overall performance.
Being enthusiastic is a very desirable trait as it’s not something that people can learn. This is a great quality and shows your prospective employer that you’re genuinely interested in the available role.
Make sure you provide specific examples of when you’ve felt motivated as this allows the employer to understand what truly drives you as a candidate.
“What motivates me in my career is having the opportunity to make a positive impact. In my previous role as a project manager, I was truly motivated by the challenge of delivering complex projects on time and within budget, whilst completing projects to high standards. Ensuring all stakeholders were pleased with the final outcome was also key, as this contributed to the overall success of the company and allowed us to grow.”
How do you deal with pressure?
In every job role you will have to deal with a stressful situation at some point.
Whether that’s a dispute with a difficult work colleague or a project which is particularly challenging, there’ll be times when you’ll come under pressure.
Knowing how to deal with that pressure and communicating this with a prospective employer is key as they’ll want to make sure you’re capable of managing it.
“I understand how to deal with a high-pressure situation, as I always try to stay calm and focused by breaking down the problem into more manageable tasks. I also prioritise my workload and make sure I’m giving myself enough time to complete each task without feeling overwhelmed.”
What are your career goals?
Knowing where you see yourself in the future is important for an employer as this gives them an idea of your career goals.
They’ll want to understand how ambitious you are and the path you see your career taking.
The example below relates to someone interviewing for the role of Head of Development so it’s important to apply this to the specific job you’re applying for. However, this still gives you a good idea of how to approach this type of question.
“My long-term career goal is to lead a great business in the real estate development sector. I’m passionate about property development and have a strong desire to lead and oversee the complete lifecycle of large-scale projects. I believe your values align with mine which is why I think I’m a good fit for the post, and I’m impressed with the projects you’ve completed so far. In the short term, I plan to continue developing my commercial management skills and gain experience leading teams to help me achieve my long-term goal.”
Why are you leaving your current job?
Prospective employers and recruiters want to understand why you’re leaving your current job to make sure you’re the right fit for the job role on offer.
For instance, if you left your job because there was no option of flexible working, it’s pointless starting a new role where this still isn’t possible.
Understanding your reasons for leaving and what you value going forward, helps an employer determine whether you’re right for the job, and in turn, if the job is right for you.
“After working as a Property Development Manager for 8 years, I was ready for a new challenge. I’ve completed some fantastic projects which saw the company grow from strength to strength but I’m excited for something new. I’m keen to progress and expand my horizons in the field of property development, which is why I’m really excited about the prospect of becoming Head of Property Development.”
What are your salary expectations?
This question can make employees nervous as talking about salary can always feel a little awkward! However, this interview question is key as it helps an employer/ recruiter gauge your level of seniority.
If your salary expectations are far greater than the other candidates they have interviewed, this is a good indicator that you may be too experienced for the role.
Furthermore, understanding your salary expectations lets them know if they can afford you. Every hiring manager has a budget so it’s important to know if they can offer what you want.
“I value the opportunity to contribute my skills and expertise to the organisation to help achieve its goals. With that being said, I am looking for a competitive salary that aligns with industry standards and reflects my experience and qualifications. Keeping that in mind, I would be looking for £XX per year.”
Construction Project Manager Interview Questions and Answers
Now that we’ve explored some common interview questions and answers it’s time to look at two specific roles in the real-estate sector.
First is a Construction Project Manager, as employers and recruiters will have additional questions to ask these candidates. As well as understanding your career goals and salary expectations, they’ll need to drill down into your specific skills and experience to evaluate your suitability.
Below are a list of construction project manager interview questions and answers to help you prepare for a successful interview.
Have you worked on a project that didn’t meet the deadline/ budget? If so, what happened?
The aim of this question is to identify your problem solving and resolution skills.
Completing projects on time and within budget is a huge priority for this role, so employers will be keen to understand your approach.
By asking this question, they are trying to access your experience as a project manager, your organisation and planning skills, and how you cope under pressure.
“I worked on a project where the client wanted to extend one building by a large amount after the designs had been approved. This would increase the deadline by 2-3 months and the budget by £500,000. I spoke to the client and informed them of these changes before we proceeded. They accepted the push-back so we went ahead.”
What is your most successful project?
This question is designed to gauge your experience as a Project Manager and also your passion for the work you’ve completed.
Employers want to understand the level and breadth of projects you’ve contributed to, and how you measure success.
In addition, by discussing previous projects these shows your proven track record and adds more credibility to your position.
“I was the project manager for a new eco-friendly workspace building in the city. It was the first of its kind so we weren’t too sure what to expect, however, we completed it on time and under budget. Being able to deliver such a large, groundbreaking project to the client was a fantastic achievement for the team and I.”
How would you describe your leadership style?
This question is designed to test your leadership skills and how you adapt to different situations.
As a project manager, you will be in charge of several teams so the employer needs to assess how you would adapt your leadership style to suit these environments.
Working with others is a huge part of this role, which is why you need to demonstrate your previous experience and how you can adapt your leadership when necessary.
“I’m very collaborative and democratic. I believe it’s important to motivate and inspire my team whilst also encouraging their feedback and ideas. For example, in my previous role, I arranged regular meetings to discuss project challenges, progress, and solutions. When unexpected challenges arose, I remained flexible and changed my approach to suit. For instance, if a project required a more hands-on approach, I would be more direct to keep everyone on track.”
If a member of your team was underperforming, what would you do?
The aim of this question is to understand how you would deal with an underperforming employee.
This can be a challenging situation which puts your interpersonal skills to the test as you need to approach it in the right way.
This also gives an employer/ recruiter cues about your leadership skills and shows them how you would communicate with your team.
“If a team member was underperforming, my first action would be to arrange a meeting with them to understand the cause. I would then develop a performance improvement plan that detailed key milestones for them to hit so that I could monitor their progress. I would also provide support and feedback throughout this period to help them achieve the set goals.”
How do you handle conflict between team members?
Conflict between team members is common as different people have their own approach to working.
It’s your responsibility to resolve these conflicts so that everyone can work better towards the same goal.
This question is designed to test your resolution skills and how you cope in a stressful situation.
“I understand that conflicts can arise from time to time so, in these situations, I would bring both people into a meeting to discuss the problem. I encourage open and honest communication to try and find the root cause and address any other issues that might be contributing to the conflict. I’ll actively listen to both parties to find a solution that facilitates a positive and productive working environment for everyone involved.”
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made on a project and what did you learn from it?
The question is designed to assess your honesty and your willingness to share mistakes you’ve made in the past.
This is not designed to ‘catch you out’ as mistakes are inevitable. Employers and recruiters are more interested to know how you rectified this to ensure a successful outcome.
It’s important you’ve gained learnings from these experiences that can be used in your role going forward.
“On a previous project, I underestimated the amount of time and resources required for a project, which resulted in delays. This taught me the importance of conducting a thorough assessment and developing a project plan from the outset. I also learned to be proactive in identifying potential risks and how to overcome them to avoid similar issues in the future.”
What types of construction projects have you worked on?
The employer or recruiter needs to understand if your previous experience and skills match their requirements.
For example, if they build a lot of eco-friendly, sustainable properties using advanced practices and techniques, having experience in these areas would be highly beneficial.
It’s also important when answering this question to demonstrate your willingness to take on new projects.
“I have managed multiple projects spanning from residential development, to commercial office buildings, to educational institutions, to infrastructure projects such as highway interchanges. As you can tell, my portfolio is quite varied so I have gained a diverse range of experience in the construction industry. ”
Property Manager Interview Questions and Answers
Moving onto our second role in real estate – a Property Manager.
From understanding your unique skills and qualities, to finding out what properties you’ve managed in the past, we’ve compiled a list of Property Manager interview questions and answers below.
Understanding how to approach these questions will help you feel more confident for your next interview.
What qualities make you a good property manager?
By asking this question, employers or recruiters are trying to assess what strengths you bring to the table.
This helps them understand your skill set so they can work out if you’re a good fit for the role. They’ll also be interested in your values and how you approach different issues and situations so make this clear in your answer too.
“I have fantastic communication skills and always keep tenants informed as this facilitates better working relationships. I understand that it’s important to show respect for the properties I manage and the tenants I serve, which is why providing great customer service is my priority.”
What types of properties have you managed?
This question allows a prospective employer to understand your previous property management experience.
They might be looking for someone who has experience specifically managing commercial or residential properties which is why this question is key.
In your answer, they’ll be looking for your ability to manage different properties, knowledge of your industry, and your previous management experience.
“Throughout my career, I have managed multiple properties including commercial office buildings and retail spaces. My experience in managing different types of properties has provided me with a strong understanding of the unique challenges and requirements of each property type and how to tackle these issues head-on.”
How do you handle service requests?
Maintaining tenant satisfaction is key, which is why property managers need to have a well-defined process for handling service requests.
One of your key responsibilities is to ensure that the property is well-maintained and that any issues or concerns are addressed promptly.
This question enables a prospective employer to understand your approach as well as your ability to work with tenants, contractors, and vendors to ensure tenants are satisfied with the conditions.
“Based on urgency, I prioritise service requests and keep tenants updated about the progress. I always make sure I am proactive, communicative, and responsive to ensure tenant satisfaction is maintained at all times. If the request is an emergency, I immediately prioritise the issue and work with the appropriate vendor or contractor to ensure that the issue is resolved as soon as possible.”
What strategies do you use to attract and retain tenants?
This question enables the employer to understand your knowledge, skills, and approach to tenant management.
A key part of your role will be attracting and retaining tenants as this is crucial for the success of a property.
Your response should demonstrate your understanding of the industry and the market, as well your experience in developing strategies to keep the property occupied.
“To attract tenants, I always make sure the property is well-maintained and is priced competitively compared to others on the market. To retain tenants, I use a variety of methods such as prioritizing fantastic customer service and offering incentives for lease renewals. In turn, this creates a positive environment that helps encourage long-term tenancy.”
What software or tools have you used in the past to manage properties?
This question allows the employer to assess your technical skills and previous experience with software and tools.
This helps them determine whether you have the right skills for the role and if you can learn new technology where possible.
Be honest about your experience and show your willingness to learn new things as this is a desirable trait in a candidate.
“I have extensive experience using property management software and can use these platforms to manage tenant information, collect rent, and handle maintenance requests. I also have experience with accounting software to manage financial records and budgeting which is a key part of this role. Furthermore, I’m comfortable with tools such as Excel and Google Sheets which allows me to track data and collate reports. For any software I haven’t used, I’m always willing to adapt and learn to improve processes and efficiencies.”
What are some common maintenance issues that you have encountered, and how have you addressed them?
This question aims to assess your ability to handle different maintenance issues that arise in properties, including your problem-solving and communication skills.
Maintenance issues are a core part of your role, and the employer needs to gauge your level of expertise and experience to make sure you’re capable.
Furthermore, your response gives them an insight into your problem-solving skills and your ability to think on your feet as you should be able to devise creative solutions to resolve the issue at hand.
“Throughout my career I’ve encountered common maintenance issues such as plumbing and electrical problems. I address them by immediately contacting technicians to fix the issue, whilst keeping tenants informed and updated on progress. I also have a preventative maintenance plan in place to identify potential problems early on to prioritise safety.”
How do you handle tenant relations and conflict resolution?
As a Property Manager, you will regularly interact with tenants, address their concerns, and resolve any conflicts. Your approach to tenant relations can significantly impact tenant satisfaction, lease renewals, and the overall reputation of the property or real estate company.
The interviewer wants to gauge your ability to effectively handle these situations so they understand how you would diffuse conflicts and maintain positive relationships.
“I prioritise open and effective communication with tenants, actively listening to their concerns and addressing them promptly. I approach conflicts with a calm mindset, striving to find mutually beneficial resolutions. By setting clear guidelines, encouraging feedback, and being proactive, I aim to maintain positive tenant relations and minimise conflicts.”
Real Estate Analyst Interview Questions and Answers
We’re dedicating this last section to Real Estate Analyst interview questions and answers.
We’ll be focusing on financial modelling as this is a key part of the job role, as professionals must be able to assess the financial viability and potential risks associated with real estate projects.
Let’s take a look.
Describe your experience in financial modelling for real estate analysis
By asking about your experience, the interviewer can evaluate your level of expertise and determine if you have the necessary skills and knowledge for the role.
Your response should provide insight into the practical experience you have gained within real estate financial modeling and your ability to handle complex financial models.
“In my previous role as a real estate analyst, I gained extensive experience in financial modelling for real estate analysis. I have developed complex financial models to evaluate investment opportunities, assess property valuations, and analyse cash flows. By understanding key financial metrics, I have been able to provide accurate projections and make informed investment recommendations.”
How do you approach forecasting rental income and property expenses in your financial models?
This is a key part of your job role, so asking this question allows the interviewer to gauge your technical competence.
Your answer needs to demonstrate your understanding of important concepts, methodologies, and data sources used in real estate financial modeling to show that you can accurately estimate rental income, expenses, and property valuations.
“When forecasting rental income, I research the market and assess comparable properties to gauge rental rates. I consider factors such as location, property size, and market trends to estimate achievable rental income. For property expenses, I analyse historical data, conduct due diligence, and consult with relevant stakeholders to understand the property’s operating costs, including maintenance, property taxes, and utilities.”
What methodologies do you use to assess property valuations?
This question allows the interviewer to assess your knowledge of valuation techniques and your ability to apply them effectively in real estate analysis.
Your response helps them evaluate your technical expertise, analytical skills, understanding of due diligence, consideration of risk factors, and alignment with industry best practices.
“One approach is the direct capitalisation method, which involves dividing the property’s net operating income (NOI) by the capitalisation rate. I also use the sales comparison approach, to compare the property to recent sales of similar properties in the area. By using a combination of these methodologies, I can provide a comprehensive and supported property valuation.”
How do you account for risk analysis in real estate investments?
This question gives the interviewer an insight into your ability to identify and evaluate potential risks associated with real estate investments and projects.
Your response will reveal your knowledge of risk assessment techniques, sensitivity analysis, and scenario modelling, all of which are essential for making informed investment decisions.
“I incorporate risk analysis by including sensitivity analysis and scenario modelling in my financial models. Sensitivity analysis helps me assess the impact of changes in key variables, such as rental rates or interest rates, on investment returns. Scenario modelling allows me to simulate various market conditions and evaluate how these might affect the investment’s performance.”
Can you explain how you assess the feasibility of real estate development projects?
You must be able to analyse complex real estate projects, so the purpose of this question is to understand how you approach the process.
Your answer should highlight your thorough understanding of financial considerations, such as development costs, cash flow projections, and key financial indicators.
“I start by estimating the total development costs, including land acquisition, construction, and other expenses. I create a detailed cash flow projection that considers the timeline of construction, leasing or sales of units, and operational expenses. By incorporating appropriate discount rates, I calculate the project’s net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR). I also evaluate the project’s sensitivity to variables such as construction costs or rental/sales prices to understand any risks.”
Interview Questions and Answers That Get You the Position
Understanding common interview questions and answers will help you feel more confident when trying to secure your next job.
Interviews can be daunting and it’s important you prepare beforehand. Not only will this help you feel more calm but also means you’ll have some example answers should you get asked a difficult question.
Instead of scratching your head and thinking on the spot, reading the post above and familiarising yourself with the different questions and answers means you can craft your responses more effectively.
Remember: These are only example answers. Make sure you personalise them with your own experiences and examples to highlight your capabilities.
As leaders in real estate recruitment since 1994, helping candidates secure their next role is what we do best. With unparalleled knowledge of the real estate sector, we partner with organisations around the globe, helping them source the very best talent. Our expert advisors understand the needs of both employers and employees alike, allowing us to find the right fit.
To find out more about how we can help you, get in touch with our team.