If you have done any interviewing at all, you have heard many experts say that it is important to interview them as much as they interview you in order to see if there is a "fit" for both you and the employer. I have had some experience and training as an Employment Manager, in the Hotel business in Philadelphia and have learned many tools for both sides of the desk. Many of us have had great interviews and really bad ones. When I sit down and someone says to me, "so, what are your short and long term goals"...I want to run for the hills!
Mirroring was popular for awhile. Match everything the interviewer does while being very subtle and they will instantly feel a connection and want you for their company. This also is paired with taking in all that they have around their office and finding something to bring up in conversation. If they have a picture with a big fish, tell a fish story.
From the Interviewer's side and especially when it comes to interviewing in the Real Estate world, it becomes a little more challenging. We are hiring/selecting people who have already decided to get their real estate license and hopefully know what is in store for them in a commission only environment. (I didn't) In Orlando, like many other parts of the country, Real Estate offices and Starbucks are on every corner. The competition is huge and getting people in front of you is the key. Newspaper, online ads, free postings, shopping carts, hot air balloons...whatever it takes, get that person in front of you so that you can tell your story.
For me, whether it is fortunate or unfortunate, I can make a decision on a person from the first 2 minutes I see them. If they are late for an interview, this is not a good sign. I have had to change my thinking somewhat to allow for good excuses but I still hold it as 1 strike. Realtors are known for often being on "Realtor Time" but I think that is just an excuse. The interview is where they are supposed to put their best foot forward and impress upon you why they should be chosen to work at your company.
So, what's the problem? The problem is that Real Estate sometimes has the warm body syndrome. We want the best, most productive agents that we can find or at the very least, the ones with the most potential, yet we also have to ensure that we hit our numbers with regards to sales, listings, number of agents, profitability, etc.
It can make your head spin, if you let it. Having recently become part of a franchise with Real Living in Orlando, it is ever important to hit the ground running for the ultimate race to profitability.
I worked for The Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia and there, people were "selected" not "hired" through an extensive open ended 55 question interview process. It felt good to hear people say, "finally, I got in" because you knew it was something they had to work at. I guess we were the American Idol of hotels!
I would love to see the Real Estate industry take this on. We spend a great deal of time recruiting, coaching and training yet we spend very little time on retention. The cost of turnover is huge and we sometimes settle for someone who we think "might" become a successful agent.