Interview Tips

wear to a job interview

What to Wear to a Job Interview

What’s the best outfit to wear to a job interview? The answer will vary depending on the type of job and company you’re interviewing with.

You always want to dress to make the best impression, but the outfit you choose depends on whether you’re interviewing at a company with a formal dress code, at a casual startup, or for an informal summer job or internship.

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Dressing appropriately is important because the first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing.

If you wear a suit to an interview for a camp counselor, or a T-shirt to an interview at a bank, it’ll send the message that you don’t truly understand what’s involved in the role. Find out what to wear (and what not to wear) for interviews at every type of company.

To dress appropriately for a job interview, follow the employer’s dress code. If the job interview calls for business attire, wear a suit, a sweater and button-down shirt, or a professional-looking dress or skirt. Startup jobs may call for more casual interview attire but be sure to dress professionally. Also, choose accessories carefully to ensure that they don’t distract the interviewer. Let’s dive into this further!

Business Professional Attire

Generally, a job interview calls for you to wear professional, or business, attire. This might mean:

  • A suit jacket and slacks with a button-down shirt and tie
  • A sweater and a button-down shirt
  • A blouse and dress pants
  • A statement dress

You can also incorporate some modern style trends into your outfit. All interviewees should consider color when selecting an interview outfit and avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy that will distract the hiring manager.

The more important thing to consider when you’re dressing for a job interview is that you should look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you’re seeking. Even though your interview attire depends on the role you’re applying for, no matter what the position, you should go to the interview looking neat, tidy, and well-dressed.

Business Casual Attire

If you have a job interview in a more informal work environment, you might wear a business casual outfit. Business casual outfits are less formal than a suit, but they are also more professional and polished than, say, a T-shirt and shorts or a sundress and sandals.

Of course, make sure you know the dress code before you assume that business casual is acceptable. And if you aren’t sure, call the office and ask the administrative coordinator, or contact the person who scheduled the interview and ask them for advice!

Always dress a bit more professionally than the average employee at the company. If everyone is wearing shorts and T-shirts, for example, you might wear khakis and a polo shirt or button-down.

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What’s The Difference Between A Letter Of Interest And A Cover Letter?

Difference Between a Letter of Interest and a Cover Letter
A letter of interest and a cover letter have much in common — they are both letters that job seekers send to employers in hopes of obtaining employment.

But there are key differences you should be aware of, such as the circumstances when one or the other is appropriate, and how exactly they should be written.

What Is a Cover Letter vs. a Letter Of Interest?
The differences between a cover letter and a letter of interest are pretty simple.

A cover letter is a one-page letter sent with a resume when applying for an open job that is publicly advertised in a help-wanted ad or some other kind of job listing.

A letter of interest is a one-page letter sent to an employer that is not advertising an open job you want — but you really want to work for that employer anyway, that’s why another name for it is an expression of interest. You’re writing to let the employer know what skill sets you have that appear to match its needs, and to inquire whether there might be any openings that match your qualifications.

How To Write A Letter Of Interest Vs. A Cover Letter
The idea behind a cover letter is pretty straightforward. It provides a personal appeal for the job, showcasing your character, offering reasonable arguments regarding your value as a professional and aims to connect with the hiring manager on a human level.

The letter of interest, however, has one additional element in its writing – a direct offer to take you on as an employee, with you as the initiator of this procedure.

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CRE Executives’ Perspectives on Return to Work

The debate surrounding remote work versus returning to the office has gained significant attention in recent times. Commercial real estate experts, who have a unique perspective on the matter, hold varying opinions on whether or not CRE professionals will need to return to work.

There are certainly different views on the issue, especially when it comes to why companies prefer bringing employees back. Even though managing remote employees can be done effectively, the trend is now to bring them back to the office. We’ll explore a few differing perspectives within the commercial real estate industry and shed light on why some professionals believe that a return to the office is crucial as well as why others could be influenced by a bias against remote work.

Advancement Through Being Present
Sam Zell was a prominent figure in the commercial real estate sector prior to his passing last month. His insights have been highly sought after for many years. Prior to his passing, he weighed in on the issue, strongly supporting the return to the office. Zell dismissed the idea of remote work and stated that young professionals seeking recognition and reward for their efforts must be physically present at work. His assertion was that working from home diminishes productivity, especially when it comes to distractions and the lack of a conducive work environment in a home setting. For him, it’s a simple matter of efficiency.

Zell also highlighted the significance of in-person meetings, emphasizing that genuine discussions occur face-to-face. According to him, statistics indicate that the majority of office spaces, particularly Class A and B, are already in use east of the Mississippi. He questioned the productivity and job security of those working remotely and suggests that the office situation will eventually change.

The perspective he offers emphasizes in-person collaboration and understanding. He concluded that returning to work is inevitable and unavoidable for long-term career success. Advancement in your CRE career depends on how well those in your network know you and how often they see you at work.

Shifts in Norms and Opportunities
The COVID crisis triggered a paradigm shift in remote work. It forced both men and women, parents and non-parents, to adapt to working from home. The sudden shift challenged the notion that remote work was primarily associated with women, providing an opportunity for flexible work arrangements to lose their stigma.

It also revealed that remote work can be beneficial for both employees and employers. Flexibility in work arrangements enables a more diverse and inclusive work environment, allowing individuals of various demographics to thrive. It is crucial for companies to ensure that remote workers are not treated assub-par employees to prevent any disparities in opportunities or career advancement.

These current perspectives of commercial real estate professionals on the return to work and motivation behind that in the US tend to vary, but they offer insights into what the future of CRE work looks like as current industry trends evolve. While industry leaders like Sam Zell have argued for the importance of physical presence for recognition and productivity, other CEOs’ opposition to remote work may stem from other societal pressures. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up possibilities for a more flexible and inclusive work environment, clearly emphasizing the need for ongoing discussions on the future of work.

No Response After An Interview? Here’s What You Need To Do…

Receiving no response after an interview can be confusing, leaving many candidates wondering whether they should initiate contact or keep waiting. Following-up after an interview reaffirms your enthusiasm for the position and reopens the dialog between you and the interviewer. However, responding in the right way is essential for these positive results. Let’s discuss the right way to proceed if you get no response after an interview.

Why Don’t Employers Respond?

Usually, you can consider you have received no response after an interview when the interviewer does not contact you within the timeframe specified at your last meeting. You could receive no response after a final interview or be left waiting for a call back after a preliminary interview.

Steps If You Get Not Response After An Interview

If you hear nothing back after your interview, taking proactive steps can resolve your confusion and ensure your job search progresses. You should take these steps shortly after the timeframe specified by the interviewer has passed. If the interviewer does not suggest when you may hear from them, wait at least a week before initiating the following steps:

1. Email The Interviewer

Sending a follow-up email is a great way to re-establish contact with the interviewer since they can answer it at any time, unlike a telephone call, so it does not seem intrusive. Following-up in line with the timeframe they gave you also shows you are professional and dedicated to pursuing the position.

Your email should be brief, with just one or two paragraphs. It should also be clear and polite. If you have previously corresponded via email, reply to the last message rather than starting a new email thread, so the interviewer can easily refer back to your email history. Proofread your email for errors before sending it to convey professionalism.

If your email goes unanswered, you can send another follow-up email to confirm the employer received the first one. This should be even briefer than your first follow-up email with no more than a single paragraph.

2. Email The Head Of The Department

If you do not receive a response from the interviewer after several attempts, try emailing the head of the department you interviewed for. As this person has a direct interest in filling the position, they may be more willing to respond to your queries. This email should be brief, with just one or two paragraphs, straightforward and polite. It should have a more formal tone than your previous follow-up emails as you may have not met them in your interviewer.

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How to Build Rapport in the CRE Workplace

Regardless of what role you have in the CRE field, the ability to build rapport among your colleagues is crucial. Not only does it help propel your career, but it also lubricates and strengthens team connections and interaction.

However, while this is a skill that comes naturally for some, others must learn how to build these strong connections and affinity. Fortunately, with just a few simple tricks up your sleeve, virtually anyone can build rapport with fellow CRE professionals and co-workers.

What Is Rapport?

One of the cornerstone skills needed in commercial real estate is business communication. And workplace rapport is the technique of opening up more effective communication through relationships and understanding.

Sometimes referred to as a connection or spark, rapport is what makes people more likely to listen to you and give your idea a chance. In this reciprocal relationship, your colleagues better understand your point of view, are more inclined to trust and like you, and will generally feel at ease around you.

This matters so much in a workplace environment, because our own success in business is often dependent upon others. And the success of the company or organization as a whole is dependent upon our ability to collaborate and work together.

Rapport in the office makes these collaborations and interactions more effective and productive. This vital interpersonal communication and business asset allows us to more effectively exchange thoughts and ideas in many aspects of our job. Whether it’s selling, negotiating, interviewing, or any other form of interaction, our ability to build rapport and foster eager cooperation is vital in many scenarios.

Secrets to Workplace Rapport

If you want to improve your ability to build rapport, internalize these techniques. Practice them. Develop them. And then begin implementing them across your workplace interactions as you see your success in communication improve.

1. Actively Listen

Active listening is a powerful communication hack that allows you to better understand those around you so you may better relate to them. By being present in the conversation, looking people in the eye, listening to understand rather than respond, and noticing non-verbal cues, you will become a better listener. In turn, you will better understand the intent behind the words as well as the kind of person you are dealing with.

And here’s the secret: when others feel you have truly heard them, they will like you more.

2. Don’t Overlook Casual Conversation

Especially in a workplace environment, it can be tempting to overlook casual chit chat. After all, this is business. And you don’t want to waste time, yours or theirs. But casual conversation is a powerful lubricator and rapport builder.

If you are interviewing for a job and the interviewer starts with some casual small talk, this is your chance to find commonalities and better relate. If your co-worker drops by to check on a project, mention what you did over the weekend or bring up the game their favorite team just played. If not carried to extremes, these little moments of casual banter are the building blocks of strong relationships and rapport.

3. Spend Quality Time

When appropriate, schedule quality time with workplace contacts. Going to lunch or having a genuine talk in the lunch room can take your casual connections to the next level.

4. Ask Good Questions

Especially early in a relationship or at networking events, your ability to ask creative questions will help you shortcut the relationship building process. Here are some helpful questions to bring up:

  • What subject would you most like to be an expert in?
  • If someone were to say you had a superpower, what would it be?
  • What kind of books do you like reading?
  • What are some skills you learned as a child that you continue to use today?
  • What’s your personality type?
  • What’s your proudest accomplishment?

5. Be Genuine

Nothing can put a damper on a relationship like inauthenticity. If there is a hint of being fake or trying to present yourself in the best light, it will hamper your rapport. Above all, be authentic.

If you can’t find common ground that you are truly interested in, then learn more about an interest of theirs to become genuinely interested in it. Don’t pretend to be the expert, but open yourself up to learning about their passion.

This sets you up for some great questions. And you’ll both learn more about each other in the process.

Workplace Conflict: How To Deal With It

A recent study of remote workers found that 80% of respondents experienced conflict in a remote environment. If you broaden the focus to all types of workplaces, another study found that 85% of employees at all levels have experienced workplace conflict to some degree.

That means that most of us have dealt with our fair share of workplace drama.

Conflict at work is inevitable, but even though we can’t entirely avoid it, we can become better at resolving our disputes. How well you and your team handle conflict can make a world of difference to your organization, even when there are intimidating situations to address.

Have no fear because we’re diving into workplace conflicts — including what they are, how to spot them, and how to help resolve them.

What Is Workplace Conflict?

Workplace conflict occurs when there’s a disagreement amongst employees due to opposing interests, personalities, beliefs, or ideas. Conflict in the workplace is natural and bound to occur when you have people of different backgrounds and perspectives working side-by-side.

Conflict can be expressed in various ways, including lack of cooperation, verbal insults, bullying, anger, poor quality or delayed work, project failure, and more.

You don’t have to fear workplace conflict in your organization. It’s natural and can even be healthy when dealt with appropriately. Let’s explore the types of conflict in the workplace, signs of conflict, and tips for conflict resolution to help you tackle disputes in your organization.

Types Of Conflict In The Workplace?

Yes, not all conflicts are the same — there are different types of conflict in the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types to watch out for:

1. Personality Conflicts

Clashes due to different personality types are some of the most common types of workplace conflicts. These conflicts are impossible to avoid because we all have our own personalities and won’t get along with every person we meet. Personality-based conflicts can be challenging and frustrating, but it’s beneficial to learn how to work with individuals whose approaches and perspectives are different from your own.

2. Interdependent Task-Based Conflicts

Think about the processes that help your organization stay afloat. Often, there are a lot of cross-functional processes that take place within interdependent workstreams. For example, your IT department may be responsible for setting up accounts and technology for new hires once HR informs them of the new hire’s start date. But what if HR forgets to tell IT about a new hire and the new employee arrives on their first day and isn’t set up and ready to work? These types of interdependencies can be frustrating and cause conflict, particularly amongst departments.

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10 Creative Interview Questions You’re Probably Not Using

When it comes to hiring within the commercial real estate industry, there’s a lot at stake. How do you know that good first impression is really a rock star hire and not a poser? The cost of a bad hire can be startling, so knowing creative interview questions can be a valuable skill. The goal is to have a genuine conversation that fosters a better understanding of that person.

So, to find out what you need to know, what sort of interview questions will get a candidate to open up about their experience and skills? How can you find out if they’re really right for your unique needs? It helps to get creative.

Canned Conversations

Part of the problem with interview questions, is there are only a handful of them commonly asked in job interviews. So, prospective candidates can easily look them up and craft a scripted response for each of them.

The result?

A lot of canned talking points and speaking past one another. It’s entirely unhelpful! To really make it in CRE, you need better than that. You need creativity to flip the script and open a helpful dialogue. You need interview questions that really work.

So, without further ado, here are ten of the most creative interview questions that most hiring managers in commercial real estate never think to ask.

Productive and Creative Interview Questions

1. What are some of the qualities you like most in yourself?

The qualities someone prides themselves in are most likely the qualities they will work to excel in. Even if they’re not as strong in those qualities as they think, their confidence will become a self-fulfilling prophecy over time. And they just might give an example or two of these qualities in action at their last job.

2. What adjectives would your co-workers use to describe you?

Similarly, the way a candidate believes they are perceived is important in how they view themselves. And they just might be a bit more accurate when discussing the perspective of others.

3. If magic exists, how would you define it?

The great thing about this creative interview question is how it touches on their passions and gives the interviewer an opportunity to gage the way the candidate responds (behavioral interview questions can predict the future). Are they literal or figurative? Do they pause to think or shoot from the hip? Are they imaginative or a clock puncher?

4. If you had $10,000 to help the needy, what would you do?

Questions that aren’t about work are great for bypassing scripted responses and touching on the true soul of a candidate. This one helps you understand what motivates them and what kind of person they are.

5. What led you to choose this line of work?

Uncovering what fulfills someone in this particular area of CRE is helpful in understanding their cultural fit as well as their long-term potential.

6. If you couldn’t live in the US, what other country would you live in, and why?

Before asking this question, determine just what you are looking for and what you hope to learn. There is no correct answer to this question, but the way it’s handled will tell volumes about how a prospect will behave on the fly and in creative situations.

7. What’s your favorite movie, and why?

Again, this quirky question doesn’t have a right answer. But it will help you better understand the heart of your prospective employee and what drives them.

8. Let’s pretend you are interviewing me; what questions would you ask?

This one literally flips the script by reversing roles for a moment. With the candidate completely off guard, pay special attention to the focus of their questions as well as their demeanor in a managerial role.

9. If you were one of our properties, which type would you be?

This one only works if you deal in multiple property types, of course. But the responses will lend keen insights into how well they know your business, your properties, and what they value most in your company.

10. What is something you recently learned?

This creative interview question should include a time limit during which you will observe the way the candidate organizes their response, checks in for feedback along the way, and expresses emotion. Much can be gleaned from listening to your candidate relate a short lecture or moral story.

Making A Good First Impression

During the interview process, you have the opportunity to make a good first impression by the way you speak, act and how well you listen. Making the most of this opportunity is important to landing a job and winning over your new colleagues. In this article, you’ll learn what a first impression is, why a good first impression is important, how to make a good first impression during a job interview and how first impressions can affect you in the workplace.

Define A First Impression?

A first impression is the initial consideration or judgment someone makes about who you are after their first interaction with you. Several factors may influence someone’s first impression of you, such as how you look, what you wear, how you speak and your overall emotional state. When you are looking for a new position, how you present yourself on your application, in your resume and during an interview can all impact the recruiter and hiring manager’s first impression of who you are.

Why You Need A Good First Impression

First impressions are important because human nature compels us to hold on to our initial impression of someone and we can find it difficult to change this opinion even when the other person presents us with evidence contrary to that belief. This makes it very important for us to know the impression we portray of ourselves when we first meet someone in an interview or the workplace.

How To Make Good First Impression

Follow these steps to ensure you make a good first impression during your interview:

  1. Prepare Beforehand
  2. Arrive on Time
  3. Dress Professionally
  4. Use Good Posture
  5. Use a Friendly Greeting

1. Prepare Beforehand

The best thing you can do to make a good first impression during an interview is to be well-prepared for the interview when you arrive. Before your interview, research the company and know what they do, what your responsibility would be in the position you are applying for, what the company’s core values are and how you can add value to the company. Showing you have done your research can leave the interviewer with the impression that you are serious about the position you have applied to.

You can also role-play with a friend or family member to practice interview questions you expect the interviewer to ask. Prepare answers to both technical interview questions related to the responsibilities of the job and behavioral interview questions. Practicing answers to interview questions will show your confidence during the interview.

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Answering The “What Is Your Desired Salary?” Question

What’s your desired salary? It’s a question that can make any job candidate’s stomach drop, whether they’re reading it on an application or hearing it from an interviewer. And I completely understand the stress around this—you don’t want to give a lowball answer and have to settle for less money than you’re worth, but you also don’t want to seem like you have crazy-high, unrealistic expectations.

Here’s what you need to know about answering the desired salary question in the way that will benefit you most in the long run.

Define Desired Salary

Desired salary is simply the amount of money you’d like to make at your new job. It’s also the realistic amount of money you expect to make at your new job based on your level of skill and experience. (Otherwise, we’d probably all have a desired salary of $10 million.)

When a potential employer asks you this question, they’re expecting an honest, realistic answer—but giving your answer too soon could actually end up hurting your chances of making the amount of money you’re worth. More on that in a minute. First, let’s talk about how to figure out your true desired salary.

Ways To Determine Your Desired Salary

Before you can even think about giving a concrete answer to this question on an application or in an interview, you should have an actual number in mind—even if you don’t reveal that number right away (or at all). You should know what you’re aiming for so you can be confident about the salary offers you will and won’t accept. But I get that it can be difficult to land on a number or range, so here are a few factors that will help you figure it out:

1. Research Is KEY

A quick Google search can usually tell you the industry standards for salary in your desired position, and most job search websites will let you search for the standards in your geographical location as well. Sometimes pay ranges vary depending on state or region. The size of the company you’re looking at and its level of success will also affect the pay scale.

Another way to research is by asking other employees in similar roles what their pay is like, but keep in mind that it’s personal information that not everyone might be comfortable sharing. You could also ask any recruiters in the field (who don’t work at the company you’re applying to) if they can share the average salaries they see for the type of position you want.

2. Determine Your Skill Level And Experience

If you know me, you know I’m a big believer that you don’t have to get a four-year degree to get a great-paying job—and I stand by that! But education and training will still be taken into consideration at many companies, depending on the role. Having more years of experience working in a given industry will usually mean higher pay too. So, even if you don’t have a ton of education but you’ve spent years getting hands-on experience in jobs that are related to the one you want now, your pay should reflect that.

Another thing to consider is skill level. Of course, you can expect to be paid less for entry-level skill than for high skill. But skill level isn’t necessarily equivalent to the amount of time you’ve spent working in an industry—some people graduate from college with a higher level of skill than somebody who’s already been working in the field for a while. Be honest with yourself about your skill level, and if you know you’ve got a competitive edge, factor that into the amount you think you should be paid.

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How to Land Your First Job

As you’re about to enter the work world, you might be so excited about the possibilities that lie ahead you haven’t given much thought to, well, actually landing one of those possibilities. A job search — especially your first one — can be tough work, wading through the unfamiliar waters of resume writing and job search sites, plus intuiting exactly what a potential employer wants while sidestepping interview landmines.

Relax! This is a totally doable task with this first-job guide at your side. Here are a few tips on how to land your first job:

Where to Start

Before you even think about submitting your resume to a prospective employer and land your first job, you have got a lot of work to do. You’ll need to tailor your resume to the job, reconnect with your references, come up with keywords to help you hone your search, create some business cards, and so much more.

How to Look for a Job

It’s not enough to search for an entry-level job. To find the right job for you — and to increase your chances of scoring an interview — you have to employ some job search strategies. For example, did you know that Monday is the best day of the week to look for a job? Or that you should always schedule interviews for the morning? Networking can prove to be very helpful as well! These tips and tricks will get you in the door and land your first job.

How to Discover the Right Keywords to Include in Your Resume

Have you ever heard of applicant tracking systems? It’s when a company uses a computer program to filter through applications and resumes, weeding out the candidates who aren’t a fit — simply because they didn’t use the right words. That’s right: your resume could be chucked in the proverbial trash before it ever reaches a human’s eyes, all because you didn’t use a word the system was searching for. How do you know which words to use? A good place to start is the job description.

Determine What Employers Are Looking For

Depressing statistic: recruiters and hiring managers only spend an average of six seconds reading your resume. (We know, it hurts.) That’s not a lot of time to capture their attention. That’s why it’s so important to know what potential employers are looking for in those few precious seconds, and put them in your resumes. Consider: technical skills, soft skills, examples of impact, certifications, and quantifiable success.

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