Help- interview tomorrow!

(12 Posts)
notforthefainthearted Tue 19-Feb-13 21:01:16

I have an interview tomorrow (only applied today and they got back to me straight away) for a part time position as receptionist/negotiator with an estate agency.

I haven't had an interview for about 10 years and am very nervous.

How do I reply to the inevitable question about how do I deal with such and such a situation? I can't think of any experiences I can draw on, it's been so long since I worked for an estate agent!

Also I never know what to ask when they ask if I have any questions, as generally they have told me everything I need to know about the job.

I'm so nervous. I've been struggling with depression and feel braindead sometimes, like I will blurt out some rubbish.

I do really want the job though as the hours are perfect for now and I would love to go full-time at a later date.

Help!

imme Tue 19-Feb-13 21:25:56

Hi,
first of all congratulations on getting the job interview! I can imagine it to be nerve racking when you haven't done one for such a long time.
I have done quite a bit of interviewing in my job - as the interviewer mainly! I would expect candidates to have an answer to why they applied for the post and why they think they would be good at the job. Also, the candidate should have done some research on our company and its competitors. Study their website, have a look what properties they are currently marketing, what are the other estate agencies like in the area.
You really should have prepared a few questions as well as they will ask you. When I was a candidate in a job interview myself and if the interviewer had already covered my question I would say something along the lines of 'oh, i was going to ask about the training for the job but you have already covered this earlier'. But there are a lot of things you could ask them. You could ask about the typical day as a receptionist, you could ask what they would expect you to be able to do three months into the job, you could ask what are the most important qualities a person should have in order to do the job. You could also ask about the type of client contact etc etc. You could ask about the current market conditions such as how often they usually take new properties on, how quickly they sell, how they evaluate the market in the area - to show you are really interested in the business.
Really, there are a lot of things you could ask that would put the ball into their court and make them talk about the role.
Also, practice in front of a mirror, especially when you talk about your background, it should really come out fluently and naturally. Make sure you keep it short and interesting - I remember candidates droning on and on and me nearly nodding off.
With regards to the situations question - there may or may not be a couple of those.. Just think of obvious ones and how you would answer them. Make sure you can talk about a situation when you had to solve a problem, and be able to talk about a situation about how to handle a difficult client. You could always take everyday life examples because these things are mainly about how you deal with people.
Anyway, I have just realised I have written an essay! I hope it helps a bit.
Good luck with the interview! Have some wine to relax!

notforthefainthearted Tue 19-Feb-13 21:38:03

Thanks smile

Unfortunately I think they will probably cover most of those questions in the interview, based on past experience sad

I can't think of anything to say regarding how I would deal with a situation- not something that's cropped up as a sahm! I'll have to go for being polite, finding out the facts and trying to resolve the situation, passing to a more senior member of staff if necessary.

Do you think it's ok to ask about opportunities to progress within the company?

imme Tue 19-Feb-13 21:47:31

But that is already a decent answer to question! I am sure you will do better than you think!
With regards to progress within the company... It really depends if they are just looking for a receptionist or if it's more like a stepping stone into the company. Because they want to make sure that you're not already looking for the next move as they are looking for a receptionist right now. Nevertheless it probably doesn't hurt to appear driven but make sure that they know that you're super keen on the role but you want to know the typical progression over the years. There may be clues in the job description especially since you say it's receptionist/negotiator, so there must be responsibilities beyond those of a receptionist.

notforthefainthearted Tue 19-Feb-13 22:09:23

That's all the detail I have so not sure of responsibilities. I think I would like to go full time in a few years, at the moment my daughter is too young to be alone after school, she' s 11 also in a few years it'll be different matter.

notforthefainthearted Tue 19-Feb-13 22:21:35

Damn phone! "SO in a few years " I meant.

imme Tue 19-Feb-13 22:47:13

I think the most important factor is the overall impression you give, don't get too hung up about potential situational questions they may ask..
As a receptionist you are the first point of contact For anyone outside the company so you need to be presentable (sorry this sounds really cringe and patronising), look your interviewer in the eyes, speak confidently, stand up when greeting, give a firm handshake, smile, be enthusiastic.
Have you googled 'estate agent receptionist'? You may find job descriptions of the type of role you're going for so you it should give you an idea what to expect.
Good luck!

notforthefainthearted Tue 19-Feb-13 22:58:59

Thanks. I've got black skirt, white blouse and grey jacket to wear tomorrow, boring but presentable. I'm worried my mind will go blank when asked a question.

I did the same job ten years ago for a different estate agent so know the job more or less. I just get so nervous and seem to spout rubbish! sorry, I know that sounds pathetic and no one can help me with that sad

I'll keep trying to memorize my answers and hope they don't ask too much and make me feel at ease.

notforthefainthearted Wed 20-Feb-13 12:11:14

How much information do they expect when they say "Tell me a little bit about yourself"?

Do you think something like "I'm 48 and have 28 years secretarial and admin experience in various fields including medical, legal, insurance and estate agency.

I live [abroad] for 13 years after leaving college and returned to the Uk 17 years ago. I am married and have three children whose ages range between - and -."

Or do they want more work related stuff? Or more personal stuff, e.g. hobbies?

HorribleMother Mon 25-Feb-13 10:57:06

What happened?

thebestpossibletaste Mon 25-Feb-13 19:34:33

I got the job grin grin Started Friday.

HorribleMother Tue 26-Feb-13 07:46:38

Hooray! smile Glad to know someone is employable.

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