Changes in the workplace happen all the time! The key is sharing that you are supportive of change and happily adapt to the changes. Think back to a major change that you happily welcomed in the past two years. Describe the change to the interviewer outlining the previous process as well as the requested change. Next, share that you recognized why the company was making this change, and tell the interviewer that you were excited about the change and welcomed it openly.
Property Manager Interview Questions
Tell me about a time when you experienced a major change to your normal work practices. How did you handle it?
"I think most people would find major changes to routine procedures that they conduct on a daily basis to be somewhat annoying. To be completely honest, I'd initially be a little bit annoyed like most people. But then I just remind myself that these decisions are made in what upper management believes to be best for the company. And since I'm a team player, and I recognize that the company's best interests are also my own best interests, I just look for ways to learn the new procedures as quickly as I can. The change is going to happen anyway, so I may as well make the transition as smooth as possible."
Give me your best talent or skill that makes you a great property manager?
Talking about ourselves in this way can be challenging. We recommend reaching out to a few colleagues, family members, and friends. Ask them for their opinion. You'll probably be surprised at the consistency in their responses! Their answers will give you insight into how to answer this question. Tell the interviewer what sets you apart, and explain how your co-workers, family members, and friends have encouraged you with your gift in this area.
Tell me about a time when you were particularly effective on prioritizing tasks and completing a project on schedule.
What project have you completed or led that went really smoothly? What was it about that project that made it go so well? Was it your ability to plan ahead to have all of the materials in advance? Was it your ability to set aside everything else for a short period of time to get the project done? Or, was it your ability to prepare a set of detailed step-by-step plans to ensure you knew exactly when your deadlines were? Tell the interviewer what project you were working on as well as your role with the project. Next, share the outcome of the project, and express why the project went so well focusing on how successful your planning or organization skills were to help you achieve success.
Why are you looking for a new job?
Be candid with the interviewer sharing why you are pursuing other companies. The key is to only talk about your past employer in a positive manner focusing on how you would like to better yourself with a new opportunity! Not a fan of your current manager? That's okay! Simply tell the interviewer that you are hoping to find a manager who can mentor you and help you grow as a property manager. Dislike your current working hours? Easy! Tell the interviewer that you are seeking a working schedule that allows you to have more time with your friends and family. Translate your reason for leaving into how you will benefit from the transition!
Describe a scenario where you had to balance competing customer demands with project constraints. How did you ensure customer satisfaction while maintaining the goals of the project?
Think about the constraints you have encountered with projects. Weather, contractor availability, employee availability, city regulations (permits/zoning permits/inspections/environmental compliance), and budget are all possible constraints you may have encountered. Next, think about how these constraints affected your customers. What feedback did you receive from customers? What questions were customers asking? What were you afraid customers might be wanting that you couldn't offer at the time? These things all will make solid examples for this question. Start by telling the interviewer what project you were working on, the constraint you had, and the customer demand that you were competing with. Next, share what steps you took to ensure customer satisfaction during this time. In a rental industry, perhaps you focused on the customer relationship by offering guests at your property a free nights stay. If your restaurant was shut down, maybe you set up a discount with another local establishment for your guests. In a corporate or commerical property management setting, perhaps you acted as an advocate for tenants encouraging the city to keep the process for inspections on schedule. Maybe you opened the door for the city representatives to meet with tenants to allow them to have all of their questions answered about regulations before the project began. It's all about maintaining the positive customer relationship, so whatever action you took in your industry, explain the positive outcome your efforts had!
How did you handle a recent situation where the direction from above was unclear and circumstances were changing?
Interviewers like hearing that you are willing to accept change with a positive attitude, and you will happily work through any challenges that come with change. Tell the interviewer that you understand change happens in companies, and you realize it is your responsibility to ensure you have clarity about the changes and implement them professionally. State that you would reach out to your manager for assistance with receiving clarification on the direction that you are supposed to take with the changes to ensure you are proceeding in the manner that the leadership team had intended. As a bonus, share that you understand the leadership team has good intentions with the changes, and you just want to ensure you are supporting the changes properly.
Rate your management skills on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 representing excellent management skills. Provide three examples from your past work experiences that demonstrate your selected number is accurate.
You are a great manager, and you always have room to learn and improve! Give yourself an 8 or a 9! After rating yourself, tell the interviewer that there is always room to grow and improve. Next, share your three examples. Pick three examples that are all positive such as:
- A positive conversation you have recently had with an employee
- A recent innovative idea you have implemented
- Great ways you motivate your staff
"I would rate myself at an 8 out of 10. Management ability is based on leadership and organizational skills.
Leading others is very important. I had an employee who was very upset and told me that she was going to quit the job. I talked to her for several hours to figure out what's going on in her life and what she isn't getting out of the job. After our talk, she came back to work on Monday and thanked me, telling me that having me as a manager was truly a blessing. It was one of the most rewarding moments in my career.
Then there's continuous improvement. In my last management position, I saw many opportunities to improve the way things were being done at that moment, so I continually made small changes. For instance, the signs that we were posting were not very clear or visible, so I changed it. I also improved the efficiency of upkeep and the response time of repairs, which resulted in much happier tenants.
As you can see, I can retain and motivate employees to do a good job, and I can lead them to implement improvements that result in an improved reputation for the building, which leads to higher value and increased rent."
What action would you take if you joined the company?
Interviewers have a fear of hiring a manager who is going to come in and change everything right away. They want to hear that you will improve their company without completely rocking the boat. Tell the interviewer that you would begin by observing until you gained a good understanding of how the company operates, what is currently working well, and what is not working so well. Next, share that you would make any urgent changes that you identify right away, and you would wait until you had a solid understanding of the company needs before making any additional changes.
"The first thing I need to accomplish as a manager is to understand how the company works. I need to observe the way things are set up. Once I understand that, I need to learn the needs of the company: are we attracting the right tenants? Are we attracting enough of them? Then I'd develop a plan to make the right improvements, with an eye for continuous and incremental improvements."
Tell me about a time when you had to deal with conflict on the job.
Think about the last time conflict came to you. Did your neighbors dislike that your snow removal person dropped a pile of snow in their parking lot? Did you have a tenant who was upset about something? Or, maybe you had a manager who didn't like the new lights you installed in the entryway. The key to this question is showing the interviewer that you worked through the problem without losing your professionalism or positive attitude. Begin by providing the interviewer with a summary of the conflict expressing how you learned about the problem. Next, share that you apologized for the issue, and discuss how you resolved the conflict. Be sure to mention how happy the other person was when all was said and done!
What process have you used to screen potential tenants in the past? Go through the process you had with me.
What things have you done?
- Have you collected & checked references?
- Have you done a background or credit check?
- Have you verified employment?
Simply share which of these things you have utilized!
"I follow standard industry practice, such as verifying employment, background and credit checks, and references.
I take it one step further though. I take the time to really get to know the tenant. What are his or her likes and dislikes, what's her lifestyle like? I need to know what his complaints might be, and whether they'll be a high or low maintenance tenant."
If I were to interview the people who have reported to you in the past, how would they describe your management style?
Have there been times when your direct reports have thanked you for something? Or, have they given you positive recognition for something? These make great examples for this question. Tell the interviewer 2-3 things that your direct reports have thanked you for or given you positive recognition for. When in doubt, think back to your past performance reviews. What positive comments were made about your leadership style? Be sure to tell the interviewer that your direct reports or past managers have told you that they liked these things about you; it will surely impress!
"My direct reports would tell you that I'm a very positive and encouraging leader who knows how to keep them motivated. I insist on building good relationships with the people who I'm responsible for. I do that by showing them respect and acknowledging and rewarding the good work that they do. On the same token, if they're not performing to standards, I make sure that they know what the standards are and I help them improve to meet those standards."
Describe a time when you had to balance quality management with a challenged project schedule.
Interviewers like hearing that you have thought ahead before diving into your project workload to ensure quality is thought about from the get-go. Think about a time when you had a hectic project schedule and you chose to build quality into the process before you ever started the project. You might have ensured you selected the appropriate personnel/contractors/team members. You may have built in essential project communication. You likely created in-depth project plans with deadlines for each part of your project schedule. Begin by telling the interviewer a little about your project schedule. Next, share that you recognized the complexity of this schedule right away, and share what steps you took to build quality into the schedule before moving forward. Explain that thinking ahead and building in quality measures early on allowed you to focus on the project schedule without having to worry about quality being compromised.
What is the salary that you expect?
We all have different financial situations, and that is okay!
If there is a specific dollar amount that you need to make, share it with the interviewer understanding that you might eliminate yourself from the candidate pool if the amount is higher than they can pay you. It's better to find this out sooner rather than later!
If you do not have a specific dollar amount that you need, tell the interviewer that you would like to receive an offer that is equitable for the amount of experience and qualifications that you offer. This leaves the table open for negotiations come job offer time!
"I have faith that your company will extend an offer that's an accurate reflection of how much value I bring to your organization."
What factors are crucial within an organization and must be present for you to work most effectively?
What things are crucial for you? Common responses might include:
- Ethical leadership team
- Being a part of something bigger than yourself - Making an impact
- Sense of having more than a job
- Employee benefits package - It provides the employee with a peace of mind knowing that whatever happens they are going to be okay! Benefits are often more important than compensation!
- Opportunities for employee engagement - being able to be involved!
Simply share what things are very important to you, and your passion will automatically come through!
"Trust is absolutely important to me. I need my superiors to trust me to deliver the results that they want. If they don't trust me, then they'll end up getting in the way of daily operations, which jeopardizes my ability to deliver the results they're asking for."
How have you improved as a property manager over the years?
Interviewers don't expect us to be perfect! Instead, they want to hear how we have grown from our experiences. Think about key lessons you have learned during your career. Think about how you have changed your approach as a property manager over time. These make great examples for this question. Share 2-3 ways you have improved as a property manager during your career, and be sure to mention that there is always more learning to do!
Describe how you motivated a group of people to do something they did not want to do.
We currently have 10 percent vacancy. How will you try to fill those spots?
When have you had contractor disputes? How do you handle them?
When you believe an unethical issue is occurring, how do you react?
Describe to me the last property you managed. What did you find to be successful during that period, and what did you find that you or the company did that was unsuccessful?
Has there been an occasion when you refused to bow to a customer's pressure to 'bend the rules'?
What was the most challenging space you've had to lease in the past? What made it a challenge?
What is the most challenging thing about being a manager?
What methods have you found successful in determining the priorities when you start in a new facility?
What is your definition of empowerment?
Describe a recent project where you were responsible for managing multiple people or teams. What were some of the key challenges and how did you handle those challenges?
Describe the work environment or culture and its management style in which you have experienced the most success.
What do you know about our organization?
Tell me about a time when you influenced the outcome of a project by taking a leadership role.
Tell us about an innovative idea/change that you implemented. Was it or was it not successful?
Describe a time when you implemented a new idea without being asked or pursued a new opportunity that could improve the building.
How do you perform when others need your guidance in a building crisis?
What is the largest building, space, that you have managed?
Describe a situation when you were able to have a positive influence on the actions of others.
Have you ever discontinued service with a vendor or contractor? How did it go?
How long would it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our property?
What job duties would you like to avoid if at all possible?
What do you do when priorities change quickly? Give one example of when this happened.
How do you reward employees?
What experience do you have handling tenants?
What is your definition of Quality Assurance (QA), and who should be responsible for QA?
Why do you want to become property manager of this building?
What sort of marketing objectives did your past property employ? Which marketing initiaves did you create and start? Were they successful?