Camden Career Series: 13 Reliable Tips to Bring to Your Interview
I recently had the opportunity to interview Iris Sanchez, Recruiter for Camden Property Trust and Camden employee for almost 14 years. With 1,600 employees nationwide (92% of them rating Camden as a great place to work for the 11th year in a row), a forecasted 750 positions to fill this year and an average of 22 applicants per opening, Iris knows a thing (or 13) to help get you that job.
I’ve broken down Iris’ valuable insight into the various components of an interview, below. Prepare to have your mind blown, beliefs confirmed and checklist made for your next interview.
- "Do a little bit of research.” You should be able to answer the question ‘How did you hear about us’ as well as ‘What interests you in this position?’
- Camden tip: Research the culture – it’s a big part of how we function.
- Iris suggested making this a habit –always, always, ALWAYS double check to make sure you’re sending the correct file.
- Also, update your resume.
- And have an explanation for any gaps in your employment – they will ask, better to prepare, right?
3. Professional Image
- “Typically, that’s their best selves.” Not to say it’s only downhill from there, but Iris suggests a powerful professional appearance. Working in the apartment industry, Iris is, more often than not, interviewing for Operations positions; Camden’s Leasing Consultants and Community Managers. These individuals are the face of Camden and the ones making connections with our customers every day.
4. Don’t dead-fish the handshake
- Iris says she’s always looking for a firm, confident handshake for those in-person interviews. So, don’t dead-fish it.
5. Thoughts on Power Posing (or Postural Feedback)
- Iris mentioned watching a TED talk on the topic –“I think that power posing –there may be something to it for sure, now, I don’t recommend going in and putting your feet on someone’s desk…” We agree.
- Do be aware of your posture; sit up straight and be careful not to look closed-off (even if you’re a little chilly).
- Camden tip: We’re huggers and want to make you feel comfortable during the interview process; make sure your body language is catching what we’re throwing.
6. Location [Phone Interviews]
- Carve out time for your phone interview – your manicure can wait. Be mindful of the noise level around you and distance yourself from any distractions; when you’re engaged you sound engaged.
Meat & Potatoes
7. Be Genuine
- “I was told when I was onsite if you can’t remember them, what makes you think that they’re going to remember you – so really making that impression is key.” Iris gave the thoughtful reminder that recruiters are trained in the art of picking out professional interviewees – so be yourself.
- Camden tip: “…with Camden I’m looking more for personality and culture fit – a person that’s not going to be afraid to make that connection with strangers.” So, let your personality shimmer.
8. Clear, Concise
- Speak with confidence.
9. Sugar & Spice
- Examples are your necessary dash of sugar and spice. “You said you’re good at handling conflict, do you have an example?” Be prepared with many examples to back up what you’re saying. Examples or it didn’t happen.
10. You DO have a weakness
- If you think otherwise, it may be time for a little self-reflection.
Yes, you do have questions.
11. Think toward the future
- Iris gave the examples: “What are some of the obstacles that you think that I would be encountering in this role?” and “What specific characteristics do you all look for in a person that is successful in this role?”
- Both show the candidate is thinking about their own future in the role and doing the mental preparation to take on the new responsibilities.
12. Be your own PR professional
- It’s true. Iris confirmed that what candidates post via social media can be a deterrent in continuing the interview process. If what you post would reflect poorly on a potential employer and you REALLY want the job, remove it.
13. If you’re not thanking your interviewer, what are you really doing?
- But seriously, what are you doing? You do have the time and it could make all the difference.
- Also, Iris has only received a single handwritten thank-you. Let’s bring back snail mail! Who’s with me?
View our open positions and apply online! + Learn more about what makes Camden Property Trust a Great Place to Work for the 11th year in a row.
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