Essential and Favorite Questions for your First Employee

4 Replies

@Brandon Turner @ben leybovich,

@sam craven 

@bill syrios 

Hello BP Friends,

  I'd love to tag others, but for some reason, I don't think I'm operating the tagging feature correctly, so I'll just roll with my question:

-What are the ESSENTIAL questions you ask, when interviewing candidates to be your employees?

-What are your favorite questions to ask during an interview for a new employee (i.e. questions that give you great feedback regarding their character, work ethic, integrity, really test to see if they are a "go-getter," (the way, Brandon, you've tested some applicants by requesting they only fax resumes in), that their personality is a fit for you and your team, etc)?

 Some more context: My partner and I are about to start conducting interviews for our first employee: a boots on the ground acquisitions assistant (we are in CA, properties are in OH). Because I've had difficulty getting my two contractors I normally use out to look at the volume of properties I'm interested in, at a speed that is appropriate, I need someone who can take my Google Form Property Inspection Report and walk the property, take the necessary video/pictures, and complete the form, so I have an idea of what the Scope of Work should be. Eventually, I might move them into showing properties to tenants, and moving away from 3rd party property mgmt to in house, and this would be my boots on the ground person.

 I've been a bank branch manager for several years, and conducted a number of interviews. And... I always have things to learn!

 Looking forward to the wisdom!


PS- please tag others who are great at building teams.

I have hired a lot of people. I generally hire for personal quality construct so long as the basic skills of the position are there. I can teach someone to do just about anything that's not rocket science, but I can't (or won't) teach them how to come to work every day, give a **** about the work they're doing, be honest, treat other employees and the public with respect, be on time, dress appropriately, etc. In my experience, you find out 75% of what you need to know before the person ever opens their mouth - did they respond to your call for applicants? How was their demeanor? Did they show up for the interview on time? Do/did their references check out (if you are talking about independent contractors vs. an employee, on the front end)? Do they hint/offer to do anything "under the table"?

If they pass all the pre-interview tests, it's usually just a matter of letting them talk and you listen. There's a billion "ask these questions" websites out there that you can get ideas for interviews, so you don't really need that. My goal is to get them talking about anything and see what they say and how they say it. My favorite is to get them to elaborate about current or previous jobs or customers - if they speak poorly about anyone, it is a warning sign in my book. 

Hey JD,

 Great input! I found it very true in my experience too. When I was younger, I felt it was too harsh/ close minded to hear people say "you know if they're the fit within the first 2 minutes." But,  it really is ture- character is transparent,and character your can't train.

  Thanks JD!

Any other takers?


Hi @Tanner Gish . You are able to tag anyone who works at BiggerPockets (we're all admins) or anyone you are colleagues with, or anyone who has posted previously in the thread. 

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you