Hiring employees is one of the most important parts of good business. However, the hiring process can also be time-consuming and costly. Therefore, it is essential to make sound hiring decisions to avoid a loss to your business. Regardless of the size of your company finding the right employee is critical to your day to day operations and has the power to make or break your reputation within the community. Thankfully, Smart Apartment Solutions is here to help. Here are 10 qualities you should be looking for and will recognize within the first interview to help save you time and save your business money.

Long-Term Potential

Probably the most important quality to look for in a possible employee is their long-term potential. There are several ways you can gauge this in a prospective employee. The first is the information given on his or her resume. How long were they with former employers? If they have multiple short-term employment bursts you might want to reconsider. What is their educational background like? Good indicators of long-term potential are multiple certifications or a graduate degree. Traits of commitment and longevity are necessary in a good employee.

Long-Term Results

During the interview ask detailed questions about their former work history, specifically how their work produced long-term results for their previous employers. This is a good opportunity for them to showcase their accomplishments and allow you to get a feel for whether or not they will be able to help mean the growth goals of your business. Look for enthusiasm and passion as they talk about projects they’ve worked on in the past. People who love the work they do tend to stay with an employer longer because they find fulfillment in their work rather than just collecting a paycheck.   

A Good Fit

Finding a potential employee who will be a good fit is probably one of the hardest aspects of hiring. It can be hard to gauge enough of a candidate’s personality in a single interview to know about fit for certain, but we have a few tips for you. First, evaluate their skill sets, knowledge, and overall abilities and strengths in comparison to the needs of your business. Next, try to envision how those candidate’s traits will fit into the overall culture of your company. This is especially important in property management as the employee will likely have extensive interaction with tenants. Additionally, people who feel connected to their coworkers and get a sense of belonging from their work will stay with a company longer than those who don’t.   

Team Player

Closely connected to the idea of fit is a prospective employee’s ability to be a team player. The ability to get along with and respect your coworkers is an essential quality of any employee, even if their job includes a fair amount of solitary work. All employees are working toward the same big picture, the same goal and this can only be accomplished if everyone is on the same page. During the interview, ask the candidate to give examples of when he or she worked on a team and how they worked together to finish a project. Depending on the culture of your company, you may even introduce an interviewee to members of your team to see how they interact with one another.  


Flexibility is one of the most important traits of a potential employee. Especially in a small business, all team members have to multitask and share responsibilities to get the job done. A candidate should demonstrate a willingness to jump in and do whatever needs to be done. A person who rigidly adheres to only the duties outlined in their job description probably isn’t the person you’re looking for. Property management can bring new challenges each day and whoever you hire needs to be flexible enough to take on these challenges and work with you to accomplish goals and put out fires as they arise.


Ambition seems like a vague term and especially hard to judge in a candidate. But ambition should shine through on both the resume and in the interview. Your business depends on hiring a driven person who is willing to go above and beyond their job responsibilities. Does their previous work history demonstrate ambition? Even within their personal lives do they seem to always be reaching for more? Ask questions during the interview that will flesh out whether the candidates are self-motivated and have the ability to recognize ways to improve their work and efficiency. This way you can be sure they are up for challenges and setting ever-evolving goals for both themselves and your business.

Sharing the Spotlight

At this point in the interview, you have asked extensive questions about the candidate’s work history and accomplishments. Pay close attention to how they describe their accomplishments. Do their answers only recognize their own accomplishments, even when they’re talking about group projects? This is an indication that they might not like to share the spotlight with their coworkers. Honesty and integrity are important qualities of any employee. Look for an interviewee who is self-assured and takes credit for their work while recognizing the hard work and accomplishments of others. In fact, years of experience are not as valuable as someone who offers more in the way of ambition and drive. A positive person, enthusiastic person can be a huge asset to your business.


An interview is the ultimate first impression. Sometimes, it’s the small things that make the biggest difference. Pay attention to the candidate’s social skills. If they politely greet you, respond when you address them, and use social pleasantries such as “thank you” and “you’re welcome” these are all positive indicators that they have a good set of social skills. The best candidate on paper might not work if they lack proper social skills, especially in the presence of residents and prospective tenants.

Listening Skills

Most of an interview necessitates that the interviewee dominates the conversation. After all, this is their one chance to showcase their skills. However, an equally important part of an interview is the ability of a candidate to listen. This is an often overlooked skill, but crucial when dealing with residents, coworkers and potential tenants. People who are good listeners tend to be equally good at building relationships.. If the candidate constantly interrupts and talks over you during the interview, they will probably do the same thing with your clients.

First Impressions and Follow Up
As mentioned earlier, interviews are all about first impressions. A candidate’s impression on you can create a lasting memory. This will likely also impress your residents. A good first impression sets the tone for a good interview or, in the case of a resident, a good conversation. Equally important is the follow-up. Did the candidate follow up after the interview with a thank you note or a phone call? These actions not only show interest and ambition but showcase their all-important social skills that are necessary in a customer service based industry.

Property management is a fast-paced industry. Your time is valuable and shouldn’t be spent training a revolving door of temporary employees. Use these tips to find quality candidates who will stay with you long term.