When it comes to the interview, all the old-fashioned advice still holds true:
- Be on time
- Dress professionally
- Research the company and its competition
- Be ready with questions
All of these show the interviewer you’re prepared and serious about the job and will be a great representative of the company. To set yourself apart from the other candidates, research the company and competitors around the facility to which you’re applying. Make it a priority to learn about the differences between facilities and prepare some ideas for what you would do to increase leases, merchandise sales, etc.
When it comes to interviewer questions, remember honesty is the best policy, and focusing on your sales, customer service and marketing abilities are essential. Explain what you would do in the job, how you take initiative and how you stay organized. Ultimately, the interviewer wants to know how you will drive the business.
Give your answers with confidence and assertiveness and avoid using the phrase “I don’t know” to buy yourself time to think about your answer. If you have to pause, a better response would be, “Hmmm, that’s a great question,” or repeat the question to make sure you understand it. This will allow you to gather your thoughts without looking like you’ve been caught off-guard.
Prepare a list of questions to show you’re engaged and want to learn more about the company. For example, ask what career-growth opportunities are available or the company’s goals for the next five years. Thank the interviewer for his time, tell him your interest in the position, and always ask when you will hear back from him on the next step in the interview process.
Write a Thank-You Note
Send a thank-you note via snail mail. The fact that you took time to handwrite a note in this day of e-mail, texting and tweeting shows you care. Make sure the note card is professional and subdued—leave the loud colors and artwork for friends and family. Express your interest again, and reference one or two of your key experiences to drive home that you are the right candidate for the job.
Candidates with sales and marketing backgrounds will do well in the self-storage industry. By creatively marketing yourself, having an impressive cover letter and résumé, being prepared for the interview, and showing your gratitude for the opportunity to learn more about the position, you will boost yourself through the ranks.
Erica Calka, is the human-resources manager for LifeStorage Centers LLC. She has more than 11 years of HR experience, emphasizing recruitment, employee-policy development, employee benefits and employment law. LifeStorage has 18 facilities throughout the Chicagoland area. For more information, visit www.lifestorage.net.