Knight Frank’s graduate application process involves a number of interviews. After submitting a CV and initial application form, candidates will be invited to a pre-recorded video interview in November, a 30-minute face-to-face video interview in December and an assessment centre in January. In previous years the assessment centre has included:
- a group exercise
- a networking lunch
- a 30-minute technical interview (including a short presentation)
- a 30-minute interview
While we can’t say exactly what questions Knight Frank will ask this year in its video interviews or during the assessment centre, we can look at what successful candidates in previous years were asked. In an Insider Review of their graduate job experiences, surveyors reported:
- ‘I was asked a range of competency-based and personal questions that referenced my CV and wider experiences.’
- ‘Questions were largely competency and personality-based. The interview was focused on whether I would be a good addition to the company.’
- ‘I had a diverse range of questions from specific ones about me to property market questions.’
- ‘I was given a bit of a grilling on my industry knowledge and asked standard questions about why I was a good candidate etc.’
Whatever questions are asked, you can be sure to impress Knight Frank’s graduate recruitment team by showing them that you share Knight Frank’s values. Stand out from the crowd by making certain that your answers to interview questions and your behaviour at the assessment centre convey the skills, behaviours and qualities that would be attractive to Knight Frank.
What are Knight Frank’s values?
Knight Frank highlights a number of values and qualities that are ‘integrated into everything it does across the business.’ Knight Frank wants to hire graduates who share the following values:
Demonstrating Knight Frank’s values at the assessment centre
After an initial face-to-face interview, the application process for Knight Frank’s graduate surveying scheme includes an assessment centre. Knight Frank wants to hire graduates who would be a good fit in the firm, and you can demonstrate that you would be this good fit by aligning your experiences with Knight Frank’s values. You may not address these values directly or specifically in your answers and actions but the best candidates will be aware of how they are exemplifying them. Go the extra mile and stand out from other candidates by keeping Knight Frank’s values in mind, and showing you would be a good fit for the firm, throughout each stage of your interviews and assessment centre exercises.
If there is a technical interview and presentation, show that you are capable of thinking of innovative and creative solutions to the problems presented to you. Previous candidates have been asked to present on a Knight Frank project that interests them, which requires a strong knowledge of Knight Frank and its place within the wider property industry. This would also be an opportunity to demonstrate that you are committed to a career at Knight Frank.
Knight Frank’s assessment centre will likely also feature a group exercise. The best candidates show that they are capable of focusing on and contributing to the overall success of the team and working collaboratively and respectfully with the other candidates.
- Read this advice to find out more about what to expect from a property assessment centre group exercise.
There may also be a networking lunch or another chance to meet professionals and current graduates working at Knight Frank. Remember to behave respectfully, and use this chance to ask questions about Knight Frank and exhibit your commitment to this career.
- If you’re worried about finding the right thing to say, take a look at our conversation starters for property networking.
How to show Knight Frank you can be innovative and entrepreneurial
A recruiter at Knight Frank told TARGETjobs: ‘You need to understand the real estate market in practice. An impressive candidate can put what is happening now into historical context and uses their research to make predictions for the future.’
Candidates need to be aware of the state of the property market if they want to be entrepreneurial and to find innovative new ways to make money for Knight Frank and its clients.
- A graduate told TARGETjobs Insider Reviews that they had previously been asked: ‘If you had £100m, what would you invest it in?’
Questions such as the above are designed to assess your entrepreneurialism and commercial awareness, and may be asked during Knight Frank’s technical interview. If you want to show off your innovation and entrepreneurialism, when answering interview questions, select examples that focus on using the available information and your knowledge of the property market to come up with new, creative solutions that will have a positive result.
You may be able to talk about having:
- joined an entrepreneurial society at university
- set up your own business or a new university society
- thought of new ways to raise money for charity
- improved an existing process and an organisation’s efficiency during a part-time job
Showing your commitment to a property career with Knight Frank
Knight Frank is interested in knowing your reasons for applying to it in particular. The interviews are an opportunity to use the research you have done into Knight Frank to give convincing reasons for your interest and show you are committed to a career at Knight Frank.
Talk about how the opportunity at Knight Frank in particular appeals to you. For instance, throughout their job advert, Knight Frank highlights the value and breadth of the training they offer their graduate surveyors. How does this differ from the training offered at different firms, what makes Knight Frank stand out to you? It will impress recruiters if you show that you have done your research and have a clear understanding of how Knight Frank’s graduate scheme is structured.
When asked about your reasons for applying to Knight Frank, you may be able to:
- talk about how the training offered by the firm suits your ambitions and how you learn
- detail any major deals or events from industry news that Knight Frank was involved in
- reveal any recent projects that have been of particular interest to you
Acting respectfully in interviews
The importance of building relationships with clients is made clear on Knight Frank’s website: ‘At Knight Frank we build long-term relationships. We believe personal interaction is a crucial part of ensuring every client is matched to the property that suits their needs best’. Recruiters are looking for candidates who act respectfully and show the potential to build these relationships.
In previous years, Knight Frank has indicated that its first interview was conducted by a partner in the firm and that the assessment centre interviews were conducted by a panel, made up of partners and representatives from HR. Make sure to act professionally and respectfully; make eye contact, have open body language, talk clearly and smile.
You may explicitly be asked about ‘a time when you helped a customer’ or a more general question about your previous work experience; these would be appropriate times to bring up examples where you have behaved respectfully towards clients and customers.
Examples that you may be able to talk about include:
- Working closely with people from a range of different backgrounds as part of a part-time job
- Working with clients or customers and going beyond your regular responsibilities in order to fulfil clients’ needs
- Helping to organise cross-society events or working with businesses and organisations in the local area as part of the committee for a university society
Answering Knight Frank’s ‘teamwork’ interview questions
Throughout their two-year long scheme, graduate surveyors at Knight Frank will rotate around a number of departments (and potentially around international offices) in order to gain the necessary experience to complete their APC. As such, Knight Frank is looking for graduates who are skilled at teamwork and collaboration.
You are likely to be directly asked about teamwork or to ‘give an example of a time when you worked in a team’. It is very likely that you have worked in a team at some point, such as in the following examples:
- Working on a team project during university
- Being a member of a sports team
- Working with a group of people during a part-time job
Answering interview questions about drive, motivation and endurance
A recruitment professional at Knight Frank previously told TARGETjobs: ‘Being driven is one of the essential competencies we see, as this ensures that individuals go the extra mile, challenge the status quo and have a healthy competitive nature.’ Knight Frank’s graduate surveyors need to be able to pace their work and stay motivated: they need to be persistent, resilient and enduring.
When asked interview questions about your motivation or your drive, be certain to select an example that shows you managing your stamina, stress and any unexpected circumstances.
You may be able to talk about:
- Staying motivated during a sponsored charity activity where you were required to maintain energy throughout
- Having the persistence to carry out a long-term project to a successful result at university
- Demonstrating resilience through part-time work such as handing out flyers or working in a call centre
How to show you can be an inspirational Knight Frank graduate surveyor
Knight Frank is keen to highlight its employees’ participation in sports and in charitable endeavours. Inspirational candidates may be able to excel at their day-to-day work as well as in activities outside of the office. Knight Frank wants to see candidates that are ‘well rounded’ and that are able to balance university work commitments with extracurricular activities. Don’t forget to highlight your extracurricular activities and any social action work (such as volunteering).
Knight Frank’s corporate responsibility programme, called Building Foundations, specifies: ‘It is the foundation of our business that we act with integrity and professionalism’. Knight Frank are looking for candidates who have the potential to give quality advice to clients, who behave in an ethical way and who can be inspirational in their work.
You may be able to talk about inspiring others through these examples:
- leading a team at university or during work experience
- motivating a group of peers
- presenting or communicating to an audience