Recruiter Phone Screen Straight to MD Meeting

Basically the title is my question. The sequence of events went like this: applied to job, heard back from recruiter 2 months after the fact, phone screen with recruiter that same day (who didn't explain role that well), and now I am supposed to meet with the MD of the group.

This is for an investment sales/debt & equity analyst role at CBRE/JLL.

Is this common practice in the RE field? I have not met with any associates, VP's, or anything like that. Simply a phone screen and now meeting with the head guy. Is there anything I can expect for this interview like would you expect technical questions or more fit based? I have no idea what to expect since I only talked to the recruiter and he didn't ask me any technical or behavioral questions, just a resume walk through and why I wanted to work for the firm/relocate.

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Comments (8)

Mar 21, 2019 - 12:41pm

I am unsure about JLL so all of the following is for CBRE (which may or may not apply to JLL):

MDs are office managers basically. They are in charge of hiring practices with the exception of you networking directly with a broker. In my experience (I have heard office to office varies), the interview is not very technical. It was 90% fit and then, "What is a cap rate/ capital stack/ debt v equity?"

Super basic stuff. Others on this forum have said you calculate IRR and NPV sometimes, though that was not my experience. I have heard the Financial Consulting Group in CBRE administers an Excel test but that's not the group I interviewed with so I can't speak to that. Wouldn't imagine it's too hard.

Research the MD, know why that specific firm, know why real estate, and be yourself.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
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Mar 21, 2019 - 2:42pm

Thank you for the reply. So I could probably assume that it will be very fit and personality-based? With a few basic concepts sprinkled in?

I'm just thrown off by this process. Seems strange to me, but apparently others have gone through this as well.

Mar 21, 2019 - 3:32pm

Exactly. They mostly just want to know you can work very hard and have persistence given the nature of brokerage. They also want to make sure you know how to behave in a meeting and they will want to work with you.

The hierarchy doesn't matter either. I interviewed at a different DE shop and met with MD, Junior Analyst, Director in that order. Like REPESailor2020 said- life happens. Someone may be available at x time and not y time.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Mar 21, 2019 - 3:55pm

Basically a MD at CBRE (for this I will assume JLL is the same) like @sponsorpromote said is not a guy who does deals, but more of an office manager. They basically walk around the office clap their hands and say make more money, handle disputes between brokers, and host market updates. (Although very useful to be on their good side, if a deal comes to them they usually throw it on someone else's desk and you get to be the chosen one for that deal)

I would assume what happened is a team asked for an analyst, the request went to the MD and now he is screening you to put on their team. A MD at these offices probably doesn't have direct reports so you wouldn't ever directly work for him and probably wouldn't know exactly what they are looking for but could definitely screen fit/general knowledge.

This may be why the recruiter doesn't know much about the position, if a team is asking the MD for a guy and the MD is asking the recruiter I am sure that far disconnected from the team who is hiring the info and job requirements will not be very transparent.

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Mar 21, 2019 - 2:43pm

The recruiter did say that the MD personally wanted to meet with me, so hopefully that is a good sign. But like I mentioned, I don't think the recruiter is that talented and didn't ask me any conceptual questions or anything like that. Process just seems strange.

I guess we will see how it goes. Thank you for the reply.

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