Your real estate agent works for you. As with a standard job, you should interview and select the candidate who has the experience, the qualifications, and the professional demeanor that suits you best.
Here's a couple of questions to ask your prospective agent:
Do you work full- or part-time?
A full-time agent will have more time to attend to you and your needs. A full-time agent is also likely to be more passionate and driven about his profession.
How long have you been working as a real estate agent?
Get to know your agent's professional background and ask about his education background as well. Ask your agent for his resume or his online professional profile, such as a LinkedIn profile.
How many buyers or sellers do you represent?
An agent with only a few clients will be able to give you his undivided attention. An agent with a lot of clients, on the other hand, might prove too busy -- but then again, it might be a mark of his good record and success that he's got a lot of names on his roster. Either way, make sure that the agent can set aside time for you to attend to your needs as thoroughly as necessary.
How many listings have you sold within the area?
Your agent's experience should be based on location. Get an agent who has had good success in the neighborhood of your choice. He should specialize in that area and know its ups and downs like the back of his hand.
Which aspects of the work will you handle personally?
It's important to get to know who you're working with. Agents who work in a team or in a company will likely delegate tasks to others. This isn't a bad thing in itself -- but make sure you know which parts of the work your agent will be taking care of personally.