April 3, 2020
Co-op interviews can be scary. We get it! Nobody likes to be interviewed, especially when all you’re trying to do is buy something! Thankfully, these nerves are usually all for naught but you should still be prepared! With this quick guide, you’ll be ready regardless of how your interview plays out.
Boards don't want to waste their time so if you're getting interviewed, you're in good shape. They've already reviewed your application and if there were any glaring issues, they would have been addressed beforehand.
The vast majority of rejections happen before the interview. While boards don't say why they reject applicants, it's understood that most are for financial reasons. Since the board has all of your financials in the application, they already know if that's a problem. For example, if they want a debt to income ratio under 25% and you're at 40%, there’s no reason to go any further.
Co-op boards almost always go into an interview expecting to approve the applicant but that doesn’t mean they will. There are things you can do or say that may cause a change of heart.
Co-op interviews usually take place at the building. Sometimes it’s in a lounge or other common space but most of the time, it’s simply in a board member’s apartment.
Management will coordinate all of the details. If the location is omitted, don’t just assume it’s at the building. We have seen interviews take place at management.
A ton of space usually isn’t necessary. While the entire board is welcome to join, usually only a subset attend.
Even if the board is expecting to approve your application, you shouldn’t go into the interview expecting that! Here are a few general tips that will help you get in, get out and get approved.
It’s rare to get board approval on the spot. Usually that comes the following day from management. You’ll likely know how you did though, whether it’s a gut feeling or a board member saying “welcome to the building.” That being said, we have had buyers walk in with their official approval letter waiting so you never know! Every co-op and every board is different.