Interviewing Techniques for Mortgage Professionals

Written By: Frankie Lacy, Op-Ed Writer

We all know that the mortgage industry is an ever-evolving, constantly changing business. Many mortgage lenders adjusted and restructured in 2013 as the refi boom wound down and volume was low. As a result, there is a bounty of mortgage talent available on the market. How can you prepare to be competitive in this employers’ market?

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Approach the Interview Process with Confidence:
In this uncertain time, employers are looking for decision makers and individuals who demonstrate strength of character. Can they look to you as an ethical mortgage expert who can provide definitive answers? Are you up to speaking confidently with loan originators, third party vendors, and customers?

Looking your best, making eye contact, and giving a firm handshake are old standbys that we’ve all heard. But they are old standbys because they work! Speaking clearly and audibly is also an important indication of confidence. Don’t be afraid to pause before answering to give yourself a moment to compose your thoughts. These are first impression characteristics that can make or break an interview before you even get started.

Be Prepared to Demonstrate Your Knowledge:
In light of tightening compliance and regulation, many lenders have become more selective with their hiring decisions. Testing is one tool employers use to separate the inexperienced from the highly skilled and knowledgeable. Demonstrating a firm understanding of basic mortgage terminology, ratio calculations, income calculations, and industry guidelines is a must.

Tests are usually in-depth with a combination of true and false, multiple choice, and “show your work” scenario questions that will involve computation. When taking these tests, don’t worry about speed so much as accuracy. Read the wording of each question carefully before selecting an answer. It is important to ensure you fully understand the question before you submit your answer. These exams are meant to test your ability to decipher information just as much as your mortgage knowledge level.

Focus on Quality and Customer Service
In the past, the mortgage industry was extremely production driven. Employers wanted to know how quickly you could get a loan done and how much of a workload you could handle. Although that still holds true to this day, the emphasis on production is much lower. Instead, employers are concerned about the quality of your work. Can you demonstrate that you have a history of passing audits? Do you have feedback from your previous employers confirming that your work was of high quality?

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In addition, customer service is significant. Mortgage professionals that can satisfactorily communicate with internal and external customers make the grade. Prospective applicants should discuss their willingness to collaborate with team members to complete loan reviews in a timely and high quality manner.

About The Author

Frankie Lacy - As an op-ed writer, Ms. Frankie Lacy is a 15+ year mortgage industry veteran with extensive conventional mortgage underwriting experience. Topics of Frankie's expertise include: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, USDA Rural Housing, underwriting to investor overlays, self-employed borrowers, personal and business tax return analysis, rental income, condos/co-ops/PUDs, and more. Frankie is a Davenport University graduate with a degree in Business Administration.

Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMP® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMP® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMP® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMP®. Nothing contained in this article should be considered legal advice.