Mortgage Essentials

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Mortgage Loan Officer Interview Questions and Answers

Mortgage Loan Officer Interview Questions and Answers

by The CE Shop Team

How to Prepare for a Mortgage Loan Officer Job Interview

Acquiring a mortgage license is a pivotal step in building a blossoming mortgage career, but the real fun begins when you finally land your first mortgage-related job. From loan officer positions at financial institutions like credit unions, to loan processor gigs at mortgage brokerage firms, there are a lot of jobs available to a newly licensed mortgage professional. Whichever avenue you choose to pursue, however, snagging the position still requires a little interview preparation and ultimately determining whether or not it’s a good fit for you. This guide will cover many common questions asked (and questions you can ask) during the interview process so that you’re prepared to make your first sale — yourself. 

  • Research the company: First and foremost, you’ll want to research the position and company you’re applying to, but go beyond the job description. Figure out what they’re looking for experience or education-wise, what their mission statement is, and what makes them different from the others. 
  • Polish Your Resume: Ensure your resume is polished and free of any typographical or formatting errors. Many have theirs professionally reviewed and post them online where recruiters can find them. 
  • Write a Cover Letter: Writing can be intimidating, but you should be able to write a basic cover letter that gives your application a human touch and paints a picture of how your previous roles can lend themselves well to the organization. The good news is that there are plenty of professionals who can help you dial things in. 
  • Present the Best Version of Yourself: If you get selected for an interview, dress and speak like someone who you would trust to make one of the largest financial decisions of your life with. 
  • Scrub Social Media: In addition to updating your LinkedIn profile, make sure your other social media accounts represent you well. Employers are looking to invest in somebody who will embody their values, which don’t often include disparaging public figures. 

10 Common Mortgage Loan Officer Interview Questions & Answers

Let’s say you’ve been spending evenings applying for mortgage jobs on Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, or directly on the company’s website, and you finally get that email saying they’re interested in interviewing you. Worry not, here are many of the common questions you can expect to be asked: 

1. Why do you want to work for this company?

An interview classic, this is your chance to show off that you actually did your research on the company. Be honest about what attracted you to the company, whether it be company culture, dazzling marketing campaigns, or economic opportunity, and how you can help enhance it. 

2. How would you describe your communication style? 

Being a great communicator — or building up those communication skills — is usually at the core of success. Communication styles vary, and that’s okay. We all use various communication styles in varying capacities. Figure out what your tendencies are and how you can tailor them to work well with others in various situations. If you're a great interpersonal communicator, great, talk it up. If you're a networking wizard who can reel in new clients, that's fodder too. 

3. Why did you go into mortgage lending as a career? 

There are a lot of reasons to become a mortgage lender. On one hand, you get to directly benefit from your own hard work with limitless potential. On the other, you get to help others make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives — a decision that could help pay off for generations to come. 

4. How would you explain the loan process to a client? 

There are many different types of loans out there so think of yourself as a mortgage coach or teacher. Everyone has their own learning style, so until you figure out how the client prefers to receive information, explain how you will make sure the process is clearly communicated via written language, by speaking with them, and with visualizations, in simple straightforward terms. 

5. How do you protect your clients' confidentiality? 

Mortgage professionals work with a lot of sensitive information. It’s critical to your reputation and the reputation of your employer that you stay organized and take confidentiality seriously. Consider how you would want your own information handled.

6. How would you inform a client that their loan application was denied?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get everybody approved. In that case, it’s best to be sympathetic but direct with feedback and offer ways to improve their application. Stress that it’s in the best interest of both parties and that it’s just not the right time or financial product. Of course, you’re ready to take care of things when that time comes. 

7. What method do you use to determine if granting a loan for a client is feasible? 

While everything is put under the microscope during the underwriting process, show your potential employer that you have an idea of what lenders are looking for in terms of creditworthiness. You don’t want to waste people’s time by having them fill out paperwork for financial products you know aren’t viable for their situation. It’s also always better to under promise a little bit and over-deliver. 

8. How do you follow up with leads to turn them into clients? 

Here’s where you can show off the sales experience from your last job (if you had an applicable one). Of course, this is also a great question to muse on the importance of staying organized, your proficiency with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, automated marketing tactics, and of course, the human touch. 

9. How would you handle a situation with an angry client?

The ability to de-escalate a situation is useful in general. Tell your interviewer that you understand that dealing with angry customers requires a calm, sympathetic demeanor and that the most important thing is that they feel heard. Apologize for the situation, and repeat the client’s concerns in your own words to help the anger melt away. After things have cooled, offer a viable approach forward and execute on your promise. 

10. What are your career goals? 

This question might be a cliché, but it’s an opportunity to show your potential future employer that you’re ambitious and you can set goals. Be genuine, and tell them your lofty aspirations followed by the obtainable short-term goals you’re going to use to get there. This two-pronged approach is basic but effective. It’s also wise to ask an experienced professional or mentor to help you determine what's reasonable. 

Questions Loan Officers Can Ask Potential Employers 

Interviews are a two-way street. In many ways, this is your chance to gauge whether or not the position you’re shooting for is a good fit for you. Plus, it tells the hiring manager performing the interview that you’re familiar with the business and have a genuine interest in things working out for all parties involved. With that in mind, here are a few job interview questions you can ask to try and get a feel for things: 

  • What do you think sets you apart from others in the space?
  • What do you think is the key to success at (insert employer name)?
  • What kinds of things do you do to maintain a positive company culture?
  • Where do you see the company going over the next several years?
  • How long have you been with the company? 
  • What is the commission split?
  • Is there a base salary?
  • What kinds of benefits do you offer employees?

Of course, that’s just to name a few. Everybody has their own interviewing style, so keep these tips in mind and be yourself. Use your own words, and be your own best advocate. The mortgage industry pays off for job seekers who are passionate and persistent in their pursuit.