Whether you will work with consumer loans or business clients, your job will require responsibility, sense for detail, resilience, and other abilities. Interviewers will test them with personal and behavioral questions. It is a common misconception to think that you need to understand the entire process of loan application, evaluation, and approval, when applying for a job of a loan officer.
First of all, you’ll receive an extensive training once they hire you (can take up to three months in some banks). And secondly, everything is computerized nowadays. You won’t do any manual calculations. You’ll collect certain data from the loan applicant, enter them to underwriting software, and let the program to do the magic…
Human factor and interview questions
Of course, there are things which a computer can not evaluate, such as: the level of trustworthiness of the applicant, their real business intentions (when applying for a business loan), whether they mean business or are talking trash, and so on. Understanding the real role of a loan officer, it should not come to you as a surprise that the interview will consist mostly in some personal, and some behavioral questions.
Technical questions are rare, and in most cases you will deal only with a few of them. What you may deal with quite often, however, especially when applying for a job with one of the big banks, is a role play. Let’s have a look at some of the questions right now!
Questions you may get in a loan officer job interview
- Why loan officer (mortgage loan officer)? Try to focus on the value you can bring in this job-to both the bank and the customers. Say that you believe to have the right skills, such as communication skills, empathy, resilience, sense for detail, understanding for the needs and desires of other people, understanding for the financial terminology and banking business etc.
- Why our bank (financial institution)? Why not one of our competitors? Tell them something nice, something they will enjoy listening to. For example, you can praise them for the selection of loans they offer, or low interest rates. Or perhaps for great customer service (which you also want to deliver), or their reputation, working environment, anything. They should feel that you honestly want to work for them, and not just for any bank.
- Tell us something about your studies/previous working experience. Try to talk about relevant things: subjects you’ve had in school that will help you in the new job. Or any jobs you held in customer service, sales, or in finance business. Tell them how your studies and professional career prepared you for a job of a loan officer. Show them that you believe in your skills, and they will start to believe in them as well!
- Where do you see yourself in five years time? Most banks offer interesting career growth opportunities for loan officers, and for all other employees. Check their career’s website to see where this job can take you, in five or in ten years. Do not forget to say that you are in for a long run, that you like their bank and would be glad to stay and grow together with them.
- Describe a situation when you reached a goal and tell us how you achieved it. Many banks employ a cogent system of monthly and yearly targets for loan officers and for other employees. The key is to show them that you are accustomed to setting goals and meeting them. Describe a situation (can be from work or even from school), tell them about your struggles and about your understanding of the importance of the goal, and about the milestones you set and steps you took to achieve it.
- How would you deal with an angry customer? Many people will get angry after you reject their loan application. They may even shout on you, call you incompetent or even something worse. Ensure the hiring managers that you are ready to face complaints, and that you won’t change your decision about the loan just because someone isn’t happy about it. Customer is not always right. While you should try your best to stay courteous (in any situation), you can’t afford approving a loan of someone who doesn’t meet the requirements.
Other questions you may face in your Loan Officer job interview
- How do you imagine a typical day in work?
- Tell us how you ensure you make no mistakes in your work?
- How do you deal with rejection? How do you feel about rejecting an application of someone you like as a person?
- Tell us more about your experience with underwriting software.
- How would you recognize if an applicant is telling truth to you, for example about their financial situation?
- What do you consider your greatest weakness as a loan officer?
- Why did you leave your last job? / Why do you want to leave your present job?
- See this pen on my desk (or other object). Try to sell it to me.
- Why should we hire you, and not one of the other applicants?
Special Tip: If you are not sure how you will answer the questions (you are not alone), have a look at an eBook I wrote for you, the Loan Officer Interview Guide. Multiple brilliant answers to 20 most common loan officer interview questions, and winning interview strategies, will help you stand out, outclass other job applicants, and walk away with a new job contract. Thank you for checking it out!
Conclusion, next steps
Just like any other entry level or intermediate job in banking, loan officer belongs to popular job titles. In most cases you will compete with five or more people for the job–can be up to fifty in most popular banking institutions. If only for this reason, we have to call the interview for a loan officer job a difficult one.
The success (or failure) is not a question of luck though. Prepare for the questions, do a good research about your prospective employer, learn something your competitors won’t know, and ace your interview. And if you find the entire process confusing or do not know what to do, streamline your interview preparation with my eBook, the Loan Officer Interview Guide.
Thank you for checking it out, and good luck!
* You can also download the list of questions in a one page long PDF, and practice your interview answers anytime later:
May also interest you: