New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine July/August 2020 free digital issue




Buyer Recounts Virtual Interview With Co-op Board

New York City

Virtual interview, co-op board, co-op purchase, coronavirus pandemic.
April 15, 2020

The buyer of an Upper West Side co-op apartment recently had a virtual interview with the co-op board via FaceTime, a once-unthinkable event that is on its way to becoming the norm during the coronavirus pandemic. The buyer shared her thoughts with Brick Underground.

Was the interview different from what you expected?

Essentially it was four board members online asking me a whole series of questions. I was anticipating the worst but they were very nice. I didn't feel interrogated apart from the financials, which I was anticipating. They asked what my financial future looks like given the state of the world right now, with increasing layoffs happening in every industry. I happen to be in the life sciences industry so we are busier than ever. 

What did you think of the online format?

I do WebEx meetings with teams based all over the world for my job, and it is mandatory that we have our webcams on during our meetings, which we have done forever, so I'm pretty used to it. I've also had the opportunity to interview physicians via GoToMeeting in the past, but it was a little intimidating or nerve-wracking because it was my first co-op board interview. Having not met these people in person, it is hard to say what their personalities are like when everyone is on their phone and it is four faces looking at you. They were very straightforward and I would have loved to meet them in person, of course, to get a better sense of people in the building. 

How did they structure the meeting?

They had one leader and each of the members asked individual questions. There wasn't really any small-talk except when asking what hobbies I did and whether I had pets. They asked me if I traveled a lot for work and whether I had been out of the country in the past several months and I think that was probably related to the COVID-19

They also asked me to tell them about myself and I walked them through the history of my adult life and career. I happened to have had several moves over the past couple of years due to circumstances beyond my control so that was a big question. They wanted to understand why I had had several jobs in a very short period of time. As I explained to them, I went to a startup in Boston and after 18 months there was no more money so that ended that. Prior to that, I had been at another organization that was purchased and they got rid of all the executive leadership team.

How did the interview play out?

I was approved the next morning and they were very open about saying, 'because of the ban we don't know about when we can agree to a closing date.' Hopefully, we will close sometime soon because my mortgage expires in the middle of May. I was coached by my brokers not to get into the details of move-in dates and closing dates because that would be handled by the attorneys. The board members were very forthcoming that they had banned any moving in or out. I don't have a home because I still haven't closed. I’m stuck in Delaware at my mom’s house.

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