Things You Shouldn’t Say In A Co-Op Interview

When you buy (as opposed to rent) an apartment in NYC there are typically two options: a co-op and a condominium. In comparison, buying a co-op is generally much more strict than a condominium, yet they make up a larger percentage of the city’s housing. However, generally speaking, a co-op provides much more financial security. But the elusive world of NYC co-ops is truly a scary place.

The initial vetting process for starters is daunting. You compile all of your paperwork showing your net worth, liquid assets and annual income, as well as tax returns and brokerage statements and hand it over for review. Ours was a hefty three boxes worth (a record for the co-op we bought into, not to be self-congratulatory or anything).

Doing so is essentially like showing up to a first date naked and being like “well this is what you’re working with so…”

…and things either move forward or end there.

pretty much like so.

Once the board and legal teams have combed over your financials with a fine-toothed comb, and all looks a-okay, you’re onto the co-op board interview, which in itself is a whole other ballgame.

I’ll preface and say I typically like interviews. Job interviews, that is. But when it comes to interviewing for a place to live for the rest of your forseeable life, then it gets a bit intimidating. Co-op interviews differ from job interviews in that typically when interviewing for a job you want to WOW them and impress them. Co-op interviews on the other hand, you want to come across as sane, and normal and middle of the road as possible. You don’t want to set off any red flags so your safe bet is to keep it as ambiguous and general as possible to keep this copacetic.

These people are interviewing you to be their neighbor / stakeholder. They don’t want to hear about how you frequent bars and you get belligerent when your team loses, or how many people you bring home after 3am.

What I Wore:
(sorry I’m not one to take a #OOTD photo)

The goal here was to be as bland and #basic as possible.

  • A pencil skirt that says I’m professional but I do have legs so I’m not a hobbit / I am a real person
  • A white blouse “I stay at home and watch the Mindy Project a lot and play with my cats and prefer hot milk to a night cap” and because were aiming for mundane and stuffy as possible, right?
  • A blazer that says I like to work and I like my job.
  • Patent leather flats because high heels say “I have the ability to bring men home” and “I’m a power bitch” and that is frightening for the conservatives. Flats say “I’m practical and modest and know how to be professional” or they just say my feet hurt so here is my solution at footwear. 
  • Pearls because you want to say “I have money but I’m casual and classy about it”
  • A bra because that’s not part of my regular routine, so I obviously pulled out all the stops for this.
  • Brushed hair since that is also something I rarely do.
Dressing up for me is literally like putting lipstick on a pig

Questions You’ll Be Asked (and how not to answer):

Why are you downsizing?

I wouldn’t say “downsizing” so much as finding a new place to start my new hoarding collection. If by “downsizing” you mean, having less space because I’m going to own more and more cats, than I guess you can say that, yes I am “downsizing”. In that case, I’m “downsizing” to have more cats.

How do you like your job?

To be honest I don’t really like the idea of a job. Being a full time employee is quite daunting and a burden if you ask me. Besides, who likes stability for more than 3 months at a time. Am I right? I’d much prefer hopping around different things and finding what my inner passion speaks to. I mean, the money will come… eventually.

Are you interested in serving on the board?

No not really. I don’t like the idea of a community, despite applying for the co-op. In fact, I’m a bit of a misanthrope. Well, to be honest, I’m a hardcore misanthrope. I hate neighbors. I hate being a pleasant person.

Are you planning a renovation?

HUGE renovations. It’s about to be a pain in your ass. I’m talking building codes, noise, people going in and out, construction for months on end. Don’t hate, renovate!

What are your political beliefs?

I am wayyy far left/right. I don’t believe in moderates nor in moderation. Moderation is not in my vocabulary. I live by go big or go home.

Do you have parties or entertain often?

All. The. Time. Loud ragers that last until 4am! But don’t worry, you’re invited, because EVERYBODY is invited ALL THE TIME!

What do you do in your spare time?

I play the drums. So naturally I have to practice 24/7. In my apartment. And if I’m not playing my very loud drums, then I am probably listening to screamo music on blast in my apartment. I also like to cook very fragrant foods that smell up the entire building.

Why did you choose this apartment / neighborhood?

Because it’s the cool thing to do, right?

Do you have any pets?

I have a massive dog that literally sheds everywhere. He’s not housebroken so he probably will shit and pee everywhere, so sorry in advance. Also, he’s very attached to me, so when I’m away at work during the day he probably will bark incessantly… hopefully its just a phase.


Needless to say, we passed the board interview with flying colors and are now beginning our renovation of the new apartment, which in itself will be it’s own beast (I’ll probably have a ulcer by the time we pick out bathroom tile).

Stay tuned and follow along at APTly Spoken!


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