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Thread: How to Interview - Questions and Answers

  1. #11
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Thumbs up Can we share and discuss our interview experience for others' reference?

    Just like Irish Blue said, interview skill is the king to find a good actuarial job in the United States. For the benefits of our members and those new comers of this profession, why not let us share and discuss our real interview experience here for their reference?

    Here are some challenging interview questions I have experienced in the past six months:

    What is your top skills ? (Aviva Life Insurance)

    Why should I recruit you? (ING)

    Please describe youself with five words? (ING)

    How do you deal with the disputes in the teamwork? (Hewitt)

    Give me an example of your decision process? (Hewitt)

    What is your favorite course in your college? (Birkshire)

    I do not think I answer them well so I fail to secure a job offer so far. Maybe some senior members here can help us analyze these questions and give us some hints how to deal with such kind of questions.

    As a new member of this forum, I strongly suggest some senior member to open a new section to improve our interview skills by means of case study. We can analyze our members' real interview experience and show how to be a great interviewer. I am currently not too busy and I can assist our senior members to start this section.

    Thanks for your reading and feedbacks!
    Life can always find its way out

  2. #12
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    Have you checked the sticky? http://www.actuary.com/actuarial-dis...read.php?t=863

    I thought, Who is your role model?, was a difficult question.
    Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

  3. #13
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    Behavior-oriented questioning ... I think at some point I went on a tirade about it. IMO, it's perfect if you're one of those people who would fall inside the "bell-shaped curve" when it comes to personality. I don't.

    I'm not the target audience for advertising by any stretch of the imagination, I'm not Joe Average when it comes to learning, and I'm not Joe Average when it comes to problem solving; I don't solve problems like "normal" people. As a result, I think behavior-oriented questioning does a very poor job assessing me.

    How did you handle the situation? I handled it - I don't feel a need to go through a 13-step description of what I thought, when I thought it, and how I thought it. I handled the situation as best I could, I didn't stop to ask for a mid-situation review so I knew I was doing OK.

    How did you feel afterwards? It was done, it was over - it was time to move to the next thing. I didn't have time to dwell on it, write a 4-page story in my diary so I could reflect on it for years to come, ... I was glad it was done, I was ready to do whatever was next.

    I'd love to give suggestions on how to handle these questions, but I can't. I'm not someone who can wax poetically about, "Well gee, I remember this time when ...." - I'd much rather the employer say, "Here - show us what you know."

  4. #14
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    I think at the lower levels, it's fair to say that you don't really know anything. I suppose they could open up excel and say, show me how you would copy this data from here to here. I don't think it would be very informative. Plus, they can change what you know, but it's a lot harder to change someone's personality/ behavioral traits.
    Whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be running.

  5. #15
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    I'm going to school and working part time. I will be starting a second job to try to get some experience in something other than a no-responsibility student worker position at my university, but essentially I am just getting into an almost-no-responsibility position at a brokerage as an intern, doing bottom-rung activities.

    When I go into interviews and they ask me about what I've implemented, or about challenges working with coworkers -- I don't have experience in these regards. I've only had two 'real' jobs in my life, including the one I'm about to start as the 2nd. My plate is pretty full with full-time school and two part-time jobs, and studying for the exams.

    I feel like the entire interview process is me trying to spin what I've done to make it seem bigger than it is. What can I do to increase my competitiveness to employers?

  6. #16
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    Be honest with them, most have been in your position. Try to talk about projects and teams you've worked on for class assignments. When they talk about deadlines, refer to trying to get something big done for a class before the due date. The real point of these questions is to learn more about you personally, so relax and you should do fine (unless of course you have a horrible personality, in which case you're '''''ed :Shocked: )

    Good luck.

  7. #17
    Actuary.com - Level II Poster
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    morning

    honesty , honety , honesty and confidence ! this is all you need , but its easier said than done.

    if you know how best to package honesty and confidence , and sell it to the interviewer , your good . This is all relative ; so each individual will have to figure out this for his/herself.

    Its what i've used thus far ,and it has worked .

  8. #18
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    ... they can change what you know, but it's a lot harder to change someone's personality/ behavioral traits.
    I've noticed a lot of tips along the lines of, "When they ask X, they really want to know Y."

    In the actuarial profession, communication is a critical attribute. Is it fair to say that interviewers are not as concerned with what your answers are, but rather how you answer them? For example, giving concrete answers, logical, rational communication of an idea, good temperament, etc.?

  9. #19
    Actuary.com - Level I Poster
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    I work for an Insurance company in the IT department currently. I am looking to shift to the actuarial field (btw: I passed P and FM). If I were to apply in my company for the actuarial job, what kind of questions should I be expecting? I can't imagine going thru the same set of 'Behavior oriented' questions again since it is a new department now? Did anyone come across a situation like this before?

    Also, at what point should I let my current manager know that I am looking to shift to Actuarial field? I don't think I can avoid this part since the actuarial manager would talk to the IT manager to get a feedback on my performance in the current job before considering me. So, how can I best handle this situation?

    Thanks for all the people who post on this forum. It is really helping me in preparing for the interview process.

  10. #20
    Actuary.com - Level IV Poster
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    You should talk to your current supervisor BEFORE you apply for the position. Getting your current supervisor to support you is very important and this is not likely if he/she feels blindsided.

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