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Thread: Failed phone interview from Health insurance company

  1. #1
    Actuary.com - Newbie Poster
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    Angry Failed phone interview from Health insurance company

    I failed the phone interview from a health insurance company. The recruiter asked me what is my expectation for an actuary. I told her that as an actuary , you need to manage risk using your math and statistical skill. She told me that as an actuary you deal little with math. Most of the times, you are communicating with the underwriter. This is the first time for me to know that there are such a big difference between Health insuracen industry and life insuracen industry. I should do more homework before I picked up the phone. Anybody here can give me some more information about a typical health actuary. And where can I find some more information about that?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    Rude awakening?

    I've heard that P&C actuaries deal with more interesting mathematical models. Maybe this is what you're looking for? Maybe you want to get into the research side of actuarial science? If a health actuary is what you want to be, you should have reasons on why that's what you want to be.

    Good luck.

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    I think people (myself included) don't know much about the insurance industry or what our jobs as actuary's will be.

    I think I might have said something similar to what you said, abc.

    I used to work at a travel agency where people would send in their resume's saying "Hire me, I like to travel." Those get tossed in the recycling real fast. In the travel biz, you don't get to travel, you plan trips for others.

    From what I gather, there's a disconnect between what we think our jobs will be, based on the tools we're learning, and our actual roles when we get into a company - especially entry level.

    FWIW, I think the "day in the life of an actuary" articles on beanactuary and elsewhere might be helpful. Make points, and spout them off in the interview or come up with interview questions that people in the forum can help answer.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by abc
    I failed the phone interview from a health insurance company.
    ABC,

    I think the answer the person looking for regarding communication really fits all lines of actuarial work. In an actuarial role, one is typically dealing with other departments, managers, other actuaries, etc. So communications is a big aspect to most hiring authorities. Maybe your answer combined with the communications answer is really the best answer. Also, its alway tough to answer totally open ended questions because two different interviewers (even for the same job) are typically looking for two different answers. If you really want to add something to the answer tell them you feel you are particularly good at explaining complex actuarial concepts to non-actuaries...this answer also adds to your actuarial communication skill set.

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    Unhappy

    It seems actuaries are also like salemen? They are totally apart from insurance sales, right? Are there well defined duties for an actuary?

  6. #6
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    Pricing actuaries work closely with underwriters if that is what you mean.

  7. #7
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    Pricing & Interviews

    Look here ABC I work for a general insurance company (that's what they call them in the UK) and I don't think it fair for them to expect you to know in detail that you would need to talk to underwriters, etc.

    Before I got my job, I also failed a telephone interview on virtually exactly the same question as you.

    No one really has that great an idea what a role will be like unless they've worked in one similar. Your answer was a good one. I am an actuarial pricing analyst and I am constantly using my maths skills - mostly to build statistical models (risk models), etc.

    So don't feel too bad.

  8. #8
    Actuary.com - Level VI Poster Ken's Avatar
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    I don't think your answer to this question is the one that made you fail the phone interview. Unless you have answers that set off red flags like, I really hate working with other people or My boss fired me because I don't do work when I'm supposed to be doing it, there is no single question that disqualifies you from the position.

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    just wanna share a piece of my thoughts.

    I think for me, i usually don't mension "mathematical skills". I would say "working closely with numbers". I don't think I will mension "statistical skills". I would say "statistical models".

    I think my answer to that question in the interview of a health care company is something like "Being an actuary is about judgement, it's about using the gathered data information to predict future risk. In the case of working in a health care company, I am great working with numbers and I can offer my statistical modelling techniques to help your company gain profit from your health care products and minimizing cost of clamins from your clients."

  10. #10
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    Narrow-minded recruiter response

    :skeptical:
    Quote Originally Posted by abc View Post
    I failed the phone interview from a health insurance company. The recruiter asked me what is my expectation for an actuary. I told her that as an actuary , you need to manage risk using your math and statistical skill.
    That's an excellent response.
    She told me that as an actuary you deal little with math.
    That may be true of some health actuarial trainees, but for most it's nonsense. It's common to use calculus and other advanced math in actuarial student assignments.
    Most of the times, you are communicating with the underwriter.
    This must be specific to the job, because it's not generally true.
    This is the first time for me to know that there are such a big difference between Health insuracen industry and life insuracen industry. I should do more homework before I picked up the phone. Anybody here can give me some more information about a typical health actuary. And where can I find some more information about that?

    Thank you
    Don't get discouraged too easily. It could take many more interviews to find the job that fits your skills. Keep trying until you get one. :smiloe:
    Last edited by JMO Fan; May 1st 2007 at 04:27 PM.
    I thought this WAS a real job

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