actuarial interview questions: 54 Actuarial Interview Questions (Plus Sample Answers)


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    We all want to do our best in an interview, but it can be difficult to know what to expect. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common questions asked during actuarial interviews and provide sample answers. First up? The ever-popular question “What’s your greatest weakness?”

    Actuarial interview questions

    • Actuarial interview questions
    • Sample answers

    What are the most common actuarial interview questions?

    Actuarial interview questions can be tough and sometimes even feel unfair. But that doesn’t mean you should be unprepared for them.

    Here are some of the most common actuarial interview questions:

    • What’s on your resume? Why did you choose each job? How do your skills translate from one position to another? How long have you been in this industry, and what kind of experience do you have with it? What makes this position better than other ones out there (if applicable)?

    Why do you want to be an actuary?

    An actuary is a professional who works with insurance companies to help them assess the risk of future events and make decisions about how much money they should charge for their products. Actuaries use statistics, mathematics and economics to make these calculations, which can be very complicated.

    An actuarial career requires a lot of hard work and dedication–but if you’re up for it, there are many benefits! For example:

    • It’s one of the highest-paying jobs available today (and getting higher). The average salary is around $100k per year in 2016; however some top earners earn over $200k annually!
    • You get paid well but also have job security because actuaries are always needed by insurance companies or other organizations that need their services.*

    Do you have any related experience?

    If you have related experience, make sure to mention it. If you don’t, don’t worry! You can also talk about your related experience in the cover letter.

    In this section, we’ll go over some examples of how to handle this question.

    How did you hear about this position?

    The interviewer may ask you how you heard about this position. If you are applying to a job posting, make sure to explain how you came across it. Did someone share it with you? Did a friend tweet about it?

    If someone referred your name for consideration (which is quite common in the actuarial field), be sure to mention that person by name and explain their connection with the company: “I was referred by Jane Doe from Accounting.” If someone has been working with an external recruiter on finding candidates for internal roles at the company, then let them know that as well!

    What do you know about our company?

    The interviewer wants to know what you know about the company and how well you understand it. You should be able to explain at least some of the following:

    • The company’s history, including when it was founded, any major acquisitions or divestitures (the sale or shutdown of part of a business), and key milestones in its development. For example, “XYZ Insurance was founded in 1996 by Joe Smith and Jim Jones.”
    • The current state of affairs at XYZ Insurance–how many employees work there? What kind of projects are they working on? How much revenue does it generate?
    • A few details about each product or service offered by XYZ Insurance, including what sets them apart from competitors’ offerings; for example: “Our most popular product is life insurance because customers like knowing that we’ll pay out if something happens to them.”

    What’s the most stressful situation you’ve faced at work and how did you handle it?

    The most important thing to remember is that the interviewer wants to hear about your problem-solving skills and how you handled the situation. They want to know if you can think on your feet and what kind of decisions or actions you took to resolve the issue.

    Here are some examples of how this question could be answered:

    • “I was working on a project with another analyst, but we were having trouble communicating effectively because we disagreed on how best to approach it. So I went back and forth with him until we found a way forward that worked for both of us.”
    • “I was working on an audit team where everyone was very busy with other projects at their firm, so they weren’t able to give me much support when I needed help understanding some new technical concepts.”

    What are your career goals? How does this position fit into your career goals?

    • What are your career goals?
    • How does this position fit into those goals?
    • How would you like to grow in this position?
    • How would you like to grow at the company

    Describe a time when you were faced with a difficult decision. How did you make the decision and why was it important to make the right decision at that time?

    When asked to describe a time when you were faced with a difficult decision, it’s important to explain the process by which you made the decision. You should also describe why this was an important decision for you at that time and how it turned out. If possible, give some examples of decisions that have been similarly difficult for other people in your field or career path.

    The interviewer wants to know whether or not you can think through problems logically and make good choices based on evidence rather than emotion or personal preference. They also want to see if this process will work well within their organization because every company has different goals and procedures that may require different ways of approaching problems (for example: one company might focus more heavily on teamwork while another might value independence).

    Give an example of how your team or group was able to accomplish something exciting or challenging. Be sure to explain how each person contributed to the success of the project. Also describe what else each person could’ve done better or differently, and why. To do well on this question, it helps if you can draw from direct experience working in some kind of team environment (e.g., sports teams, clubs or school projects). If don’t have direct experience, then think about other contexts in which you’ve worked as part of a group, such as volunteer work or political organizing (this might be especially easy if you’re applying for an actuarial job in Washington!).

    • Describe the project.
    • Describe the team.
    • Describe how everyone contributed to the success of this project. Also describe what else each person could have done better or differently, and why. For example: “The project was successful because each member was able to do their job well and communicate effectively with one another.” Or “I think we could have improved upon our process by creating more opportunities for input before making decisions.”

    Now that you’ve read through these sample answers, it’s time for you to write your own! Remember that there’s no right way to answer these questions–the most important thing is that your response is honest and thoughtful.

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