There are many blogs helping you prepare for interviews, but not quite as many providing specific actuarial interview tips. In this pandemic world of zoom interviews and remote work, making an impact over technology is critical to get the job. What are those things that you need to prepare to have the most effective actuarial interview possible? Rory Hauser, Actuarial Recruiting Practice Lead at Smith Hanley, makes it clear that the “over-riding actuarial interview tip is to communicate how you fit into their hiring need. Not what you want from them and maybe not even what they want from you, but how your skill set, your personality will fulfill their hiring need.” How do you do that?
Dissect the position description and prepare how your skills match what they are looking for. For those points that you aren’t a particularly good fit, be prepared to address them and how you will come up to speed. It might not be evident on your resume that you’ve taken coursework that applies or a boot camp that gives you more in-depth experience that the position description indicates they want.
It’s a Business
Yes, they are interested in you because you have top-flight mathematical skills and probably very good analytical and technical skills as well, but how does that fit into their business need? Do you have the communication and presentation skills as well as the analytical skills to solve their business problems? Do you have the time management skills to excel at a full-time job as well as continue to complete exams? Are you able to demonstrate your passion, energy and creative thinking for this job? As Chan and Yang from the Society of Actuaries said, “If you cannot show people you are good, you are not that good.”
Prove Your Likeability
As an actuary you will need to work independently and as part of a team; a necessary combination to complete projects with an optimal use of resources. Can you make it clear in the interview that you can effectively do both? Create answers that show you can work hard and effectively independently, and collaborate with a variety of team members to be more productive than the sum of individual efforts. Projecting a positive attitude as well as a sharp mind is important. Perhaps bringing up your life outside of work? Healthy hobbies demonstrate a balanced lifestyle and make you more interesting. Are your goals and career plan realistic? Do you come across as a nice person?
Actuarial Interview Tips – Questions
In addition to all the standard questions that you should prepare and practice answers for, here are a few to add that are specifically for an actuarial interview:
- Why do you want to be an actuary?
- How did you study for your exams?
- Why haven’t you taken/passed certain exams yet?
- What were your scores on exams?
- Tell me what an actuary does.
- An actuary must explain technical work to people outside their practice. Tell me about a time where you had to explain something to someone who had no idea what you were talking about.