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What to expect from long, multi-person interview?

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  • What to expect from long, multi-person interview?

    I'm very excited to be having a real interview tomorrow. A month or so ago, I had a phone interview with one company, but even though I thought that phone interview went really well, they didn't choose to go on with me. So, after having a phone interview with a different company, I wasn't holding my breath that I'd have success with that one. When they called me, I was all set to take the rejection, but instead they told me they wanted me to come in for a face-to-face interview. So, I'm quite happy. Anyway...

    My interview is going to be a total of five hours. One hour is a lunch with two actuarial students (one of whom, it seems, is the senior actuarial analyst and one is presumably fairly junior). I assume the lunch is more to see if they can tolerate working with me each day, not to see if I'm qualified. After that, I have half an hour with someone from HR/recruiting. Then I have five one-on-one interviews with five different FSAs, each 45 minutes long except for one that's 30 minutes long. Anyway, I'm impressed that the company dedicates that much time to each candidate they bring in for an actual interview. Even so, there's a lot that can be asked in five hours.

    I assume others have been through this sort of interview before. Does each interviewer tend to ask the same questions? Does each interviewer tend to ask two or three grill-me type questions and spend the rest of the time chit-chatting about me and the company in a more low-pressure way? Will I probably be asked both the typical "tell me a time you.../how are you qualified" type situational/personal history questions as well as technical questions (like, show me how you'd write a VBA function to do this or explain different types of collars for financial derivatives)? It seems like there's time to cover a LOT of ground. What should I expect? Thanks.
    Last edited by mcgruff; November 19 2008, 07:47 AM. Reason: typo correction

  • #2
    It really depends on the people you interview with. Definitely be prepared to answer behavioral questions, definitely read up on the company and the industry the company is in (health, P&C, etc.) so you have something to talk about and ask questions about. Hopefully if your interviewers are good then you will get the bare minimum of behavioral questions (some companies require people to ask them) and spend most of the time casually talking about yourself and the company. Make sure to answer the behavioral questions similar from person to person i.e. don't make up new scenarios for each interviewer for the same question. Also be prepared to answer technical questions too, those probably shouldn't come up but they might ask you conceptually how would you approach a problem. Maybe they don't want an exact answer but they do want to hear your logic.

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    • #3
      Practice pertinent responses to "Tell me a time you overcame a difficult challenge or completed a complex task."

      Avoid answering or asking questions about pay & benefits. They're self-centered. Wait for an offer.

      Prepare to ask, "What could I do in this job during the first six months that would make you say I'm a success?"

      Good Luck!
      I thought this WAS a real job

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      • #4
        In the interview I had recently, I was asked something like "do you insist on accuracy or do you accept data that are not exactly accurate but works in that situation"?

        How would you answer this question?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Chopin-Lover View Post
          In the interview I had recently, I was asked something like "do you insist on accuracy or do you accept data that are not exactly accurate but works in that situation"?

          How would you answer this question?
          I am not sure but it seems as if they were trying to see if you are anal in reconciling (like accountants have to be). A lot of times we do data pulls from the warehouse and reconcile to the lags (or other sources) and most of the time we will be off by less than half a percent which is perfectly acceptable for any study that I have done but would not be acceptable by the accounting standards. That being said, sure you could figure out where you are off and why (maybe there's retro activity you are not taking into account) but how much time would it take you? As such oftentimes we take the data, try to scrub it down, reconcile it and just roll with it. Our job isn't to just reconcile statements, it's to infer results from the data and as such we always try to be cautious i.e. it's better if your claims were .5% higher than the lags and your premium was .3% lower so you have a little buffer zone.

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