Key Interview Skills The following notes summarise the key points to remember when preparing for, and attending interviews with prospective employers. 1. Body Language and Posture Greet the interviewer in a positive and friendly way, giving a firm handshake and looking him/her in the eye Sit in a comfortable and relaxed, but alert posture Ensure that you minimise (or cover up) any nervous mannerisms (e.g. tapping of fingers, playing with hands etc.) 2. Tough Questions Go into the interview expecting to be asked tough questions this will help you to deal with them if/when they come Try t o st ay as calm as possible when you re asked a difficult quest ion remember t hat t he int erviewer isn t necessarily looking for a brilliant answer, but is m ore interested in how you cope with the situation No matter how difficult the question is, try to provide an answer of some kind, even if it isn t as good as you m ight have hoped for Take a few seconds to think about structuring your answer before speaking this can make the difference between a weak and a strong answer Make sure that you have prepared for the interview by trying to anticipate the types of question you might get asked, and thinking about how you would answer them (see the list of possible questions you could get asked at the end of this document) 3. Competency Examples This is likely to be the most important part of the interview, so make sure you are really well prepared for quest ions of t he form : Give m e an exam ple of a t im e when you demonstrated strong <com m unicat ion/ problem solving et c.> skills Prepare well in advance by thinking of occasions when you have demonstrated certain competencies t hese will generally be t im es when you ve been in difficult situations, under pressure, or challenged by some problem or issue The examples can come from any area of your life work, school, college, sports etc. - but should clearly demonstrate a variety of different competencies You should present the example using the following structure: i) describe the situation ii) describe what you did and why iii) describe the outcome The key competencies likely to be tested are: communication skills; team working; analytical skills; understanding customers; problem solving 4. Other Tips Interview performance improves very quickly with experience, so try and get as much practice as you can e.g. use your Careers Service to practise mock interviews, arrange practice interviews with peers etc. Try and stay as calm as possible during the interview anxiety inhibits intellectual thought processes and tends to provoke negative/emotional reactions Further Information For more information on interview techniques, visit the Actuarial Placement Company website (www.actuarial- placements.co.uk) , and click on t he I nt erview Advice link. Finally, good luck!! Possible Interview Questions 1. Tell me about yourself? 2. Name the three key qualities a qualified actuary should have? 3. What benefits do you think your work experience has brought you? 4. What is the greatest challenge facing the actuarial profession over the next 5- 10 years? 5. Why do you want to be an actuary? 6. Name your greatest achievements/challenges. 7. Name your greatest failure/disappointment to date. 8. How did you get interested in the actuarial field? 9. How has your experience with the actuarial exams helped you? 10. What are your key strengths? 11. What are your weaknesses and how are you improving them? 12. What are the greatest assets you could bring to work with you? 13. What three words best describe you? 14. Where do you see yourself five/ten years from now? 15. What are your short- or long- term career goals? 16. Why should we hire you? 17. What do you like about our company/Why do you want to work for us? 18. Do you prefer working independently, or in groups? 19. What do you think are the major [issues/ problems/ threats/ opportunities] facing this [industry/sector/company]? 20. Describe a situation in which you demonstrated leadership/initiative/strong analytical skills etc.
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