Interview Skills and Tips

Prepare for interview

If you prepare in advance for your interview and you will increase your chance of success. Our tip to improve your interview skills are to prepare in advance (1) your story and (2) answers to competency based questions.

Be able to tell your story

A classic introductory question at interview is “tell me about yourself”. This is your opportunity to present yourself and your career to date in the best possible light.

Consider this like a presentation and practice it in advance of interview. In answering this you should:

  • Speak clearly and concisely about your career to-date, starting from your college degree up to the present day.
  • Make it interesting and include some positives from each role.
  • Give the interviewer an insight into your personality. This allows them to see how you might interact with possible work colleagues. It also allows your interviewees to dig deeper into specific areas of interest so make sure you highlight areas you want to talk about.

Practice competency-based questions

Be prepared at interview to answer a typical competency-based question like: “Tell me about a time where you had to solve a problem, how did you go about this and how did you ensure it was communicated to the right people” or “how do you deal with a difficult client or staff member?”

Employers use competency-based questions to ascertain whether your knowledge, skills, abilities, aptitude and motivation match those required by the job. The key to interview preparation here is to:

  • Analyse the role profile and really understand what competencies your potential employer is looking for.
  • Have 2 to 3 practical examples of how you displayed that competency in the past, then practice your answer so you can communicate them in a natural and confident way. This allows your audience to believe you are the right person for the role.
  • Stick to the point and highlight the actuarial skills that you have used. Remember you are talking to an audience that deals in facts.

Competency based interviews are based on the view that past performance is an indicator of future success. Excelling at something in the past means that it is likely you will do so again. Where you have made mistakes you need to show you have learnt from the experience.

Remember – an interview is positive

Lastly remember that employers want you to do well and succeed in your interview. If you have reached interview stage this is a positive event and it means you are considered a potential match for the company. Employers put time into interviews and find it disappointing when a candidate does not reach the required standard.

Raretec interview prep

At Raretec we prepare you for interviews using mock interviews and assist you in identifying and preparing for competency questions. If you are an actuary or trainee actuary looking for interview help or advice then feel free to get in touch with jacqui.vanteutem@raretec.ie or susan.bradley@raretec.ie or call us on +35315311400.

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