Sample Interview Questions

Below are some possible interview questions that you might be asked during an interview for an actuarial position (or even a stepping stone position).

The questions are separated into 5 main categories.  Make sure you can confidently answer all the questions in the first 4 categories (using your story database where applicable).

The questions in the 5th category, Problem-Solving Questions, can be practiced at random.  Try giving a logical answer in 2-3 minutes.

Get to Know You Questions
  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What makes you unique from the other candidates?
  3. What motivates you?
  4. Why do you want to work here?
  5. What are your biggest strengths?
  6. What are your biggest weaknesses?
  7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 15?
  8. How do you handle stressful situations?
  9. What will you bring to the company?
  10. What qualities make you a good leader?
  11. What do you do in your free time from work?
  12. What is your ideal work environment or culture?
  13. How do you keep yourself organized?
  14. Describe your work style.
  15. Do you prefer working alone or in a team environment?
  16. Who is your hero and why?
  17. What is the most valuable piece of advice that you’ve been given?
  18. Who has had the biggest impact on your career?
  19. What is your favorite book? Why?
  20. Tell me about your lifelong goals and aspirations.
Experience Verification Questions
  1. What skills did you gain from your last job?
  2. Describe an important project that you have worked on.
  3. What were your responsibilities at your last job?
  4. What is your biggest accomplishment in your career thus far?
  5. What are some positive things your previous employer would say about your work?
  6. What are some negative things your previous employer would say about your work?
  7. How does your prior experience prepare you for this job?
  8. Describe how your prior experience matches the requirements for this role.
  9. Tell me about your role at your previous job.
  10. What is the single most valuable thing you learned from your previous job?
  11. Give me an example of a new strategy that you implemented at your previous role?
  12. Tell me about the last project that you ran and how it turned out?
  13. You listed X skill on your resume. Tell me how you used it at your last job?
  14. Tell me more about X project that you mentioned on your resume.
  15. What aspect of your previous job was the most rewarding?
  16. What aspect of your previous job was the least rewarding?
  17. How are you going to translate your prior experience to this job?
  18. Tell me about your career path thus far.
  19. Tell me about your coursework in college.
  20. How did you define, track, and achieve success in your previous role?
Behavioral Questions
  1. Tell me about a difficult work situation and how you overcame it.
  2. How would you deal with disagreement in the workplace?
  3. Describe a time your boss was wrong. How did you handle the situation?
  4. Describe a time you went above and beyond expectations.
  5. Tell me about a time when your work was criticized.
  6. How would you deliver bad feedback?
  7. How do you establish credibility and earn respect from your manger and team?
  8. If you were given multiple tasks to finish before the end of the day, but it was impossible to complete them all, what would you do?
  9. If you found out your company was involved in something illegal, what would you do?
  10. How would you handle a situation where a teammate was not doing their part?
  11. Tell me about a time where you showed leadership.
  12. Have you been giving an assignment that was too difficult for you? How did you handle this situation?
  13. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
  14. What would your first 30 days look like in this role? 90 days?
  15. Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone whose personality was different than yours.
  16. Tell me about a time you needed information from someone who wasn’t very responsive.
  17. Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself and how you made sure you met your objective.
  18. How would you go about persuading someone to see things your way at work?
  19. Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to quickly solve a difficult situation.
  20. Tell me about a time when you had to rely on written communication to get your ideas across.
Technical Questions/Knowledge-Based Questions
  1. Tell us what a cumulative distribution function is and when we use it in statistics?
  2. What steps would you take to verify large datasets?
  3. What coding language are you most comfortable with?
  4. Explain the role of the actuarial analyst at an insurance company.
  5. Explain the role of an actuarial analyst at an investment firm.
  6. Explain the role of an actuarial analyst at a consulting firm.
  7. Tell me about the most complex project you’ve done in Excel.
  8. Name some of the most common software used in the actuarial industry.
  9. Explain an actuarial life table.
  10. How would you describe a very statistically involved process to someone with little mathematical skills?
  11. Explain an actuarial reserve.
  12. What steps would you take if you came across flawed data in an analysis?
  13. Talk about your computer programming skills.
  14. Share an experience in which you effectively computed and analyzed data.
  15. You are gathering information from multiple sources. How do you determine which information is relevant?
  16. Explain how the law of large numbers is used in the context of insurance.
  17. What is your first step when analyzing new data?
  18. What is a deductible?
  19. Describe to me how insurance works.
  20. Tell me some differences between property and casualty insurance and life and health insurance.
Problem Solving Questions
  1. How many stacked pennies would it take to reach the height of the Empire State Building?
  2. How many ping pong balls could you fit in an airplane?
  3. If you had the ability to time travel, what’s the first thing you’d do?
  4. If you could get rid of any US state, which would you choose? Why?
  5. Why do they make manhole covers round?
  6. If you could have one superpower, what would you choose? Why?
  7. If you could have any animal, what would you choose? Why?
  8. How would you weigh an elephant without using a scale?
  9. How many times do clock hands overlap in 24 hours?
  10. Sell me this pen.
  11. How many tennis balls can fit into a limousine?
  12. If I roll two dice, what is the probability that I will get a six on the second roll?
  13. If you only have a three-gallon jug and a five-gallon jug, how can you measure out exactly four gallons of water?
  14. You are traveling to Chicago to visit some friends. You call three of your friends to see if it is raining in the city. What is the probability that it is actually raining?
  15. How many gas stations are there in the US?
  16. How many restaurants are in New York City?
  17. Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?
  18. Describe the color yellow to someone who is blind.
  19. How would you fight a bear?
  20. How many gallons of paint does it take to paint the outside of the White House?

Module 5 – Lesson 2

Module 5 – Lesson 4