How to Ace Your Insurance Job Interview
No matter what job you want in the insurance industry, the basic rules of securing a position apply. If you aren't qualified for a job, don't go after it. Some jobs have looser qualifications and you can substitute other experience rather than that of the exact position, but if you want a job as an insurance actuary, you really need to be an actuary. If you're looking for a position in the legal staff, you need to pass your bar first if you want to be an insurance company attorney. The right background and knowledge of the industry can push you to the top of the line but a good spin on your background might be just what the company wants.
Securing a job as an insurance agent isn't easy if the company supplies you with stipend pay for several months until your commissions begin to flow. Before walking into the interview room, make certain that you have a plan for sales that you can relay to the manager. You need an outgoing personality, organizational skills, neat professional appearance and a vague idea of how you'll tackle the job. Knowing a type of market or product that fits your social connections is also a plus. A college degree in any area is a plus.
Companies are normally impressed with people that understand the position. You'll work long hours in the beginning and can't be detoured by hearing the word no. Agents work on the concept that there's one yes in every specific number of no's. The number varies by your skill. Each no means you're closer to achieving the sale. Understanding that concept is one key to closing the interview.
Demonstrate an outgoing comfortable personality. One trick to use in any interview is to reverse rolls.
Instead of telling the interviewer everything about you, ask questions about how he or she began in the insurance industry, how they decided upon a career with XYZ Company and what they believe is the most important part of the job.
Two things will prevent you from securing a position as a representative. The first is a criminal history you attempt to hide and the second is bankruptcy. If you have a record that wasn't sealed when you reached adult age, but it was from late teen years for minor infractions such as malicious mischief, it can damage the interview but won't put you out of the running. If you've recently served a prison sentence for robbery, embezzlement or anything that involved converting another's funds, you simply won't get the position and trying to hide the fact won't do you any good. Most insurance companies offer securities and to get that license, you have to present a fingerprint card and submit to a thorough background check.
Bankruptcy and a bad credit history can also keep you from securing a job. While mismanagement of money and bankruptcy is a black spot in your history, if the reason was medical bills or other problem similar, you may get to the second stage of the interview. Shoot straight with the interviewer. Sometimes, it works in your favor. If you or someone in your family had high medical bills and you didn't have insurance, you probably understand the need for insurance more than anyone else does. Turn the negative into a positive and don't try to hide it. The background check includes a credit check so the company will find it, it's better if you tell them.
Most companies want someone with a background as a representative but it doesn't mean that you won't get the job if you don't have that. If you can show a strong positive history of training sales reps for any type of sales and the capability to learn the industry, you have a chance at the position.
Office and Clerical Staff
If you're applying for a position at the home office, know the position. If you type like the wind and have organizational skills beyond the average, you can get a position in almost any office. An insurance company is no different.
Local offices where you help the representatives require a special personality. Representatives are notoriously lazy when it comes to paperwork and learning the industry, insurance laws and often being willing to sit for a license is a plus. Never turn down the opportunity for your employer to pay for your license. Some states require that anyone who talks to clients about a policy have one and they are somewhat costly. If you can get it free, go for the opportunity. It's one more qualification for your resume.
No matter what type of company employs you, you have to have background in both insurance and bidding on repair. If you know the building trades, becoming an adjuster for homeowner's insurance is a good fit. Anyone with a background in auto insurance that can estimate a job and know what repairs are required normally has a leg up in the auto insurance industry.
Just like all the other workers, you need to have a good working knowledge of the computer. Most of the programs for claims are computerized. You also have to be willing or already possess an adjuster's license. In some cases, insurance companies train you. Show a willingness to take the training and learn. Understand that you have to be kind, polite and still look out for the company's interest.