January 6, 2020

The 10-Minute, 10-Question Guide Insurance Executives Use To Interview

by Scott Thompson

Insurance executives face the toughest interview of any person in the insurance industry. Why? Because…

  • Companies like to throw in unconventional interview questions
  • Companies directly ask about failures, many of which are public knowledge
  • Companies want an ‘accomplishments’ narrative rather than a list of responsibilities
  • Companies will turn up the heat on the number of interviews & participants
  • Companies expect your answers to involve a lot of strategic market insight
  • Companies want to hear creative solutions for their business when you’ve never worked there

Now, all this might sound intimidating.  As an experienced insurance executive, you’ve been down this path before. That said, the biggest trap is overthinking the interview preparation. We don’t want you to stress. Your interview process could take 4 months or 4 years, but you only need 10 minutes and 10 questions to prepare for an executive interview.

  1. What is the best way to describe your leadership experience?
  2. How have you grown business operations, increased revenue and created sustainable profitability?
  3. What achievements reveal your ability to build competitive, dynamic businesses in the face of so much acquisition and private equity activity in the domestic and international insurance community?
  4. How do you create a Best in Class culture that drives employee engagement, meets client needs and establishes strong rapport with vendors/partners?
  5. When have you encountered a ‘no-win’ situation where you felt inadequately prepared or equipped for the task ahead?
  6. How have you resolved difficult financial decisions (including ones with conflicting interests from executive colleagues, dissenting opinions within a board of directors or with outside parties [attorneys and CPAs]?
  7. What steps do you take to ensure continued personal and professional growth?
  8. If you could give advice to your 25-year old self, what would you say about a career in insurance?
  9. How would your colleagues describe you?
  10. Why are you the best person for this position?

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