Businesses are increasingly savvy about risk and actuaries will be in demand to help solve important risk-related business problems. Additionally, opportunities are expected because of the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act.
For those seeking entry-level positions, employers will look most favorably upon candidates who have passed at least two exams and have at least one internship experience, preferably more than one.
Candidates pursuing opportunities in business should be able to demonstrate experience in multiple functional areas (pricing, reserving, capital management, etc.) and in multiple business units. Earning the Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) designation can lead to opportunities to work anywhere in the world.
In addition to quantitative prowess, computer skills are a must. Employers will be looking for candidates with a mastery of Excel, Access, and Word and who are proficient in SQL, VBA, and C++.
Sample of Possible Interview Questions for Actuaries:
Tell me about a time when you came up with a different plan or strategy than your supervisor. How did you handle it?
What do you do when someone challenges your strategy?
How do you determine what information is relevant to an issue?
What do you do when you have limited information and have to make an important decision?
Discuss your record-keeping system.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken?
How do you feel the (insurance) industry is changing in light of health care reform?
Are you a member of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) or the Society of Actuaries (SOA)? What is your level of involvement?
What is the first thing you do when you identify a new risk?
What should be the top three goals of SSDI reform?
What are the risks and rewards for you of working here?
What do you do when you are overloaded with information and need to make a decision?
Describe the purpose of risk management within an organization.
Talk about your experience with pricing, reserving, and capital modeling.
Is risk always a negative for an organization?
How have you helped an employer achieve marketplace success?
What would you tell an employer who wished to begin offering new products related to sustainability?
How would you assess our incentive compensation plan?
How do you effectively communicate technical information to a layperson?
What do you know about the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO)?