Interview Workshop. The Pennsylvania State University Actuarial Science Club September 18, 2013. Agenda. Job-Finding Process Career Fair Resume Interview Process Purpose of an Internship Interviewing What Recruiters Want Researching a Company Question Types Thank You Follow- up
Interview Workshop The Pennsylvania State University Actuarial Science Club September 18, 2013
Agenda • Job-Finding Process • Career Fair • Resume • Interview Process • Purpose of an Internship • Interviewing • What Recruiters Want • Researching a Company • Question Types • Thank You Follow-up • General Tips
Are you ready for the Career Fair? • Over 30 companies are coming!! • Sept 26th, 5-8 PM • Business Building Atrium • Dress is business professional • Bring plenty of copies of your resume
Resume • Helps you get the first interview • Makes the first impression and sets the tone for the interview • Be ready to discuss anything on it • Get lots of feedback!
Interview Process • Meet companies and distribute resumes at the career fair • Build your Network • Attend info sessions • Browse the company website • Learn about the company and position • Demonstrate interest – recruiters often track attendance! • Talk to recruiters in a more personal setting • Apply online (Resume, Transcript, Cover Letter, etc) • SmealConnect for Internships • NLCN for full time • Company website • Interview • Most first-round interviews are on-campus • Most second-round interviews are by phone or on-site
Career Fair • Elevator Speech • Shorter for Career Fairs • Elaborate more for Interview • (Tell me about yourself…) • 30 Seconds • Name, Major, Exams, Past Internships • I am looking for… • While at Penn State, I have… • (Leadership Positions, Activities, etc…) • Elevator Pitch
Purpose of an Internship • For you: • Perspective to evaluate: • Company • Profession • Location • Experience • For your next job • For your resume • For the company: • Extended job interview • Many companies do most of their full-time hiring through internships
Interviewing – Two Ways • The recruiter is evaluating if you’re right for the company • You should be evaluating if the company is right for you!
What Recruiters Want • Communication skills / Personality / Leadership • Extracurriculars – focus on transferrable skills • Leadership positions • Dedication to an actuarial career • “What made you want to be an actuary?” • Prior internships • Attempted exams • Major • Technical skills • Passed exams • GPA • MS Excel, MS Access, VBA, coding experience • Time Management (work-exam-life balance) • Responsibilities outside of the classroom (work, extracurriculars) • Evaluate Fit • Are you right for them? • Are they right for you?
Professional Attitude • Respectful yet relaxed • Confident but not arrogant • No matter how qualified, you’re still an unproven entry-level candidate; act like it • Portray that you are willing to learn • “Would I want to work with this person?” • Make the interview conversational and personable
Researching a Company • What is the position like? • How do your qualifications fit their needs? • How does the position fit your goals? • Company information • How do they make money? • Financial health • Current events • Ask good questions • Don’t ask anything available online • Repeating questions to multiple interviewers – can get multiple perspectives • Don’t embarrass yourself
The Interview • Traditional • Behavioral • Case • Analytical
Traditional Questions • Tell me about yourself. • What made you want to be an actuary? • What accomplishment are you most proud of? • What is your greatest strength/weakness? • What are your career goals? • Tell me about [something on your resume]? • What did you learn in your previous internship? • How you prepared for your next exam? • Do you have any unique extracurricular/experiences? • What’s your favorite class?
Behavioral Questions • Tell me about a time when you… • …worked in a team with someone who didn’t pull their weight. • …made an unpopular decision. • …made a mistake. • …balanced multiple commitments. • …had a disagreement with a team. • …proposed an idea that was unpopular. • STAR – be descriptive as if you’re story telling • Situation – recent challenge you were faced with • Task – what you were trying to get out of the situation • Action – what did you do about the situation; alternatives • Result – outcome of what you did; spin it to be positive
Case Questions • 30-45 min interview • Presented with a business problem • Collaborate with your interviewer to arrive at a solution • Assesses your thought process in solving business issues
Analytical Questions • How many taxi cabs are there in NYC? • Could I fit a stack of pennies as tall as the Empire State Building in this conference room? • How many windows are there in the business building? • You won’t know the answer – just talk through your reasoning! • They’re looking for your logic, not the final answer
Thank You Follow-up • Send a “thank you” e-mail to everyone who interviewed you • Remember to get contact information • Personalize each message – recruiters can spot canned responses • Be concise – recruiters are busy!
General Tips • Ask good questions • Pause to collect your thoughts • Give concise and detailed answers • Don’t ramble • Don’t complain or make excuses • Don’t speak negatively • Mock Interview…Practice