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I'm pretty positive I just failed an interview for an actuarial

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I'm pretty positive I just failed an interview for an actuarial position.

The guy asked me the question "what's one way you've seen the actuarial industry change within the past few years?" and I said something about the Affordable Care Act and he said said "Ok, what's one risk and one benefit that the affordable care act has caused for actuaries?"

And I had no fucking clue how to answer that. I had a long pause and then said something about how to be honest I would need to read and look at it more closely to know.

How do you prepare for this kind of thing?
Interview advice? Why is it so hard for me to get an internship? My background is there on the technical side.
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>>988671
Interviewers like honesty.
Saying you didn't know and that you'd need to look more closely into it for an answer is so much better than bullshitting an answer.
Saying you don't know something during an interview isn't an end all be all. So if the rest of your interview went well, there's still hope for you. Don't worry about it too much, and good luck.
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>>988671
I doubt you failed the interview because of that. Most interviewers try to ask at least one question they know is going to trip you up just to see how you will handle it. The fact that you admitted you don't know instead of trying to give him a bs answer actually serves in your favor. Since this is for an internship position they don't expect you to be fully knowledgable. Relax, bro, you probably did fine.
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>>988675
And I didn't even see this post before writing my response.
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>>988676
>>988675
A lot of my answers kinda smelled like BS though I realize now. All the questions were like that.

I don't know, there were a lot of other problems. Like when he said "Tell me a time when you had to go completely against the rest of your coworkers" and so I did.

The reason it smells like bs is because I included technical knowledge on my resume that I don't actually know more than the basics about. Plus when he said to explain to him a mathematical concept that I explained to my class, I tried explaining it for like 5-6 minutes and he just listened but I could tell he wasn't quite following so he said "I'm not quite following but I'm sure if I were there I could see the presentation and understand better." This was a phone interview.

The problem here is that he went to the exact same college as me, graduated in 2014, and was in my major. That's how closely he knows exactly what I'm talking about. That's why if I say "oh I was in a class and completed a project about X", he goes "tell me, what was the structure of the project?" and I'm realizing that more than likely he was in the same class and did the same project and thus he knows that it actually didn't take much time to do or something, even though I'm normally good at making things sound a little better than they are.
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>>988684
But for that question, I actually paused for a really, really long time over the telephone before answering because I had absolutely no idea how to respond to "tell me a time when you had to go completely against the rest of your coworkers".

I told about a volunteering experience I had 2 years ago instead, where I suggested to restructure the way we volunteer so that it allows the children we helped to choose who helps them. Completely, 100% unrelated to anything actuarial.

I will say that the questions I asked him, at least, were good and detailed.

I don't know how all this works to be honest though. I just want to "pass" this part of the interview process, if at all possible. Basically, now that I know how hard these questions are gonna be, I just want another chance..
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>>988689
if this doesn't work you will get another interview someplace else.

i normally reach out to like 5 companies when looking for a job - 3 call back for interview and i get 1 job
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>>988706
Too bad I missed the boat on actuarial internships though. I want to become an actuary is the problem, but I graduate December of 2016 and it seems like all the internships have just about all finished up recruiting by now. For some reason they do it really early for actuaries.

If not, I need some way to get a job after graduation that isn't minimum wage, even it's not good. Just a salary job with health insurance, basically. That's all I need but I'm terrified that if I don't land an internship I won't be able to do it.
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>>988714
Keep applying to places like mad, utilize resources your school offers. These places are usually actively looking for students. Short of what you want, go for the next best thing.

And start earlier next year. I didn't learn that lesson until my senior year either. I panicked, applied like crazy, then got a few things on lock down.

Also anxiety will never go away unfortunately, if it's not one thing it's another, so just get used to that. In the meantime utilize it to your advantage.
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>>988671
Any tips for getting those interviews? I'm strongly considering the actuarial profession, heck - know any good documentaries? Where was/is the job anyway?
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>>989153
I got a few interviews for the internships through my university mostly. They come to us a lot, so I just go to the job info session, then speak to the person that presents to us and sometimes they offer an interview. The other way was going to the CAS annual conference, which I guess happened to be in my city, and meeting actuaries there, giving them my resume and asking what kinds of positions they know of with openings.

The interview in question was for Cigna this time, so health insurance.

I don't know any documentaries, but the SOA site is where I get pretty much all my information, followed by the CAS site, and I am studying for actuarial exams.
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>>988671

Try to make an interview go like an actual conversation. if you don't know, say you don't know.
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Wow, I just looked up the guy I talked to on LinkedIn. He's just like me, has joined the same university clubs and everything, only a year ahead of me. I can't believe it. This was probably my best shot of getting anywhere and I ruined it.
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>>989304
Damn.
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>>989153
No, there are no documentaries. Why would a documentary help? This is a profession not the story of the '86 Mets.
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>>989304
>>989304
I'm an FSA, admittedly as a Life actuary and not in Healthcare, but your story is a common one. I've interviewed dozens of interns and entry level candidates over 15 years.

I don't think you ruined the interview, but you certainly didn't give an answer that stood out in a positive way. Landing an actuarial job has gone beyond not screwing up an interview, but standing out with a passion for the profession, which you clearly don't have or otherwise can't articulate. The bar has been raised because of the glut of entry-level candidates, as you probably know from your other classmates' success/failure getting jobs out of school.

Let's start with the interviewer. Your classmate, even if he was your best friend, has been out of school for around 18 months now. That's a ton of time being out in the real world and seeing what actuaries really do. His experience, though limited (besides he's not even a "real" actuary) dwarfs anything you've learned in school. He's not looking to know the technical aspects of what you asked, he wants to know how much of an autist you're going to be when you have to deal with actual people. So answer his question!

You asked how to prepare for all of this, since you don't know what you're going to be asked. For your level, you're going to get 3 types of questions.
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>>990752
(Continued)

1: Behavioral ("Tell me about a time when you...") - You should have 2-3 stories drilled into your head, and be prepared to talk about them inside and out. Details, results, and most importantly how you acted. All these questions should come back to one of these stories. A time you showed leadership? Oh right, there was that math project you lead among your classmates. The time you had to present an unpopular opinion? Well there was that math project you had to lead with your classmates. And the time you had to speak technically to a non-technical audience? Yeah, the fucking project you had with your class. It can really be any story, even a made up one, just make sure it's airtight and you make yourself the superhero.

2: Passion ("Why do you want to be an actuary?" "Tell me about how much you love the industry and my company") - You should have read 2-3 RECENT articles relevant to actuarial work. Just google actuary in the news and find an article. Bonus points if it has to do with the company you're interviewing at or the work they do. You need to make it sound like you're not just interested in actuarial work, you need to make it feel like you were hanging up posters of pension calculations on your walls when you were a kid. The WHAT is working on technical things and math models but the WHY is because gosh golly you want people to have affordably priced health insurance or retire on time or whatever.

3: Technical ("Tell me the syntax of VLOOKUP" "Estimate the number of zoos in the US") - These are either you know it or you don't, and you likely don't. Don't bullshit. Talk about what it would take for you to get the answer, not "uh i guess i'll go home and look it up". The answer here is rarely important. What you're being asked to do is think about something and show how you'd react under pressure to solve a problem.
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>>990755
(Continued)

Overall you could have done better, and graduating in December you're going to have to find some internship. Keep sending out resumes and consider non-conventional internships (i.e. during the school year, or right before you graduate). Some companies are looking for bodies still, but the reality is that most companies are done hiring for the summer. At my firm we get out to school in September, interview in October, and have 15-20 hired before Thanksgiving.
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