A job interview can be more agonising than going to the dentist for a root canal! There is so much at stake, not only the time and energy that have gone into finding the position and applying for it, but also the excitement of discovering a great opening in the insurance industry, fighting through the competition just to be considered, and the fear of missing out on an amazing opportunity because you messed up the interview. Serious job hunters should try to avoid the following common errors when they interview for a position in the demanding world of insurance.
Don’t be late. There really are no excuses! Research where the interview is taking place and get a map: even do a dry run. Give yourself plenty of time and then add on an extra 30 minutes. An insurance professional is always on time.
Don’t wear jeans and flip flops to an interview. For a professional role in the insurance industry, be well groomed and wear a smart outfit that shows you are credible and ready for business.
Lack of research
Don’t be caught out. Prepare for the interview by knowing exactly what the role entails and reading about the insurance company and its specialisms so that you can discuss the firm’s activities intelligently and ask probing questions.
Yes, you may be a tad nervous, but don’t start babbling and don’t ramble. Interviewers do not want to know about the time your school play went wrong when you were 6.
The monosyllabic approach
An interview is your opportunity to show what you know about the insurance company, how your skills match and how you can contribute. Sitting and muttering yes or no is not going to land the role.
Lack of confidence
It is important to be polite, pleasant and courteous to everybody you meet in the insurance industry. However, it is especially important to make a good first impression at interview by appearing confident, making eye contact, shaking hands firmly and generally indicating that you are the right person for the role.
If you must take your mobile into the interview, put it on silent, and under no circumstances answer a call or send a text.
Even if you loathed your last job, it is not a good idea to say so. The insurance world is quite small, and your interviewer may well know or have worked with your last boss.
Failure to listen
Be present, listen carefully and take a minute or two to make sure that you are giving the correct answer rather than just blurting something out.
Whatever happens, take the opportunity to send a thank you note afterwards, stating your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and the chance to discuss the role. Let the company know that you are enthusiastic and ready to go the extra mile.
This article was written by Nick Hoadley, Managing Director, Insurance Search.
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