Allstate is one of the insurance giants belonging to the list of 500 biggest US corporations in terms of revenue. They employ close to 50,000 people all across the United States. As you can imagine, such a big company is always hiring, because people come and go and not everyone can handle the demands of the insurance business. They have quite sophisticated interview process in place, dominated by behavioral questions, that means questions about situations you either had to deal with in your last job (conflict with a colleague, facing a difficult customer, having to learn something new), or will face in your new job with Allstate.
The typical interview process is quite demanding as well, with phone, video, face to face, and even other forms of interviews you may have to pass. In any case, the questions have a tendency to repeat, regardless of the form of interviewing, and in this post we will cover 10 most common questions you may face while interviewing for a job with Allstate.
One important thing to know before we proceed to the questions: these are questions for common jobs with Allstate, such as sales, customer service, claims adjusting. If you apply for some programming, engineering, or actuarial role with Allstate, you may face some of these questions, but you will also have to deal with questions & test of technical nature, and we do not cover technical questions in this article…
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Why do you want to work for Allstate?
Regardless of the job you try to get with the company, you can always find a similar position with one of their main competitors—GEICO, USAA, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, etc. And they wonder why you want to earn your high salary with Allstate, and not with one of the other big players in the field.
It isn’t an easy question to answer, and maybe you do not even care much, but you should give them at least one meaningful reason. Perhaps you have a great personal experience with Allstate. You have some insurance, and when you claimed the damages, the entire process was smooth and you got your money quickly. Or you like the company policies and values they try to promote.
Another good idea is saying that you have a friend at Allstate, who has the same job title as you try to get. Hence you know first hand what you can expect, the goals, demands, the working environment, what the job entails daily. You find it a good match to your strengths and personality, and that’s why you decided to apply with Allstate. Anything you say, they should get an impression that they are your first choice.
Do you have any prior sales (customer service) experience?
Do not rely on a misconception that the person talking to you read your resume and they should know. Recruiters and HR people at Allstate talk to a lot of candidates, they cannot remember the details of every application, and they also follow an interview template, trying to ask each candidate the same questions, at least during the early stages of the interviews.
Hence you should explain your experience as if they knew nothing about you. Make sure to focus on both duties and achievements, and try to find similarities between the job you had before, and the one you try to get with them. And if you have no experience, make sure to praise their training program for new hires, and show confidence in your skills. Maybe you haven’t done professional selling before, but we sell something our entire life–our ideas and opinion, to our friends and family… You’ve always excelled in convincing others, and see no reason why it should be different in the job.
Sell me this car insurance (or some object on a table, such as a ball pen or a mobile phone).
A role play is a common part of Allstate interview process. If you go all the way and pass the entire process, you’ll for sure have to deal with at least one role play. So, what to do in this case? First of all, remember that they do not expect a perfect sales pitch from you. But they are looking for courageous people who do not mind making cold calls and pitching customers. That’s why you should never refuse the role play, citing lack of experience or a need to prepare for it in advance. If you refuse to do it, they won’t hire you.
Trying to sell them the product, make sure to ask a lot of questions. The key is to understand what they are looking for in the insurance (or in another object you are supposed to sell in this role play), and then explaining how the product in question meets their needs perfectly. The hiring manager may give you some objections or make the exercise difficult in one way or another. Stay focused and try your best. The key isn’t to make the sale… The key is to try your best, and demonstrate your sales skills and never give up attitude…
* If you find role the role play particularly difficult, you can check a special article we have online for it: Sell me this pen interview question.
Describe how you would handle rejection after trying to get a customer to sign up with Allstate three times. What would you do in this case?
This one is a bit tricky, and you can approach it from different angles. You can start by saying that you know rejection belongs to this profession, and that hearing it repeatedly won’t discourage you from the job. On the contrary, you know it is a part of the game, and, statistically speaking, you always have to hear “NO” a few times before you close some deal…
Speaking about the specific case from the question, you have a few options. You can say that if the lead was really warm and you felt a good chance to get a lifetime client onboard, you will continue trying. Maybe offering a discount, maybe trying to understand why they refused, maybe offering a different product. You’ll do what you can, because persistence is the name of your game.
But you can also approach it differently. Three times is a lot, and you already did all you could to build a good relationship and make a sale. It didn’t work, your only option is accepting the outcome, learn the lesson, and move on to the next prospect. You may or not return to this client in the future, but you cannot afford spending your precious time with someone who refused three times, while you have many other leads on your table, many more phone calls and visits to make… To get some inspiration, you can also check 7 sample answers to “How do you handle rejection?” interview question.
Describe a time when you had to give a customer some bad news, for example that their insurance claim was denied.
Some people think that the entire insurance business is one big scam. You keep paying an paying, and when something bad happens, they find one reason or another why they cannot accept your claim. Or they will pay you just a fraction of promised money, some ridiculous sum. My personal experience with insurance companies do not contradict this opinion, but that’s not a point here. The point is that you will have to share bad news with the client, and should be ready to do so.
Narrating a situation from your past job (or saying what you would do, if this happens to be your first job application in the field), ensure them that you always choose your words carefully, but at the same time tell the client honestly what happened. They may shout on you or call you names, but you stay calm, and do not let get into heated arguments of any sort. On the contrary, you stick to the rules, and say what you have to say, while trying your best to maintain the client.
Five other questions you may face in your interview with Allstate
- Why did you leave your last job/Why do you consider leaving your present job?
- Describe a time when you had to learn a new skill and it came handy for you in the job.
- Tell us about a time you went above and beyond for the customer.
- Describe a successful teamwork experience.
- In your opinion, what is the toughest aspect of this job?
Interview process at Allstate can be lengthy and confusing. You may have to pass a variety of interviews, and most questions may repeat in all of them. Yet it can take ages until you finally know whether you got the job or not. Try to stay patient, prepare for the behavioral questions, and make sure to learn as much about Allstate as you can. I hope you will succeed, and wish you best of luck!
May also interest you:
- How to overcome interview nerves?
- GEICO interview questions
- Sell me this pen – role play in an interview
- State Farm interview questions.