Life is an exciting adventure. It’s a journey of risk. The same can be said about business. In the world of money, however, someone always has to analyze the risk, and assess the impact it will have on the profit and loss of the company (or on the insurance contract). This will be your job.

Doesn’t matter whether you seek work in an insurance company, a bank, or for a big corporation involved in commercial sector. Some questions will repeat in each of these risk analyst interviews, and I will focus on them in the article. Enjoy!

 

What is your attitude to risk? Do you like to take risks?

Say that you don’t. You should not love the role of a player, a gambler, someone who bets all money on a single horse. Your role is the one of an observer, analyst. Someone who enjoys the game from the front rows, who knows the rules better than the players do, and who can predict the results.

But they do not take part in the game.

You can say that risk fascinates you, you love to predict it, calculate it, but in now way taking it. At least not in the job. We can’t be good in work unless we enjoy doing what we do. Keep it on your mind when answering this question, and show some enthusiasm for the job.

Two people have a tough discussion about risk aversion

Tell us something about your previous experience in the field of risk analysis.

Don’t be afraid to talk about losses and failures. Nobody was born a genius. Say how you made wrong analysis, how your predictions turned completely false. But you learned from the experience, identified the mistake, and did not repeat it another time.

That’s not only a success story–but also a true story of each great analyst.

When talking about your previous jobs and people who supervised you in them, try to keep it professional and positive. Do not complain, do not say bad things about people. Focus rather on your own job, especially the financial analysis part, the things you did and how well you fared in them.

 

What is your attitude to paperwork?

Paperwork is boring and nobody really likes to do it–except of people who love boring life. But that’s certainly not your case. However, in insurance business, and in any analytical job for that matter, paperwork is necessary. We can not avoid it.

Try to be honest to the interviewers. Say that you do not particularly enjoy spending your time filling empty forms, but understand that it is necessary, and important. It simply belongs to the job, and you are ready to handle it with smile. Or sometimes with a tear in your eye…

 

Look around this building (office). What would you suggest to improve risk levels?

There’s nothing better for the interviewers, and worse for the job candidates, than a practical test in an interview. Now you’ll have to show the cards. Are you only a bookworm, who can read numbers and letters, but that’s all they can handle?

Or can you go outside, visit the production halls and companies, and assess the risk on site? Well, if you want to get this job, you should be both…

If you do not see any areas for improvement, say what they did great–the protection rails, the warning signs, the solid structure of the place, the safety distance between each two workstations, fire alarms, etc.

And if you see areas for improvement, clearly point them out, one by one.

 

How do you keep your knowledge of risk analysis up to date?

New materials are introduced all the time, and things change everywhere. World’s just a mess in 2020. But hey, that  may be the most exciting thing of all…

Say that you keep track of new materials, new safety regulations across industries, and changes to legislative. You can cite a source of information you use, or a couple of trade journals/magazines that help you stay ahead of the pack.

If you attended a seminar or conference for risk analysts lately, be sure to mention it.

side deal being negotiated

There is a lot of corruption in this trade. Have you ever been offered a bribe? What would you do if you were offered one?

We talk about big contracts here. Can be thousands, tens of thousands, but also hundreds of thousands of dollars. The quality grade and risk score you give to a client can save them loads of money in insurance payments. Obviously some of them will try to bribe you–directly or indirectly.

They may offer you a nice car, a holiday abroad, or you will find an envelope in the pocket of your jacket which you left in the reception. The envelope won’t be empty…

This is how it goes in every business where giving a small sum of money away can save company big amount of money in a long run.

However, you should firmly deny ever taking a bribe, or being even tempted to do it. Do not even talk about any offers you’ve been made in the past. Sat that you are very strict in your work, keep professional distance from the clients, and would never accept any money in exchange for better rating or score.

 

How do you imagine a typical day in work?

Risk analysts start early and travel a lot. The worst thing you could say in this case is that you imagine staying in your comfy office, smoking cigars and drinking orange juice, waiting for phone calls and reports from other people.

Show proactive approach to work. Traveling, making phone calls, visiting client’s site, taking pictures, preparing materials for underwriters and other colleagues–that will be your daily bread. Obviously you’ll have an office, and will take care of administrative work there, but the job encompasses so much more…

 

Describe a situation when you were under pressure in work.

This job is no piece of cake. You will face pressure on daily basis–from clients (who demand better score and contracts), form your bosses (who foolishly think that you are a superhuman and can make 20 analysis a day), and from many other bodies.

But it’s just that–what they want. You do not, and should not let them to turn your dream occupation into a nightmare. 

Narrate a situation from the past and clearly explain how you managed to prioritize your tasks, how you managed to stay calm and simply focused on your job. The key is to show that you do not crack under pressure, won’t lose your motivation or focus becasue of it….

 

Some other questions you may get in your risk analyst interview

  • Tell us about the best and worst analysis you’ve ever made.
  • What motivates you the most in this job?
  • What do you consider the toughest aspect of the work of a risk analyst?
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset client (customer).
  • Why did you leave your last job/Why do you want to leave your present job?
  • Why should we hire you and not one of the many other applicants for this job?
  • Do you have any questions?

 

Conclusion

Risk Analyst is a popular job title, and you can expect a tough competition in this interview. Experience is highly valued in this business. If one of your competitors has ten years of experience, it will be tough to beat them, and end up hired at the end.

However, you have no control over your competitors, and what they do in an interview. Focus on things you can control. Research as much as you can about your future employer, and prepare for the interview questions from this article.

Keep in mind though that you may get also more technical questions, especially if you apply for this job with an investment company (and not an insurance company). I wish you good luck. You will need it :).

 

May also interest you:

  • Body language in an interview – What do your gestures and movements say about you? Can we control our non-verbal communication?
  • Credit Analyst interview questions – Most banks will provide excellent training to each new employee–including the credit analyst. But you will still have to convince them of your financial literacy and right attitude.
  • Financial Analyst interview questions – A tough nut to crack, but a wonderful career to have. Learn how to make the right impression on your interviewers.

Matthew Chulaw

Matthew has been working in international recruitment since 2008. He helps job seekers from all walks of life to pursue their career goals, and to prepare for their interviews. He is the founder of InterviewPenguin.com website.
Matthew Chulaw

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