I have an interview as an analyst within an actuary group and I am curious as to what to expect. I will be doing stat and quant analysis for them.
I used to work as an analyst for a P&C actuarial group. Is this job P&C, Life, Pension? Whatever the case, expect some very smart people so come prepared.
I believe it will be mostly life with a little pension. I think my role will be the financial complement to the more statistical nature of what they do but I have no idea. I don’t think I will be asked to rip off some conditional probabilities in the interview, but who knows. If that’s the case, I am doomed already. Anything in particular I should brush up on?
I was until recently. I had a number of interviews at consulting firms and a major life insurance company and was never asked a single quant question. They’re mostly interested in gauging your character, seeing if you’re a good fit, personable, and where you see yourself in a few years. Also some industry knowledge couldn’t hurt, so do your research before and see if you can spot any newsworthy stuff to discuss. Then again, I had passed 2 exams by the time I was interviewing so maybe they assumed I was solid on the quant stuff. But I doubt they’d ask anything like that - to be honest I suspect most actuaries forget stuff like conditional distributions and stochastic processes as soon as the exams are over as they’re really not used on the job at all.
From my limited experience actuaries are pretty technical folks. I would be wary about going into interviews not expecting some very techinical questions, especially for an analyst role, within an actuary group.
They seemed to stress having the CFA on the description so if I get quant questions, I am guessing it will be of the financial nature, probably a lot of duration and hedging stuff. It is a laid-back company so it shouldn’t be too stressful. I figure the more questions I ask, the fewer they can get in.
You should check out actuarialoutpost, there are a lot of threads there pertaining to this.
Good point Gecco. Assuming you haven’t taken any actuarial exams, they will need to get a feeling for your skill level.
Just got back. It went well but they are interviewing 8 people so I won’t know for 3-4 weeks. Lots of hedging talk but I handled it well. No stats or prob, thankfully. They said having the CFA is really what they wanted so that should help. Taking the actuary exams isn’t a priority for the position but it probably wouldn’t hurt. If I get the job, I will sign up for one just to see if it is interesting.
Good luck! I’m surprised to hear they put more weight on CFA than ASA/FSA. But that’s good news for you, since CFA is easier and waayy more interesting. Keep us posted!
While I’m not an actuary I’ve got four years experience working with actuaries…and let’s just put it out there, everywhere I’ve been, actuaries are the weirdest people in the universe. Also, they are self-aware and tend to play it up. I’ve seen nose picking in meetings, drool, one guy wore the same shirt every day for a year (we were going to walk by and mark it with a pencil to determine, but instead I just walked up and asked him if it was the same or he just had 5 copies, he let me know proudly it was in fact that same shirt and he washed it bi-weekly). So basically there were some three day stretches with no wash? Prepare yourself and don’t appear weirded-out by anything they do in the interview, they will think you are “one of them”, and you will be invited into the family.
Yeah there are some seriously weird actuaries out there…one if the guys I used to work with was 42 or so and lived in his parents’ basement, another would grab his crotch even in client meetings, apparently unaware. The SOA seems to have become aware of the problem, because they’ve been cranking out “image campaign” material like crazy. There some normal people out there, but they’re the minority.
Nice…yep, “same shirt guy” lived with his parents too. Another interesting thing is he did not bring or buy lunch, thus “the scavenger” nickname as well, he just lived off candy bowls and birthday cake. When asked why he was living at home, not buying clothes or food he replied because he was saving up for a (1) Berkshire Class A share. Oh, one time we did this company-wide “Mountain to Sound” race and for the kayak leg of the race he came armed with an *inflatable* kayak, LMAO we came in hours behind everyone. I could go on and on…
purealpha Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Nice…yep, “same shirt guy” lived with his > parents too. Another interesting thing is he did > not bring or buy lunch, thus “the scavenger” > nickname as well, he just lived off candy bowls > and birthday cake. When asked why he was living > at home, not buying clothes or food he replied > because he was saving up for a (1) Berkshire Class > A share. > > Oh, one time we did this company-wide “Mountain to > Sound” race and for the kayak leg of the race he > came armed with an *inflatable* kayak, LMAO we > came in hours behind everyone. I could go on and > on… Please go on and on… This is an interesting break from the rubbish work that i’m on.
I might have posted this before but I’ll post it again: What’s the difference between a CPA and an actuary? The CPA looks at the other guy’s feet when he talks; the actuary looks at his own. Hard to top purealpha’s story though. Classic.