Excellence in Insurance Placement
Why Use Lear & Associates for Your Recruiting Needs?
Expertise in the Insurance Industry: Lear & Associates recruits exclusively in the insurance industry. We handle all types of positions at all levels within the industry and are fully able to take on any specialty or "hard-to-fill" positions unique to top organizations.
It Saves You Time: Qualified candidates are presented to you within your time parameters. You receive prompt results and detailed follow-up. Whether you are filling one, or several positions, you are able to collect information, set interviews, and receive timely updates all from one source.
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The only thing that makes interviewing easy is if you currently have the best job in the world. For most of us, this isn't the case. However this is how we should approach interviews. Why? Because confidence and enthusiasm will be extremely helpful when gathering information about a job and a company. Interviewers "open up" to good candidates. They sense when a candidate is nervous, desperate or downright unprepared. No matter what your current situation is, the only way you will get the job offer is to show enthusiasm throughout the entire process. Here are some detailed tips to help you do your best. We have spent many years compiling these tips directly from interviewers from insurance companies. These are the people you are about to meet. I hope they will help you! (R.L.)
Gather as much information about the job you are interviewing for before you interview. Most insurance companies have job descriptions posted on their website. We have found these descriptions or "competency models" helpful but not always exactly correct. Each department has its own individual needs. For example, the job description may call for a multi-line supervisor. You have a multi-line background but when you interview, you find out that 85% of the position is property. Your background is multi-line but 80% weighted to the casualty side. Human Resources may not always know those exact specifics of department's needs. A lot of times, unless you are using a recruiter, you may never know what the job entails "exactly" until the interview.
Good Eye Contact. This is an interview secret we learned many years ago. When you are in an interview situation, good eye contact always will always display confidence. To do this without looking away, all you have to do is take both your eyes and stare at just the left or the right eye of the interviewer. Try this at home. You will win all staring contests. Just a small word of caution: Don't concentrate so hard on staring and forget to listen to what the interviewer is saying.
Research the company thoroughly. Larger companies can be researched on the Internet. For smaller companies, you may have to talk with current employees, the chamber of commerce, trade magazines editors or better business bureaus.
Make your career goals clear. We all want to grow and be dedicated to our careers. The key during an interview is to communicate this fact. Show examples of what you have done to "grow" you career. Let them know where you see your future and the plan to get there. Let's face it, your well thought out plan should be exciting to the company you are interviewing with…if it isn't, the company probably will not be a match for you.
Handling salary questions. Hopefully, you are not interviewing for a job that you at least don't know the salary range. If you don't, research similar positions in that market and see if you can find a median salary range. (A recruiter can help you with this) If salary comes up and the interviewer asks the famous question, "What kind of money are you looking for?" I suggest saying the following. "The opportunity you have presented is challenging and exciting. If an offer would be forth coming, I would consider as much as my background and experience permits". In the insurance world, each position has a "salary grade". The grade could go form $45,677 to $76,322. (I always wonder how they come up with these numbers!) Reality says two things. Your offer will be dependent on what others are ALREADY making in a particular department. If someone has 8 years experience making $63,599, your seven years experience will only get $62,000. Very rarely do companies break "office equities policies". Secondly, your offer will be formulated from your current salary. Typically, offers will come out at ten to fifteen percent above your current salary. If you know all this going in, salary negotiation are easy. One other thing to remember. You may be up for a review and salary increase at your current company. Depending on the situation, you can use these numbers to help in salary negotiations with the new company. In the insurance business, salaries are usually "by the book".
Be Comfortable in your Interview Attire. If you get a new suit or dress, try it on and wear it for awhile to get used to the feel. This may sound corny, but there is no feeling worse then a pin sticking you in the stomach in the middle of the interview!
BusinessmanKnow your weakness. This is always a tough interview question. We all have weaknesses. If your weakness is a major part of the job you are interviewing for, that job isn't for you! Don't try to snow the interviewer. Most of the time, this isn'tthe case but the interviewer stills wants this information. It's okay to have a weakness as long as you tell the interviewer how you are overcoming this obstacle.
Don't be afraid to ask questions! Ask the potential employer about future expansion plans and how they see your qualifications in those plans. Ask the tough questions too. Why has your profitability fallen by 6% three years straight? You need information like this to make a good career decision. It can also help you identify a great opportunity. If the company has been losing sales, is it the product or the manager? People drive companies. If you get the job and turn the sales pattern around, your career will skyrocket.
Stress achievements that are unique. The potential employers can read your resume themselves. They see your education, previous jobs and objectives. What they don't see is what you need to share with them. Have you received any awards, letters of recommendations or employee awards? Have you been published? Did you save your current company money by designing a paperless claim file? Add information of your accomplishments and relate them to the job you are interviewing for. What makes you stand out among your peers?
Follow-up Correspondence. Always send thank-you letters to EVERYONE you meet with whether you want the job or not. You never know when your paths may cross again. Handwritten notes are the only acceptable forms of correspondence. Please spell the person's name correctly!
Clarify what happens next and when. At the conclusion of the interview, ask the interviewer to tell you what the next steps will be and in what time frame. The information you get here will be all over the board. If you are interviewing with the manager, you might get a great feeling that he wants to hire you quickly. If your interviewing in human resources, they may love you but will tell you that they have five other people coming in before they will know anything. Don't get discouraged if this happens. If you avoid interview mistakes and follow interview tips, you will be a front running candidate.
Do not condemn any past employers! Past positions are not always perfect. Speak about what you learned from these positions and emphasize the knowledge and experience you have gained form them.
The following are links to Lear & Associates' favorite insurance related web sites. Do to the abundance of information on the web we have specialized this list to give your Internet surfing a little focus. Below are excellent links providing you with everything from hot insurance news to directions to your next job interview.
Resources & Publications
Regulatory & Legal
Maps & Directions
Jobs in Specific Fields
Lear & Associates provides recruiting services to clients and candidates in the most confidential, prompt and professional manner. We subscribe to a strict code of ethical standards. Lear & Associates has built a reputation of excellence by achieving outstanding results while maintaining a high code of ethics for both clients and candidates. We will never forward your resume to a client company without your verbal or written approval. We will never falsify information. We will not deliberately misrepresent a company to a prospective candidate. We will never charge a fee or service charge to a candidate. The hiring company pays for fees for all placements by Lear & Associates. We will never falsify or change submitted information. We will always attempt to answer all questions in a honest manner. We are a recognized, national search firm subscribing to the Equal Opportunity Practices of the Federal and State Government. We will refer all qualified candidates without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, physical handicap or medical condition.