Interview questions for Underwriter
During an underwriting interview, you will be asked questions about your experience level and interest in the position. This interview is your opportunity to not only share your experiences but also to highlight important skills, such as communication and problem-solving. Evaluating some of the most common underwriter questions can help you prepare for your upcoming interview.
Walk me through your process of assessing and drafting a quote on a tight timeline. This behavioral question measures organization and project management with the ability to meet timelines. Underwriters are often on tight timelines and this is your chance to demonstrate your ability to meet them.
Example: “Upon receiving a new project, I immediately break it down into required tasks. I assign a due date to each task along with a list of necessary documents or information I need to gather to complete that assignment. Then, I check in each evening before leaving for the day to see if there are any projects that may require additional time. I allocate new timelines based on added projects, ensuring that everything is completed by the due date.
1. You will often work with co-signers as part of your job. How would you deal with issues arising from a professional disagreement here?
Many jobs require people to find amicable and agreeable solutions when one or both parties do not agree on a course of action. However, this ability might be doubly important for an underwriter who is dealing with complex legal issues that can affect an entire company. The question here helps you gauge the potential hire’s interpersonal and professional problem-solving skills at the same time. What to look for in an answer:
• Prior experience dealing with disagreeable co-signers
• Specific methods for resolving a legal dispute
• Effective communication skills
“I have had some experience with people who disagreed on documents we needed to sign. I’ve always understood that the primary goal is to get to the “agree” stage. I used negotiation tactics to make a point while reaching an amicable compromise.
2. What factors do you look for that determine a claim is risky?
An important part of an underwriter’s position is to identify risky policies. An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about a potential candidate’s ability to recognize warning signs.
Example: “I run each claim through the company program, while also manually evaluating it. If the program picks up any risk factors, I immediately look further into them. Personally, I also look at the filer’s claim history, paying special attention to the date and type of claim. I also look at the length of time between buying a policy and then filing a claim, comparing it to other customers who live in a similar area and have similar types of coverage.
3. Software can be a huge help to underwriters. Can you tell me a bit about the kinds of programs you’ve used in the past?
Computer applications can help underwriters manage and organize the legal processes or documents they are tracking for your company. This question tells you a bit about the potential hire’s previous experience, how knowledgeable they are about programs that relate to their field and how they use software to improve efficiency. What to look for in an answer:
• Past experience with applications
• Knowledge of specific software in the field
• How certain programs are effective
“In my experience, software solutions like Applied Epic are useful here. This program automates a lot of the underwriting process and helps me insert rules or policy changes quickly.”
4. What Decisions Are Easiest For You To Make? What Are The Most Difficult?
Based on the company underwriting guidelines, choosing the right account the best fits the company appetite. The most difficult decision for me to make is making sure that I have enough information in my notes.
Have You Ever Worked A Customer Service-based Job?
Although you may not work face-to-face with applicants on a daily basis, there will likely be times when you will need to contact an applicant in order to obtain or verify information. Your potential employer will want to make sure that you are comfortable with contacting consumers since you will be doing so on behalf of the company. “I have worked in various retail sales positions in the past, so I am comfortable with talking to applicants and obtaining the information I need” is one way to answer this question. “Although I do not have past customer service experience, I am very outgoing and I enjoy speaking with people, whether in person, via email or even on the telephone.”
Why Do You Want To Be An Underwriter?
Because railroad is a exciting world. Underwriting railroad is such a special and unique field and I want to be a specialty railroad underwriter.
How Do You Stay Organized And Prioritize Your Workload?
Underwriters often have several tasks to perform all at once, and many take on dozens of clients at any given time. Your interviewer will want to make sure that you have what it takes to stay organized as your workload grows, and you should be able to explain your method in one or two sentences. “I keep a very detailed planner that I update throughout the day. This helps me remember which cases on which I should focus at any given time.
I also use an alphabetical filing system to keep track of each applicant’s information so I know exactly where to find what I need.” This answer shows your interviewer that you have your own personal methods for remaining efficient throughout the day.