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Underwriter Interview
Questions

36 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Updated August 17th, 2018
Question 1 of 36
Do you have strong computer skills? Which programs are you most experienced in?
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How to Answer
As an underwriter you may be required to use several high level software and programs. In addition to standard office tools, be prepared to show your skills in job specific tools and other skills that you have (web tools, scripting, programming, etc.). Don't sound over-confident but an answer that exhibits confidence in this scenario is highly appreciated by the recruiting managers. What is important is that you have a conceptual technical knowledge that helps you in solving the problem at hand and communicate it effectively to the stakeholders.
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1.
Do you have strong computer skills? Which programs are you most experienced in?
As an underwriter you may be required to use several high level software and programs. In addition to standard office tools, be prepared to show your skills in job specific tools and other skills that you have (web tools, scripting, programming, etc.). Don't sound over-confident but an answer that exhibits confidence in this scenario is highly appreciated by the recruiting managers. What is important is that you have a conceptual technical knowledge that helps you in solving the problem at hand and communicate it effectively to the stakeholders.

Ryan's Answer
"I am well versed in using SQL and SAP and have the basic knowledge of Netsuit and Microsoft Dynamics along with Excel. I am capable of analysing several complicated cases using these and also of communicating the results to the clients."
2.
Have you ever had difficulty with a supervisor?
What was your relationship like with your most recent supervisor? Assure the interviewer that you are able to take instruction well and that you show respect to your leaders in the workplace. Although, there are occasions that you may have had certain disagreements but try to project everything in a positive manner avoiding anything that might portray you as a difficult employee to work with.

If you have not had difficulty with a supervisor: "My most recent supervisor and I had a strong work relationship and she will be willing to give you a strong reference on my behalf. We did not run into any difficulty while working together."

If you did have difficulty with a supervisor: "In my career I have had many different supervisors with an array of personalities. I did have one supervisor in the past who was not the type of leader that I would have chosen for myself. We disagreed on occasion but nothing severe enough to affect my work performance."
Ryan's Answer
"My most recent supervisor and I had a strong work relationship and she will be willing to give you a strong reference on my behalf. We did not run into any difficulty while working together."
3.
If hired, how do you intend on making a difference with our company?
Your answer can best be framed along the lines that you are interested in the underwriter role and seeing how you can provide suggestions on efficiencies in the role, opportunities for expanding cross-functional collaboration, being a super user and subsequent trainer of new hires. If you are interested, being a resource for future college outreach/recruiting, may also be attractive to a rapidly growing company.

Ryan's Answer
"First of all I would like to say that I understand the requirements of the company and also that I know what might be the expectations from this job. I would make sure that I add value to the company through my presence and work. Also, if needed I would love to volunteer my services as and when needed for any other tasks including training the interns, giving presentations at some other locations on behalf of the company, doing any voluntary work. I will make sure that I understand the company's culture and become an integral part of it and help it in future growth."
4.
Give an example of a time when you made a mistake because you failed to actively listen to a supervisor.
Failing is normal, natural. No candidate can answer this with a 'it has never happened.'
Be honest on this one, and present a short summary of your example. As is the case with other questions, the importance is to indicate how you learned and developed from making this mistake.
Active listening is just listening and saying 'yes or OK' and not asking for clarification, confirmation of what you think you heard, or at a minimum, summarizing the instructions.
As a student, this may be that time that you wrote an entire essay only to find out you were supposed to write a one-page summary.

Ryan's Answer
"When I was a trainee I was asked to perform a simple task of collecting data of our clients and I spent two days in doing that. When I submitted my final report I realized that I had made a mistake and had collected the wrong data. The reason was that although I was paying attention there was a part which I could not listen to the instructions given by my senior clearly and since I was new, I hesitate to ask questions. He bought this to my knowledge and I admitted my mistake and apologized and collected the right information. Since that day I make sure that I listen to everything and ask questions if anything is not clear. I have learned that if you hesitate in asking questions if things are not clear you will end up making mistakes which will be even worse than the hesitation in asking questions in the first place."
5.
What motivates you as an underwriter?
Underwriting is a complex mix of task and process orientation. Processes have to be followed per company and government regulations while the role also is key to getting deals completed for the organization.

Your answer should indicate how your motivations are to add value to the organization by completing your work accurately and under time constraints. You will need to be able to indicate that your motivations match to the organization's needs and the job duties.

Ryan's Answer
"I love working as an underwriter because I feel that by doing this job I am being valuable not only for the organization that I am working for but also for the society. I get to use my analytical skills, critical thinking and decision making everyday. The challenges that I face everyday as an underwriter and the risks that we face is an extra bonus in itself."
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