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Preparing for the Interview

When you're hiring for new insurance jobs, you want to hire the right person. How can you make sure that you're on track? You need to get prepared to welcome a new member of your insurance team. Here's how you can get ready to choose the right person.

Learn More About the Person 

If you've found an individual through networking, talk to the person who referred that individual to your company. As you receive the referral, express curiosity about the background of the candidate and why that person is a good fit for your organization. This can help guide your future interview questions.

You can also learn more about the candidate by doing your research on the company from which the person came. If you see that the individual is coming from a very large insurance company and you run a smaller agency, you can then ask questions related to the past job, the individual's transferrable skills, and how an experience in a larger company might translate to your agency.

Be Clear About the Job's Responsibilities 

Before you post a job or begin to interview, be clear about the job description. Know exactly what this person will be doing. Use this job description as a guide when you create your interview questions. For example, if the position involves a lot of connecting with people, you'll need to focus more on the applicant's interpersonal skills. Check out the individual's resume and cover letter and focus your questions on the experiences that the individual has had and how they relate to the skills required for the job. 

Understand Your Corporate Culture 

In addition to ensuring that the candidate has the right qualifications for the job, you need to make sure that you hire for good cultural fit. For instance, if your corporate culture is very casual, will this individual fit in easily? If you value customer service above all else, will that make this person comfortable? Having open-ended and values-based discussions with the candidate will help you note where that person might be a good or poor fit for your agency. 

Be Specific 

Get ready to ask your interviewees specific questions about their experiences. For instance, if you're asking about how they might manage interaction with an irate customer, ask for an experience that they've had in the past and how they dealt with this. Drawing on past experiences and reflecting on what they have learned from them allows your interviewees to show you specific examples, and it helps you understand how those individuals will react in real life situations. 

Provide Space 

While you might want to describe the position and talk about your expectations, make sure that you leave the interviewee a lot of time to talk. According to Monster, "hiring managers should talk only about 30 percent of the time." This allows you to listen to the candidate. When you're interviewing, listening is more powerful than speaking. 

Ask Some Open-Ended Questions 

Open-ended questions allow you to determine what is really important to your candidates. While you do need to ask questions that are closed-ended, by asking some open-ended questions you can determine what your candidates are really thinking. For example, if you ask them to describe their perfect day at the office, this will tell you what kind of position suits them best, who they're like to work with, and what they'd like to do.

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