Blog 66: Interview Tips – Graduates by Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA

Depending on where you are, its about that time of the year where companies are starting to interview [面試] candidates for their graduate positions [畢業生職位]. Here are some tips I can share from my time as a graduate-entry candidate!

First impressions [第一印象] matter a lot. Just because you are applying for “only” a graduate job does not mean that companies have lower expectations [要求] of you. The obvious tips here are: don’t be late to any interview or assessment events, dress as well as you can, and be well-groomed [注意打扮]! These are probably things that you should be doing everyday anyway at work, but this is especially important on interview days as people instantly make some sort of judgement [判斷] within 5 seconds of meeting you.

With graduate roles, interviewers will not be expecting you to have years of working experience (despite some memes [網絡潮語] floating around the internet!). However, they will want you to have experience talking about how you’ve demonstrated certain skillsets, such as leadership [領導能力], teamwork [合作精神] and communication [溝通能力]. Be very familiar with your own CV and have a list of moments in your head that you are proud of. This is so that when you are asked to demonstrate a certain skill, you are able to pull out those moments and tell the interviewer why you are capable. It is also important how you present yourself. Make sure to structure your answer in a systematic way [系統式]. Start by giving a bit of background of the moment, then talk about what you were asked to do, the results of your action, and then wrap it up with a conclusion.

Interviews are definitely stressful. The main thing is to not be too nervous, so do all you can to calm yourself down. Maybe take a few deep breaths before going into the interview room. Maybe wake up a bit earlier so you aren’t rushing. Whatever you do, just be yourself normally but with a bit of extra energy. In some ways, an interview is like a speed date – so don’t be someone you’re not!

Qualified fellow actuary (in UK and Hong Kong), Financial Risk Manager, and MBA graduate (listed on the Dean's List) with a passion for insurance, data science, and analytics. Experienced in a broad range of insurance roles (pricing, capital modelling, reserving, ERM), along with a touch of knowledge in banking. Member of the General Insurance Committee (2021), Actuarial Innovation Committee (2019 - 2021) in ASHK.

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