Actuarial Interview Questions Excel

We get a lot of questions to tell you about the Interview Questions that are asked in General Interviews if you have applied for internships or jobs in Actuarial companies for General Insurance, Life Insurance or Reinsurance. Below we have direct links to our forum where you will find many questions to help you out. In order to take part in forums, you need to register and receive updates daily on new questions and Actuarial Jobs.

Let us know what do you think of the database of these questions in the comments below.

Interview Questions for Actuarial Analysts:

Tests the candidates knowledge and experience working with data.

Excel proficiency tests during actuarial interviews

It is fairly common for actuarial employers to test your Excel proficiency (not usually VBA) before they hire you. The primary goal of this is:

  • To verify that you’re able to use the program at the level they need you to perform at.
  • To verify that you perform at the level you claimed on your resume and in the interview.
  • Not every employer will test you, but if they are going to they will usually let you know beforehand so that you can prepare if you need to.

    It is impossible to say for sure how the test will be set up for your interview. Each company has a slightly different way of testing the candidates.

    Most commonly, they’ll give you a dataset and ask you to

  • Answer some questions about the data; and/or
  • Give you a problem solving exercise; and/or
  • Perform simple tasks (like find and replace).
  • Some companies will require that you know all the necessary formulas, while others will allow you to use Google and/or the Excel documentation to look up the information you need.

    Sometimes you’re allowed to ask the interviewer clarifying questions and other times you can’t do this. If you are allowed to ask questions, they may be trying to get a sense of the quality of your questions and how well you can problem solve by yourself.

    What is VBA in Excel and what do actuaries use it for?

    Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the coding language (or programming language) that can be used to automate tasks in Excel (as well as other Microsoft Office programs). As an actuary, there are times when repetitive tasks in Excel can be done much more quickly and accurately by automating the task rather than doing it manually.

    For example, let’s say we had a list of 1000 families that we wanted to calculate the premium for using the premium calculator in the example mentioned above. Inputting the number of family members into the calculator manually for 1000 families and recording the results would take several hours!

    Instead, we could use VBA to set up a simple automation that does this for us, and it would take less than a minute to complete.

    Real World VBA Use by Actuaries

    As I mentioned above, it is common for actuaries to receive large sets of data in Excel. It could be data relating to 1000’s of policyholders, or it could be data related to the financial instruments (bonds, stocks, etc.) that the company owns.

    Before using the data, it is critical to review and validate it to make sure that it seems accurate and reasonable.

    For example, a policyholder’s birthday should always be before the date that they became disabled. Or, as another example, their age should not exceed age 65 if the policy matures (ie. ends) at age 65.

    Surprisingly, inconsistencies and errors in data is fairly common since it is often input into company systems manually.

    If this type of validation has to be done on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) then it would be much simpler to set up a VBA macro to do the validation each period, rather than doing it manually each time. It will save time, and will probably be better at catching errors than a human.

    If you’re interested in learning more about VBA and how much programming actuaries do on the job, you should take some time to read this post. It goes into much more detail about what actuaries use programming for and other coding languages that you may be interested in learning.

    15 most asked Actuarial interview questions and answers

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