Job Interview? Here’s What You Need to Know about AI

August 8, 2023 | Emerald

AI is transforming and disrupting the world around us.  While it’s entertaining to ask ChatGPT to compose a poem or predict who’s going to win the next World Cup, the implications for the world of financial services are exciting and important. 

We’re on the cusp of a brave new world and it’s time to get ahead.  We asked four of our consultants to share their views on what candidates need to know about AI before their next interview.

Steve Stubbings, Business Director, Life & Non-Life Actuarial

While clients want actuaries with AI and machine learning qualifications for certain roles, they also want senior actuaries to help existing teams embrace AI in their established operations.  For experienced actuaries, this means adding a new skill set:  this might not mean formal qualifications, but it does mean understanding current and likely future applications of AI across the sector. 

I always suggest that applicants start to think about how artificial intelligence and machine learning can improve processes within their business and to consider the implications across all elements of the actuarial spectrum.  As a candidate, it’s your ability to demonstrate how you will fulfil both the current role on offer as well as projecting forward three to five years that clients are starting to judge when offering positions.

James Harrison, Director International Actuarial

Candidates relocating internationally can add real value through their experience of how AI is being embraced in different markets.  Managers usually look at their teams and consider missing skillsets when recruiting a new team member, so being able to emphasis new approaches that haven’t yet been tested by the hiring company is always valuable. 

I advise candidates to talk about their transferrable AI experience.  You need to understand and recognise the progress and development of AI specifically in the country you are moving to, as countries are all at very different stages of development with the US way ahead and everyone else playing catch-up.  Applying this to your own experience is essential. 

Sarah Schadek-Keane, Director International Actuarial

Actuaries with qualifications in data science and machine learning are in demand.  You might be in a position to gain further qualifications but if not, embrace every opportunity that comes your way to extend your existing knowledge and skills, especially when it comes to programming languages and analysing big amounts of data.  This will be essential as you progress through management levels and find yourself managing actuarial teams with AI objectives. 

Patrick McAleer, Director International Actuarial

I make sure that my own sector knowledge is up to date with the latest AI advances and applications.  Asking clients insightful questions about how their operations are evolving as new opportunities emerge helps identify the right person for a role. Before an interview, I always ensure that my candidates have the best information possible about a company, such as how they operate and how they’re looking to evolve. Different businesses are at different stages of embracing AI and programming languages such as Python and R.  Some companies put real emphasis on this and it’s important for candidates to know if this is something that a hiring manager and business is passionate about and committed to. It’s also important to know the user level that a hiring manager might be looking for with a specific programming language, so that candidates know how to best sell their experience.

Understanding how our clients are looking to use AI, or if they are shifting towards new programming tools and away from traditional ones, gives us insights that you can’t always get from a job description. This is a clear benefit of going through a recruiter: our clients know that we understand what they’re looking for and can explain it clearly to potential interviewees.  At the same time, the support we give our candidates really helps them prepare for interviews.

How Can We Help You?

To find out how Emerald Group can help you find your dream role or source the best candidates in the actuarial and financial services sectors, please call us on +44 (0)207 283 2520.

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