I like asking weird questions to potential new hires. Why? Because asking these unexpected questions tells me a lot about my interviewees. When they’re faced with an unexpected insurance interview question, or a challenge they may not have anticipated, they are the closest version to their real selves that they’ll be in an interview. That gives me great insight into how they think and how quickly they can react when an interesting situation presents itself—two things crucial to success in the insurance industry.
Take a look at the six insurance agent interview questions I ask; you may want to ask similar ones as you make your next producer or insurance agent hire.
6 Insurance Agent Interview Questions
1. What is the last book you read?
Here’s the thing about this question: I don’t really care what book they tell me—I just want them to tell me something. Their answers show me who they are trying to become and how they think. In my agency, I want someone who cares about the direction they’re heading. Their answers will reveal a few things:
- Best answer: If, ideally, they answer with a business book, I’ll ask them what their key takeaway was. Their answer tells me they can think on their feet (which is impressive and important in the insurance industry).
- OK answer: If someone answers with a fiction book, I’ll change the subject to get their perspective on a business book. What they say will tell me if they care about improving themselves and their career, and expanding their knowledge base. That’s the kind of person I want on my team.
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- Follow-up questions: No matter the answer to the question about what book they read, I’m going to ask them what they learned from it. If I haven’t read it, I’ll also ask if they recommend I read it.
- Bad answer: If they say they don’t read or don’t remember, this is a huge red flag, and I’m almost certainly not going to hire you.
2. Tell me a story about something that went horribly wrong in your life—but tell it with humor.
In most interviews, people get a question they’ve been asked 20 different times, and they’re probably good at answering it. By asking a question they haven’t heard, I intentionally put them in a more pressured situation and force them to answer it on the fly. How interviewees answer tells me a lot about their about attitude and their temperament. It also gives me an understanding of whether or not they can think quickly and creatively to solve challenges in real time.
3. Which company provides your own auto insurance?
The wrong answer is “I don’t have it”; the right answer is “I have it with [anyone!].” Unless you live in a place where you absolutely do not need auto insurance, you better be able to answer this question correctly. If you don’t, then I automatically know you don’t believe in the product you’re selling.
Then I ask more questions about their policy, for example, about bodily injury limits, etc. I don’t really care about the specifics; I’m looking for someone who understands the product they own and can speak intelligently about it. The prospective hire’s belief in the products we sell is evident in what they know about it and can share with me. If someone can’t tell me what their bodily injury limits are, they don’t want to be in my agency or the industry—they just want a job.
4. What is something you believe that everyone else thinks is crazy?
Again, I don’t care what the answer is here (are you sensing a theme?). What I do want to see is a prospective hire’s creativity. I’m looking for someone who can think of something interesting and snappy, whether it’s really true or not. You learn so much about people from this question—because most don’t know how to approach it.
5. “I’ve got two open positions: a sales position and a customer service position. Which one do you want?”
I love this simple question because it identifies a person’s natural state, what they really want from a job, and immediately shows whether or not you’d be making a good hire. If you’re hiring for a sales position and the candidate answers customer service, you’ve got the wrong person.
6. “Can you get 10 of these filled out in the next hour?”
I know an agency who does this scenario, and I think it’s awesome: When someone makes it through the interview process and the agency wants to make them a job offer, the interviewer hands them a quote sheet with relevant information in it for providing a quote. The next part of the interview is to have the potential employee start contacting prospects with the goal of getting 10 of these quote sheets filled out.
More than half of the candidates they would have otherwise hired never come back. In this ultimate dress rehearsal for the actual job, your best potential hires will go up to anyone and everyone to try to get them to fill out a form. Those who don’t really want to sell won’t take the initiative. It simply weeds out the people who can’t or aren’t willing to sell.
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Hiring is time-consuming, but finding the best people is easier when you ask the right insurance agent interview questions. Once you’ve found the right team members, you want to give them enough leads to be productive. At EverQuote, we offer 100% organically generated leads—people who come to our website who are already looking for insurance products—and then we provide that lead information to agents like you. If you’re not seeing enough people, let’s talk—we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and show how we can help you.