Why this matters:

Successful insurance agents must be knowledgeable about the product(s) they’re selling, whether it’s homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, business liability insurance, or the like. An ideal candidate will already have researched a company and be comfortable talking about what insurance they will be marketing.

What to listen for:

  • Confidence about the various types of insurance sold at the hiring company
  • Willingness to learn the details of what policies they may be less familiar with
  • Comfort with industry terms

Why this matters:

The best insurance agents perform their due diligence prior to meetings. For the purpose of their interview, this includes understanding your marketplace, including competitors in your agency or insurance product space. A great candidate has done the research and knows who your top competitors are; it’s a bonus if they’ve thought about how they can earn a competitive edge.

What to listen for:

  • Practical knowledge of the insurance landscape and the top competitors
  • An understanding of what drives competition in the insurance industry
  • Expressed interest in active learning about insurance companies and how they work

Why this matters:

There is a technical approach to making sales, and insurance agents should already be comfortable with taking the initiative to understand a product, research buyers, target a potential market, find customers, make a pitch, and follow up to sell. The best agents will have experience with this process inside or outside of the insurance field.

What to listen for:

  • A demonstrated ability to understand buyer personalities and engage with people
  • Comfort with following a repeatable process for reaching clients
  • Knowledge of strategies for marketing insurance contracts

 

Why this matters:

Insurance agents regularly work with a lot of different types of people, and in some cases their clients might be dealing with stressful emergencies. Not every customer is going to be happy, and a good insurance agent must be prepared to solve problems and provide consistency of service to their clients, even in highly charged situations.

What to listen for:

  • A calm and collected approach to problem-solving
  • Commitment to professional communication even in difficult situations
  • Demonstrated active listening skills and the ability to understand different points of view

Why this matters:

Insurance agents are as successful as their networks. They manage relationships with clients for long periods of time, and they need to be comfortable with longevity in maintaining professional relationships. The strength of their relationships is a testament to their communication skills.

What to listen for:

  • An appreciation for the value of a strong professional relationship
  • A clear grasp of communication boundaries within a corporate setting
  • A commitment to active engagement with their professional network

Why this matters:

In representing their insurance products, even the best insurance agents cannot make every sale, so they need to be prepared to learn from mistakes, adapt to challenges, and accept professional setbacks. This means accepting responsibility for errors, but also taking losses in stride, as they continue moving forward with their next clients.

What to listen for:

  • Self-awareness and the ability to reflect on and learn from mistakes or losses
  • A positive outlook and the ability to adapt
  • Confidence to succeed in new situations

Why this matters:

The best insurance agents are self-starters who can find and manage clients on their own. Ideal candidates will have an understanding of independent working conditions, while also appreciating the larger overall team environment of an insurance company.

What to listen for:

  • Comfort with working on their own or in a team environment
  • Demonstrated confidence in developing their own networks and client relationships
  • A genuine interest in working with clients and colleagues

Why this matters:

It can be part of an insurance agent’s job to forge new relationships, which includes both networking and getting to know new people through insightful questions, attentive listening, and the ability to read between the lines. The best candidates will be comfortable approaching new people and getting to know their concerns: whether these are expressed or unspoken.

What to listen for:

  • Active and attentive listening skills
  • The ability to read between the lines and infer things that are unspoken
  • Comfort in leading meetings with new people on the phone or in person

Why this matters:

There are many reasons to work for an insurance company; it’s crucial your candidate really believes in the offering — and resonates personally with the meaning behind the peace of mind built into every insurance product. It’s also helpful if they possess confidence, persistence, and a sincere desire to help clients.

What to listen for:

  • Confidence and clarity in communication
  • A genuine interest in helping people
  • A passion for promoting and selling
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