A Claims Adjuster is responsible for in-field investigations of personal injury and property damage. Their analysis and conclusions are the first steps an insurance company will take when reviewing an insured’s claim for compensation. The final report submitted by the Claims Adjuster to his supervisor should be well-reasoned based upon a thorough review of all available evidence such as photos, videos, witness interviews, and expert consultations.
A qualified Claims Adjuster will be inquisitive and demonstrate strong critical thinking skills. Look for a candidate who can assemble multiple pieces of information and make accurate decisions about liability and compensation. Strong interpersonal skills, basic math skills, and a high comfort level working independently are essential for the role.
General interview questions (such as “Can you tell me about yourself?” and “Why are you looking for another job?”) are a great way to get to know your candidate’s personal history, interests and goals. However, be sure to add inquiries specific to the role they’re interviewing for, so you can gain valuable insights into their likelihood of success in that position.
Below are Claims Adjuster interview questions to help you get started:
What techniques do you use to manage stress on the job?
What you want to hear: Claims Adjusters typically experience a great deal of stress on the job. There are high volume caseloads, tight deadlines, frustrated claimants, and pressures to minimize the insurance company’s financial exposure. Listen for a candidate who recognizes stress triggers and has a variety of techniques to minimize their effects. For example, using breaks to read relaxing material, meditating in the morning before work, staying organized with software tools, or the like.
Claimants frequently express dissatisfaction with the conclusions of the Claims Adjuster. How do you deal with that?
What you want to hear: An experienced candidate recognizes that insureds will often be frustrated with the Claims Adjuster’s report. The claimant may take issue with their claim being denied or the amount of compensation being offered by the insurance company. Listen for a candidate who is prepared to provide a full explanation of their report, listen attentively to all questions and concerns, and respond fully to ensure the claimant’s complete understanding.
What is the most difficult claim you were assigned to, and how did you handle it?
What you want to hear: Your candidate should provide details about the type of claim, the facts involved in the claim, and the challenges with the investigation. What made the claim difficult? Was it the amount or size of the damage? The location of the damage? The nature of personal injuries? The claimant’s aggressive personality? Listen for ways the candidate handled the difficulty and the outcome of their efforts. Were they resourceful enough to resolve the matter independently, or did they have to involve a supervisor? For example, they might say, “A building collapsed and I was unable to enter the site to take pictures and assess the damage. Instead I used a drone equipped with a camera to take aerial photographs.”
Red flag: A Claims Adjuster who wilts in the face of difficulty or complexity is a risk for preparing inaccurate or incomplete reports. Also, failing to be resourceful and independent in resolving problems will create additional work for supervisors and lower department productivity.
How will you go about obtaining a full command of the terms of our various insurance policies?
What you want to hear: Once a Claims Adjuster completes their in-field investigative work, the facts must then be considered along with the terms of the applicable insurance policy in order to draw conclusions about coverage. Listen for a candidate who has a clear plan for learning every provision of the policies relevant to their potential claim assignments, including reading the policies, researching unfamiliar provisions, consulting with supervisors for guidance, attending continuing education courses, and the like.
Why do you want to be a Claims Adjuster for our company? How does your past experience as a claims adjuster prepare you for the role?
What you want to hear: This question will help you assess how well your candidate prepared for the interview. Listen for a candidate who researched all publicly available information about your company, its management team, and fields of coverage. How well do your fields of coverage pair with the candidate’s experience? For example, some Claims Adjusters are more generalized in the types of claims they handle while others specialize in fields such as medical, auto, property, or catastrophic claims.
Red flag: A candidate who failed to prepare for your interview cannot be relied on to properly prepare for claims assignments on the job. Additionally, be sure a candidate who specializes in a particular field is a good match for your companies coverage and claims.
Tell me how you approach working with a large amount of information in order to draw conclusions?
What you want to hear: A claims investigation will typically produce a volume of information for the Claims Adjuster to consider. A strong candidate will say something like, “I start by sorting all gathered information into categories such as photographs, videos, witness interviews, or expert consultations. Next, in each category I identify all relevant information versus information that will have little or no bearing on my overall analysis. Then I prioritize that relevant information based on its potential impact on my conclusions. I then review the applicable insurance policy and evaluate my evidence against the allowed coverage. Finally, I draw conclusions about coverage and compensation, if any, and prepare my report.”
Red flag: A candidate who understands well how to gather information in an investigation, but cannot demonstrate a clear plan for how they approach working with that information, is a high risk for your company. Be cautious of low productivity due to inefficient work processes as well as incorrect conclusions based on irrelevant information.
Every interview question can help get you closer to the right fit for your Claims Adjuster position.
Be sure to keep an eye out for candidates who:
- Can consider the entirety of a situation and draw accurate conclusions
- Are capable of handling a heavy caseload with tight deadlines
- Will remain calm in the face of stressful engagements with claimants