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10 Behavioral Interview Questions to Identify Top Medical Sales Reps

A company’s success relies on your ability to identify strong medical sales candidates. It’s critical you find people who hold up under pressure, can handle customer rejection, and understand how to strategize from start to finish. 

As you know, effectively identifying these qualities in sales reps isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s important to use behavioral questions to help you determine if candidates are the right fit based on how they have responded or would respond to specific situations. 

Here are 10 behavioral interview questions that reveal if medical sales reps have the skills, knowledge, and personality to succeed in your open roles: 

1. Tell me about a time when you were learning about a new product. What did you do in the first 30 days to become an expert? 

The best potential medical sales candidates may have never sold your specific product type. It’s even possible they’ve never worked in medical sales. But that shouldn’t deter you if they have a proven sales track record. 

Listen for key details that show they understand how to quickly become an expert, including researching, practicing with the product, shadowing another rep, and asking questions. 

2. Give me an example when you feel you let a customer down. How did you resolve the issue? 

Nobody is perfect. Use this question to show you understand mistakes are made and you’re more concerned with how issues are resolved. Top medical sales reps won’t be afraid to share their misstep. If a rep isn’t able to quickly give specifics on how they resolved the issue, they may not be a natural problem-solver. 

3. Pretend I’m a potential customer. How would you sell your current company’s offerings to me? 

The power of selling on the spot is crucial in the medical sales world. A seasoned professional can pitch their current product to you without hesitation. 

4. A potential customer has never heard of our company before. What would you tell them about us? 

A strategic sales rep will treat you like a prospective customer. They’ll research your company, find out what’s important to you so they can connect, and know your successes. Those who are prepared will already know basic specifics to share with potential customers. 

5. Please share a time when a customer was upset with you. How did you handle the situation? 

New and dedicated customers alike can dislike their interactions with sales reps from time to time. Learning how a rep handles the situation separates the empathetic from the egotistical. 

6. Give an example of a reason(s) you’d cut ties with a customer. 

Not every customer is the right fit. Unfortunately, some medical sales reps struggle to let go. They end up chasing hopeless possibilities, rather than nurturing high-potential leads. 

Listen for strategic reasons, such as they’re unresponsive to communication, they’ve made multiple attempts to close a sale with no genuine response or interest, or the customer misuses the product after various suggestions. 

7. How do you avoid the “they’re busy, come back another time” turn down? 

No matter the product category, every medical sales rep has heard this response. But there are a few who have their tips and tricks to avoid frequent turn downs. Do they first nurture relationships with the staff? Do they schedule weeks in advance and call that day to reconfirm? Do they meet outside of the healthcare facility when possible? 

8. You’re falling behind on your sales goals this month. What do you do? 

Nothing is ever set in stone. Even if a sales rep has never missed a goal, asking this situational question will reveal if they’re always prepared to fight their way to the top. Some may reach out to their sales manager for help, while others will want to dig in even harder and work more hours. 

9. How do you research prospective customers? 

Many sales reps will highlight their determination. But beware of those who want to jump in without careful planning and research. There’s nothing wrong with taking a few days a month to research, strategize, and create customer-specific pitching materials. 

10. Pretend we’re introducing you to a new customer tomorrow. What would your sales process look like from start to finish? 

Every salesperson has their own unique sales process. You already know what a successful process looks like for your company’s top reps. Keep that in mind as reps detail how they’d manage a new customer from the first meeting to closing the deal. Have a checklist handy of those specific steps and qualities to simplify your assessment process.