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17 Things Not to Say in a Medical Sales Job Interview

medreps-interviewPreparing for a medical sales job interview can be an intimidating and exhausting experience.  Most job seekers will agonize over how to answer specific questions when asked.  Knowing exactly what to say can make a lasting impression on a hiring manager.  Likewise, knowing what not to say can help you avoid saying something that might blow your chances.

Below are 17 examples of what not to say or ask during a medical sales job interview.  And yes, these are real things that have been said before.

1) What do you guys do here?
Why should a company waste their time interviewing someone who didn’t even bother to do some quick research about them?  Similarly, why would you take a job that you didn’t know the first thing about?  Asking this particular question shows an obvious lack of preparation, not to mention a lackadaisical approach towards taking initiative.

2) My last company was really bad
Blaming others right off the bat is definitely cause for concern.  It’s also in poor taste to speak negatively about a company regardless of your experiences.  It makes a potential employer pause and think that the interviewee thinks they can do no wrong and that the company is always at fault. 

3) I need to make “x” dollars
Stop and think for a second.  Who needs who here?  You don’t need to state your “demands” from the outset, anyway.  Demanding anything is likely to pressure a hiring manager while putting a bitter taste in their mouth.

4) Do you guys do background checks?
Why?  Do you have something to hide?  Next!

5) I need health insurance
Don’t we all.  Again, placing demands on a potential employer is a definite no-no.  Asking particular questions about the positions is a good thing, and yes, even asking about the potential of health insurance is a valid question.  The key is to question, not demand.

6) No, I don’t have any questions
Even if you don’t, you do.  Make it a point to ask plenty of questions; not just about the specific position offered but the company as well.  Ask things like how long they’ve been in business, how has the company changed over the years, etc.  People love talking about their company and often take quite a bit of pride in their own history with the company.

7) My greatest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist
And modesty is your only flaw, right?  This one is classic interview fodder.  We all have our shortcomings – it’s always better to be truthful from the get-go, rather than them finding out a few months down the road and firing you because you couldn’t get the job done.

8) What is your vacation policy?
You’re not even hired yet and you’re already making plans for your vacation?  Well, it’s clear that you care more about taking time off than you care about actually working.

9) Like
It’s okay to use grown-up words when you enter the grown-up workforce.  Leave the “likes” for teenagers.

10) I really want to start my own business
Why?  So you can leave the company as soon as you start contributing to the team?  Not to mention use the company’s methods, secrets, and perhaps steal a client or two?  Great plan.

11) Excuse me – I need to take this call.
Is this call as important as the interview? Probably not. This can be quite off-putting to an interviewer (to say the least!) Never interrupt an interview to take a phone call, send or read texts, or check email. The best idea is to simply turn off your phone altogether so you can avoid the temptation to look at it and eliminate the potential distraction of a buzzing phone.  

12) How am I doing?
We don’t know, how do you think you’re doing?  Always exude confidence (but not cockiness, there’s definitely a fine line separating the two).  Never request a status update of sorts or what they’re thinking.  They’re still making up their mind about you and have time to finalize their thoughts.

13) I assumed you would have my resume…
We all know what happens when one assumes something, right? While the interviewer may, in fact, have your resume and other information on hand, they should never be more prepared than you are. Bring your resume – several copies actually, as well as your brag book, which can be used to organize and showcase your awards and accomplishments.

14) When I was in high school…
Boring.  We were all in high school at some point.  How does this relate to your professional experience?  Again, flashing back to your past years of “glory” can remind an interviewer that you’re just not ready to take the next step and move forward with your career.

15) I’m a single mom/dad so…
So what?  The company needs to jump through hoops to accommodate you?  There are plenty of single parents out there getting it done every day.  Eventually, a company may become a bit more lenient and sensitive to your needs as a mother or father, but in the meantime, you’ll have to put your nose to the grindstone and prove that you’re a valuable employee that doesn’t need special accommodations starting from day one.

16) How quickly do people get promoted?
You don’t even have the job yet and you’re already asking for more money?  See #8 for a similar “counting your chickens before they hatch” scenario. 

17) Do you know how long this interview will be?
Why?  Do you have someplace more important to be?  Don’t waste your time or theirs.  If you’ve bothered to show up and sit through an interview, sit through the entire interview and plan on it being a lengthy process.  If it ends up being shorter than expected, well then, that’s a bonus!

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