You’re sitting in a medical sales job interview and things are going great. But then, the interviewer asks a question you weren’t expecting. You do the best you can to answer it, but you know that if you had just prepared more, you could have done better.
Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in that hot seat. Before you head into the interview, take the time to research and review the information you need to know. Here are a few need-to-know interview topics for a medical sales job.
It’s the night before your medical sales interview and you’re panicking — you have no idea what to expect. Will there be one interviewer or a panel? Will you be asked to complete a few shorter interviews or one long one? Will they ask you take a skills or personality test?
Not knowing any information about a job interview isn’t unusual. In fact, a 2014 report of more than 95,000 candidates conducted by Talent Board found that 31.9 percent weren’t given any information from the employer to help prepare for the interview. Nearly 40 percent of candidates were given names and background information about their interviewers, and just 26.6 percent were given a detailed agenda. That means most candidates don’t even know the name of their interviewer.
Without any information, you can’t properly prepare. If you aren’t told anything about the interview process, don’t be afraid to ask who will be conducting the interview and what you should expect.
Medical sales employers aren’t just looking for a skilled salesperson — they’re looking for a skilled salesperson who knows the industry and their products. The more you know about the company, their niche area, and their products, the better you’ll look to the employer.
Employers understand that some training will always be needed with new hires, but do your homework so that you are able to have an in-depth conversation about the company and products in the medical sales job interview. You should have enough knowledge to form a business plan.
Your medical sales interview business plan shows the interviewer that you’ve done your research, understand the needs of the company, and can put that information to action.
Much of the medical sales job interview is about numbers, so come prepared. Before the interview, know your sales history, quota, and what you brought in the last quarter. Back up your numbers with proof in the form of a brag book.
Discussing your sales history will be more difficult for pharma sales reps. Some medical device employers believe the results of an individual pharma rep can’t be accurately measured because reps don’t make direct sales. Come to the medical device job interview armed with examples of concrete accomplishments and contributions. Focus the conversation away from the team and on your own achievements.
The experience you have — and you don’t have
You may think you know what skills you have and can summarize your job experiences, but do you know them in the context of the position and company? Failing to take a critical look at the job description in comparison to your experience is a major job interview mistake.
You need to know what the employer is looking for, and which skills and experiences directly relate to that position specifically. More importantly, you need to know where you’re lacking — what are they looking for that you don’t have?
Although you may not have five years of experience working with cardiac devices, you can still be qualified for the job. Look at the experiences you do have and understand how it relates to the job you are interviewing for. How does that experience make you capable of the job? Does it indirectly show you have a skill they are looking for? Be prepared to explain how.
The medical sales job interview is a chance for you to learn more about the job and the company, and to assess whether the opportunity is right for you. So before the big day, know what you want.
What are your career goals? What direction do you want to head in? If you’re in pharmaceutical sales, do you see yourself transitioning to a medical device sales job or other medical sales area? Is your ultimate goal to lead the sales team, or do you prefer to be in the field?
Whatever your goals are, keep them in mind and think about how the new position could help to get you there. In addition, know what’s important to you in a workplace culture and environment. Are flexible work schedules more important to you than other benefits? Are you looking for more growth and professional development?
Understand what you’re looking for before the interview, so you can decide if the opportunity is the best choice for you and your career.
You’ve reached the end of the interview, and know what the last question will be — do you have any questions?
You came prepared with questions to ask in the interview, but the interviewer covered them during your conversation. Now what? You have to ask at least one question to show that you are interested in the job and that you’ve done your research on the company.
Prepare some unique, back-up questions to ask in case you find yourself in this situation. Stay away from questions about the salary and benefits of the job. Instead, ask for their insight on the industry, about a company event you saw online, or anything else specific to the job. If you’re stuck, think back to something the interviewer mentioned, and ask them to elaborate.
The medical sales job interview won’t be easy, but with the right preparation beforehand, you can do well and get the job.
What do you think? How do you prepare for medical sales job interviews?