We all want those go-with-the-flow, roll-with-the-punches, never-miss-a-beat type of employees. It’s not hard to see how their ability to navigate the twists and turns of the medical sales field makes them highly sought-after candidates in the industry.

However, what you may not know is this open-mindedness and ability to adapt is most likely due to their strong emotional agility.

A recent Virgin Pulse report defines emotional agility as an individual’s ability to experience their thoughts, emotions, and events in a way that doesn’t drive them in negative ways. Instead, it encourages them to reveal the best of themselves.

Finding candidates with strong emotional agility is crucial in the medical sales field. Constantly changing processes, products, technology, and unpredictable customers can cause being in the field to become stressful very fast. You’ll need people who can cope with these challenges while remaining positive, productive, goal-hitting machines.

Here’s how you can effectively assess emotional agility during the hiring process:

Ask for a time when they embraced change

“Emotionally agile people align their actions with their values and make small but powerful changes that lead to a lifetime of growth,” explains New York Times Bestselling Author, Susan David in her book Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life.

No matter how many years of medical sales experience a candidate has under their belt, there’s no doubt they’ve dealt with change in their careers. Whether it was something large, like a merger, or small, like getting a new manager, they’ve had to adapt in some way. How they adapted to any previous changes is the key to knowing their emotional agility.

During pre-screenings or face-to-face interviews, have candidates describe a time when they had to embrace change. Ask them specifically how that change made them feel before getting into the details of how they dealt with the change.

This will show you what emotions they associate with change. In turn, you’ll be prepared to better understand their reactions and the level of emotional agility needed to take them beyond their initial emotional response.

Lay out a stressful situation

As you know, many medical sales companies are complex organizations. From various departments to new developments and products to hundreds — or thousands — of clients. The more complex your organization, the higher the demands on employees.

To meet these demands, you need employees who can handle the specific stressful situations your team deal with on a daily basis. So, walk them through a scenario.

Once you lay out a situation, have them take you step-by-step through overcoming the initial stress and dealing with the obstacle. Write down words or phrases that clue you in on their coping mechanisms.

Key phrases that point to high-levels of emotional agility might include:

  • “I’d take a step back to assess the situation.”
  • “Before I would dive into a solution, I’d make sure I had all the relevant information.”
  • “I’d make small changes in the future to ensure this misstep doesn’t happen again.”

There are countless words and phrases that would prove a candidate is implementing emotional agility. The key is to look for responses that prove the candidate can bring their best selves to any situation.

Perform a soft skills assessment

The framework of emotional agility is constructed of a number of smaller soft skills. Communication, empathy, and teamwork, for example, are crucial to developing emotional agility.

One of the most effective ways to determine a medical sales rep’s soft skills is using a specified skills assessment. In fact, 56 percent of recruiters in LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2018 report noted soft skills assessments as the most useful interviewing innovation.

These highly popular assessments can be easily accessed and quickly taken, keeping your process timely and uncomplicated. Assessment tools, like Hundred5, allow you to match soft skills directly to job requirements. This enables you to pinpoint the emotional agility skills candidates have that will improve their performance in a medical sales position.

How do you determine a candidate’s emotional agility? Let us know!

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