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How to Make an Impression in the Medical Sales Job Interview

Five minutes. That’s all the time you have to make an impression in a medical sales job interview, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder suggests. The survey of more than 2,000 hiring professionals, conducted in November and December 2014, found that 49 percent know within the first five minutes of an interview if they want to hire a candidate.

Medical sales interview tips
Michal Bednarek; Bigstock

How do hiring professionals come to their conclusion in just five minutes? They look for qualities that stand out from the competition and leave an impression when the five minutes are up, and when the interview is over, those candidates are more likely to still be in the running.

Some of these factors may seem small, but if you demonstrate them in the medical sales interview, you’re sure to be remembered:

Don’t curb your enthusiasm

Your interest in the job can set you apart from other applicants with similar experience. That’s right — the more you genuinely want the job, the more likely an interviewer is to remember you.

In a survey of recruiting and human resource professionals conducted by Jobvite in July, 87 percent said that a candidate’s enthusiasm leaves a lasting impression after the interview.

Your attitude is everything, and employers are looking for professionals who are excited about their company and the medical sales industry as a whole. Be present in the interview, and discuss your passion for medical sales, and if applicable, their products and the disease states they treat. If you’re excited about the job, tell the interviewer, and explain what about the position or the company interests you. Ask for the job, or at least another interview, to let the interviewer know you are taking the opportunity seriously.

Know your stuff

The job interview is the place to show off, and the more you show off your medical sales knowledge, the more appealing you are to employers. In fact, 85 percent of hiring professionals surveyed by Jobvite said that a candidate’s industry knowledge makes a big impression.

In medical sales jobs, industry knowledge is one of the top skills employers are looking for. Before your interview, brush up on medical sales news and trends and thoroughly research the company. To stand out to the interviewer, be prepared to have an in-depth conversation about the company, its products, and the impact of recent industry happenings.

Develop and bring a medical sales interview business plan, to demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the industry.

Talk it out

Although the medical sales interview is nerve wracking, speaking confidently can pay off. In the JobVite survey, 79 percent of hiring professionals said that a candidate’s conversation skills left a lasting impression after the interview.

For medical sales jobs, especially, being a confident conversationalist is a crucial quality needed for the job. The interviewer wants to know that you can talk with clients easily and that you have the communication skills to build relationships in the field.

Treat the medical sales job interview like a conversation with a client. Prepare to boost your confidence, actively listen to the interviewer, and lead the conversation when necessary.

Polish your look

We’re taught to never judge a book by its cover, but in the medical sales job interview, employers do just that. Among those surveyed by Jobvite, 63 percent said appearance made an immediate impression.

In medical sales, you’re interacting with clients and contacts on a daily basis and serve as a representation for the organization. Presentation is important.

Dress your best on interview day and pay attention to the little details for a polished look. Press your suit, shine your shoes, and check for loose threads and buttons. Before entering the interview, do a final check in your car to make sure you look your best.

The competition for medical sales jobs is fierce, but doing these little things in the interview can make a big difference and help you stand out from the masses.

How do you stand out in the medical sales job interview? Join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.