The medical sales job search is competitive. You might have just the right experience and skills, but it all comes down to that one moment — the interview. There’s more to reciting the right answers to interviewers’ questions. You have to understand what they’re looking for and how to formulate the best response for you.
To add to the stress, the number of interview questions out there is innumerable. So, we’re narrowing it down to the top 10 inside medical sales representative questions and answers. This gives you the opportunity to practice before an interview and grow that confidence to show them why you’re right for the job.
Here are the 10 inside medical sales representative questions and answers you should know:
1. Why do you prefer inside sales over outside sales?
There are distinct differences between inside and outside sales roles. Interviewers ask this question to ensure you understand those key differences. Also, they’re looking to see if your perception of inside sales aligns with their open role.
Review the job description before arriving at your interview. Discuss why you love taking part in inside sales duties, such as:
• Marketing products online
• Resolving customer complaints
• Identifying new leads
• Researching and meeting new customers on social media
• Creating pitches to discuss with clients over the phone or via video call
2. What does your typical workday look like?
Recruiters are looking for signs of organization, research skills, attention to marketing tasks, and how many customer interactions you can fit into one day.
Your answer should include key touchpoints throughout the day that allow the interviewer to recognize your strengths.
For example, “When I get to work, I immediately check my email for any customer questions, complaints, or needs. They’re my top priority. I spend about an hour responding to emails and then move into researching prospective clients and the needs of those already in my pipeline. When I have a question during this process, I reach out to my team members who have experience with similar customers.”
3. What type of work environment do you thrive in?
Companies have an already established workflow. This doesn’t mean you have to fall in line and do everything their current inside sales reps do. However, it does mean you need to be able to thrive within their processes and methods of teamwork.
The answer to this question will vary depending on your ideal work environment. Here’s what you need to include in your response:
• What level of independence you need to excel
• What level of teamwork you need to excel
• Your ability to sit at a desk in front of a computer
• Your ideal type of sales management
4. What part does social media play in your sales process?
Social media is a major part of the inside sales process. Interviewers are looking to identify your computer skills, experience using social media in a professional sales setting, and your expertise in using each platform.
Be specific. Discuss what platforms you use to reach distinct target audiences, how you use it to research, and how you identify new sales leads. For example, “I use LinkedIn to connect with sales prospects who align with our target audience. Facebook Groups, however, are a great place to research customer objections and pain points.”
5. How do you handle a negative customer situation when you’re not face-to-face?
You’ve likely faced your fair share of negative customer situations. But this question goes beyond complaints. It’s used to reveal how confident you are in dealing with negativity and if you’re well-versed in communicating with customers in these situations.
The best way to answer this question is to share a real-life scenario. Here’s how you can frame your response:
“I listened intently to the customer’s complaint. I told them I understood their frustration and then explained how we’d take care of the issue. I also gave them a discount on their purchase to ensure they remain a satisfied customer.”
6. What questions do you ask to discover what a customer needs?
Every detail you discover about customers relies on the questions you ask. You’re not in their place of business observing key pain points or seeing firsthand why they may object to your product.
Of course, your form of quickly understanding a customer’s needs is likely different from another rep’s. Recruiters aren’t looking for right or wrong answers here. Instead, they need to know you can immediately share an example. It’s also important for you to explain what information you gain from asking the question and how you use those details.
Consider, “I always ask customers about their business goals. This allows me to see where they’re trying to go in the future and connect our product to that end goal.”
7. Do you believe it’s important to know when to stop pursuing a customer? If so, when do you stop?
Interviewers are looking for determined inside sales reps. But they’re not looking for someone whose persistence results in wasted time, money, and resources.
Let them know you understand there are some customers who may never bite. For example, you choose to stop pursuing them when you’ve tried to reach out approximately four times with no return communication.
Further impress them by saying that by backing off, you have more time to spend with more promising prospects and your current customers.
8. How do you prepare for cold-calling a prospect?
Cold-calling is one of the top duties in an inside sales role. Interviewers ask this question to gauge how prepared and organized you are before jumping on a call.
Give them direct examples from your previous work experiences, such as, “I have X years of cold-calling experience. In that time, I realized that customers don’t want to waste their time telling me about their business. So, I research. I use their website to look at their goals, mission, and vision. Then, I head to social media to look at their customer reviews and what the company is focused on now.”
9. Can you go over the steps that you take from the beginning of the sales process to the end?
This is one of the biggest inside medical sales representative questions you’ll be asked. Leaders want to ensure they see your entire sales process. They can then judge how confident you are in your process and if you know it well enough to explain it clearly.
Check off these aspects of your process as you prepare:
__ Researching prospects
10. Can you share an example of a time when you had to problem solve in the middle of a client call?
Problem-solving skills go hand in hand with the interpersonal skills necessary for a successful inside medical sales career. Interviewers want to know you have experience remaining calm in these stressful situations.
Use a specific story from previous work experience. If you don’t have direct medical sales experience, share a time when you had to find a solution on the spot. Whether it’s quickly resolving a tech issue or helping a customer fix a problem with a product, prove to the interviewer that you were able to work your way through it with professionalism and confidence.
While not every interviewer will ask these exact questions, they are a good representation of the many things that recruiters and human resources employees would like to know. The interview process can be a bit stressful for the unprepared, so spend some time going over these questions and developing honest answers that reflect your unique thoughts and experience in the sales field.