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Experts Share: 5 Situational Interview Questions for Sales Reps to Prepare to Answer

As a(n aspiring) medical sales rep, you prepare to great lengths for each interview. Yet, time and time again, you get thrown a question that causes your heart to race while you quickly formulate an answer to a question that you hadn’t already prepared for. 

Recruiters and hiring managers love turning to situational interview questions to see how you’d handle a likely situation you’d find yourself in while working with their medical sales company. 

They cause you to think fast on your feet (much like the job will) and give the interviewer insight into how you’d handle an unsuspecting situation (much like the medical sales job will throw at you!). 

Here are 5 situational-based interview questions the experts love asking medical sales pros to help you prepare for the next interview!

What would you do if you needed your boss’ signature to seal a deal but your boss isn’t available? If you don’t get the signature now, you will lose money not only for yourself but for the company.

I believe that situation questions are really important in any interview mainly because we don’t mass-hire. We believe in hiring discretely and retaining our employees for a really long time (by earning their trust).

My aim with this question is to understand the level of integrity, spontaneity, and patience in the candidate, which are the pillars for employee success, in my opinion.

  • Kathy Bennett, CEO & founder of Bennett Packaging

When a customer’s initial answer is “NO,” what do you do?

A good sales representative must not only have a mindset of accepting no for an answer but knows when to stop and walk away as well. Asking this question lets us see whether or not a candidate has the ability to counter a rejection. 

When a sales rep shows that receiving a “NO” from a customer motivates them and uses it as an advantage to persuade more, then they are demonstrating the quality of a true sales rep. With this question, you can also gauge their decision-making ability, especially in times when pushing a customer to buy is already hurting a future relationship with the prospect. 

A sales rep should know when to push and when to accept a “no” answer. So if an applicant can manage to draw a line between persistence and overbearing, they are the ideal one.

Try and sell me my company’s products.  

This question often uncovers if the candidate did the right amount of research on our company and if they know the product through and through. 

If the candidate is a proper professional, they will have sufficient information to make a sales pitch, and the way they handle my objections will show their customer service skills, regardless if they are right or wrong.

Tell me about your least successful sales attempt. 

What I’m really paying attention to when asking this question is the attitude and tone candidates have when telling me about their bad experiences. If they seem ashamed or embarrassed, it tells me they don’t wear their mistakes proudly, which means they may be afraid to make them.

When it comes to sales, just as it does in any profession, being afraid of failure makes it difficult to improve and perfect your craft. 

  • Kristaps Brencans,Chief Marketing Officer @ On The Map 

When do you stop pursuing a client?

Now it can depend on the process of our company, but we often prefer employees who can show the guile and commitment to pursue a client readily. This can often be the difference between a good sales rep and a great one. Every company wants the best available candidate, so we ask this question to understand the communicative abilities and how persistent they can be with the customer.