Recruiters have truly seen it all in job interviews. They’ve been ghosted, hung-up on, told about a candidate’s favorite cat, seen paintings of said cats — there’s no limit to the bizarre things they’ve seen and heard.
So we reached out to recruiters to learn their most memorable job interview experiences — both good and bad. While some of these stories are funny, there are valuable lessons you can take away from them to succeed in your medical sales job search.
Here are the interviews recruiters will never forget:
Preparation and follow-up for the win
One of my most memorable interviews that I have ever conducted was when I reached out to someone through LinkedIn, and he was passively seeking a new opportunity.
We spoke on the phone the next day and he really conducted a lot of research, he asked all the right questions. It was more of a conversation than an interview. During my entire career with interviewing candidates (8 years), I have only received 3 thank you cards in the mail, and one was from him.
He stood out from the beginning, during the entire interview process, and still stands out as a leader with PrimePay.
The diva candidate
After some promising initial questions, the interviewer started to demonstrate the software that the successful candidate would have to sell.
The candidate interrupted, and exclaimed confidently, “There are three things I don’t do: I don’t work with kids, I don’t work with animals, and I don’t do product demos.” The candidate then proceeded to ramble about how his mother thought that he was truly destined for greatness.
The interviewer wrapped things up pretty quickly after that. The candidate did not receive a job offer, as performing demos is a critical element of selling software.
Martyn Bassett, CEO and Founder of Martyn Basset Associates
Selling the right skills
The best interview to date was one I conducted for a current member of our executive staff. Though his resume was not specific to the job description, he had a ton of transferable skills that made him a well-rounded candidate overall.
During the interview, I was immediately able to tell that he had a phenomenal entrepreneurial mindset. He showed that he had the ability to work in any industry and that he had the drive to learn about anything he may not be as knowledgeable about while using previous experiences to advance.
Kristen Fowler, SHRM-SCP, Vice President of JMJ Phillip Group
A little too literal
One exceptionally well-dressed candidate talked about his ability to empathize with other people, saying he would try to imagine walking a mile in their shoes.
At that point, he took off his well-shined shoes, climbed onto our mahogany conference table, and slowly stomped his stocking-clad feet on the table as he repeated the importance of walking a mile in their shoes!
This surprising display went on for six or seven seconds (although it seemed a lot longer than that to the members of the search committee). He then got down from the table, returned to his chair, and slipped his shoes back on — acting as if nothing unusual had occurred!
Needless to say, our committee did not give that candidate any further consideration!
Timothy Wiedman, SHRM-CP, PHR Emeritus Associate Professor of Management & Human Resources at Doane University
Keeping cool under pressure
For most positions, during the second round interview, the candidate has to present a project to myself and the president, Jonathan Goldman. One of my most memorable interviews was when a candidate was going through her second-round interview for our Brand Manager position.
She arrived extremely prepared and ready to answer questions. At one point during her presentation, Jonathan had to exit the room and then re-enter. When that happened, she remained calm and collected and didn’t get flustered by that small disturbance.
This showed that she can remain calm under pressure and presented flawlessly. She ended up receiving a job offer for the position.
Penina Soberman, Human Resources Manager for Quantum Networks
Would you like fries with that?
One of our Regional Vice Presidents recently interviewed a candidate on the phone. Halfway through the call, the candidate told him to hold on — so he could order his lunch through the drive-thru window. Needless to say, the call ended shortly after and he was not hired for our open position.
Daria Wick, Talent Acquisition Manager for PrimePay