Spend Time Researching the Company as part of Your Interview Preparations
First, spend time researching the hiring company and the people conducting the interview for the pharmaceutical sales position.
Successfully interviewing for any job, particularly one in pharmaceutical sales or medical device sales requires investing time for proper interview preparation.
If you have done your research, you should know about the products and/or services the hiring pharmaceutical or medical device company offers. After researching the interviewer and their background, you might be able to connect and build rapport with them better. For instance, maybe you already work in a pharmaceutical sales position, in the past, where the customer base is the same, or maybe your education allows you to bring certain skills to the position.
Whatever makes you stand out to the interviewer, discuss these traits and skills as a benefit to the employer. For example, if you were a pharmaceutical salesperson selling a cardiovascular drug and you are now interviewing with a cardiovascular device company, you might want to mention that you know the top cardiologists in the region.
Never assume that the interviewer understands your pharmaceutical background and skills. It would be sad if you got nervous and forgot to mention such a key benefit in hiring you.
Develop Your Top 5 Reasons Before the Job Interview
Before your job interview, take time to write down the top 5 reasons that you feel you are the best person for the pharmaceutical sales job.
To develop these reasons, ask yourself:
What can you bring to our company that makes you unique?
Make a list of your strongest passions and attributes, like how determined and organized your work ethic is. Explain how your past work experiences contribute to your uniqueness as a benefit to the company. Keep your answers focused and concise.
What skills do you have that will benefit the job and hiring company?
Take this opportunity to stand out to the interviewer by explaining your marketing knowledge, communication practices, negotiation skills, teamwork skills, and problem-solving examples.
How can I increase their bottom line or make their organization better?
It doesn’t matter what position you are seeking—your role as an employee should be to help the company grow.
Why are you the right person for the job?
Interviewers ask many questions during the interview. During this time, it is good to bring up your top five reasons you are the best person for the pharmaceutical sales job.
The question of why you are the best person for the job is crucial; don’t fumble your answer. If you don’t know why you are the best person for the position, how would they ever know? Preparing this information ahead of time will help you be more confident during the interview.
How should you respond to “Why should we hire you?”
By confidently discussing the top five reasons why you are the best person for the job, you will be perceived as being very prepared. You will show the interviewer that you are engaged, you prepared for the interview, and truly want the position.
Create Your Own Interview Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager
By the second job interview, prepare and create your own interview questions to ask the hiring manager or interviewer that goes even deeper into the company’s products or services. By developing strong interview questions, you will set yourself apart from the competition. Employers want to know that you understand their business and that you have researched their company during your interview preparations.
Best Questions to Ask the Interviewer or Employer
What are your expectations for the person that fills this position?
Which of my talents do you feel could be useful in this position?
What is the structure of the organization above and below you?
What strategy does the company have for growth?
How does management view the staff?
Where do you see the position leading?
Asking and receiving good questions during the job interview are both important components of the interview process. As an interviewee, it’s your responsibility to engage with the interviewer so that they develop enough interest in you to ask good and tough questions. They may have just interviewed a candidate right before you that knocked it out of the park.
You may have to use your interviewing and sales skills to pull out questions. If the interviewer is not asking you questions, you should create a dialogue by asking your own interview questions. You don’t want a courtesy interview; you want the full unabridged version.
Interviewing in Pharmaceutical Sales or Medical Device
On occasion, during our post-interview follow-up, we’ll hear from the candidate that they felt they did very well and that the job interview was successful. At that point, we want to hear additional details.
Did the interviewer ask tough questions indicating a sincere
interest in the candidate?
Was the interviewer engaged in asking questions about
multiple areas of the candidate’s experience and background?
A quick, friendly, unengaged job interview serves no purpose to either party.
Conversely, some candidates felt they performed poorly during the job interview due to a perceived pushback of tough questions from the interviewer. They can be wrong. An interviewer asking tough, direct questions may be showing their extreme interest in a candidate. In their mind, they see the potential of this candidate and want to know specifics into how they may respond if given the role.
So, if you walk away from a pharmaceutical sales job interview and feel like you were mildly interrogated, your candidacy may be firmly intact. You engaged the interviewer, and you may just get the job, and your interview preparations have paid off!