The medical sales job search is competitive—it’s the plethora of opportunities. Even if you might have just the right experience and skills, it all comes down to that one moment — the interview. Once you are going to an interview, make sure you stand out from the rest. Prepare to impress a medical sales recruiter, who may interview several candidates in a day. Here are just some Medical Sales Interview Tips to help you:
Before you arrive at your interview, research the company you’re interviewing for. It’s more than likely that the hiring manager will ask questions about the company. For example, your thoughts about the latest product they’ve recently released, your experience with pharmaceuticals they sell, or specifics about their medical products. Review the company’s website, check out their annual financial report and understand the company’s mission. If you’re unfamiliar with the products, contact their customer service department for product information.
Your main job is selling, but there might be other duties you’re required to perform as part of the job description. Review the job description and prepare to point out each qualification you meet in the interview – such as education or work history. Create a sales history book that includes a resume, copies of any awards you’ve won, your sales rankings, achievements, transcripts, and other documents that you can highlight during the interview.
Show up early for the interview and dress appropriately. Men should wear a single-breasted suit, while women should wear a suit or skirt with a dressy blouse. Ensure that your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free. Shake hands with the people interviewing you and keep constant eye contact throughout the interview.
Answer interview questions enthusiastically and confidently. Be prepared to answer difficult customers, teamwork, sales style, and why the company should consider you over other applicants. Prepare to sell something during the interview – even if it’s the interviewer’s notebook. Practice selling and offering pitches beforehand so you’re adequately prepared. Avoid answering negatively regarding your previous employers, products, or positions you’ve held. Finally, close the interview and sell yourself to the company by letting the interviewer know you want the job and ask specifically for any reservations she may have about giving it to you.
1. Why did you choose inside sales over outside sales?
There are distinct differences between inside and outside sales roles. So 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. Please run down a typical workday for you.
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 critical 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 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 teamwork methods.
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 significant part of the inside sales process. Therefore, interviewers are looking to identify your computer skills, experience using social media in a professional sales setting, and expertise in utilizing each platform.
Be specific. Discuss what platforms you use to reach distinct target audiences, how you use them to research and 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. Instead, 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. So 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. But, unfortunately, 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. Therefore, it’s also essential for you to explain what information you gain from asking and using 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.”
Send a follow-up email or letter the same day you finish the interview. Please don’t proceed to hound your interviewer, but let him know you appreciate the opportunity and that you look forward to hearing from him again. If you don’t get the job, use this experience as a learning opportunity for the next interview.