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How to prepare for a Medical Sales Interview

Posted on: 07 Aug
There’s never been a better time to become a Medical Sales Representative. With the UK Pharmaceutical market set to grow to $43bn by 2020, and technology pushing boundaries by introducing new products and devices, the role of a Sales Representative has never been more exciting- or challenging. Combined with great job benefits, like a company car and a competitive wage, and it’s not surprising that it’s a very competitive sector in which to find employment.

If you’re looking to take the next step in your Medical Sales career, then it’s not just a matter of handing in a great CV. Before you can secure your dream role, you need to prepare for the interview process. Though it will likely change from company to company, all employers are looking for similar qualities from their new hires, such as passion, ambition and an ability to build strong relationships in the field. 

Here’s how you need to prepare to make sure these qualities come across on the big day.

Research the company

It should go without saying, but in order to be adequately prepared for any interview, you need to research the company you want to join. This counts doubly for Medical Sales Representatives. What’s your new company’s target market, and what kind of drugs or devices do they sell? How big is their sales team, and have they released any new products recently? It’s also likely that your interviewer will ask you questions about how you see yourself fitting into the company, or what experience you have with the type of pharmaceuticals that they sell. Start with visiting their company website and checking out their financial report for the relevant information before broadening your search online. 

Ideally, you should be able to discuss everything from the company culture to the primary customer base you’ll be targeting in your new role- and how you can benefit the company as a result. Make sure that your research gives you all the information you need to do that: after all, the most common mistake made during most job interviews is having little to no knowledge of the company the recruit is applying to. 

How will you stand out? 

As a Medical Sales Representative, your job won’t just be about making sales: it’ll also encompass everything from administrative duties to budgeting and maintaining relationships with current clients. You need to make sure that you can articulate all the qualities that will make you a shoe-in for the role during the interview process, especially as you’ll likely be going up against tens of other candidates. To start, go through the job description and match up your skills and experience to the traits and abilities they want to see from their candidates and use these notes to formulate your answers; when it comes to the interview itself, you’ll be much more likely to hit all the right points and get across everything you want to.

To back up what you’re saying, many interviewees like to create a visual aide in the form of a ‘Sales Book’ to take with them on the big day alongside the obligatory copies of your CV. In it, you should include concise, provable sales figures from your last role, such as closing rates, your sales rankings, achievements, awards and anything else that you think would be notable. Though you shouldn’t rely too much on it, when used correctly it can be a great way to make a mark on your interviewers.

Brush up on your knowledge

It’s not just your new company that you need to be researching if you want to impress your interviewer: it’s also your knowledge of the Pharmaceutical industry itself. The role of today’s Sales Rep is changing- thanks to stringent regulations, many representatives play more of an advisory and informative role to their clients than one might expect from a salesperson. Though of course you won’t be expected to know the product inside out before starting your new role, you should demonstrate at least a basic understanding of the product, the market- and regulations- in which you’ll be operating and an awareness of how the job itself is changing, so you can explain how you’re staying ahead of the curve. 

Practice is key

Having pages of notes to look back on is one thing, but how are you going to translate all that knowledge into making a great impression as a confident, enthusiastic and professional candidate? You can never invest enough in terms of preparation, as it’ll pay off in confidence when it comes to the interview. Come up with a list of questions and topics you think might be broached in the interview, and structure your answers accordingly: if you’ve already prepared your answer in advance, you’ll have a good idea of what to say when you’re asked the same question in the interview.

Show enthusiasm

You need to be committed to getting a job in Medical Sales, and to do that you need to make sure your enthusiasm shines through. We can help: at IQVIA, we take pride in ensuring that we match talented applicants to the right vacancies around the market. Why not take the next step in your career with us? Search our vacancies in Medical Sales, or browse our knowledge hub for more advice and inspiration.