1) What do you prefer a long or short sales cycles?
Depending on the situation I would prefer which cycle to opt for, usually a long sales cycle as it gives enough time to know the physician and can spend time educating him about the benefits and uses of the product. However, if the physician is well-informed about the product, then short sales cycles would be more preferable.
2) Explain what is the role of a Product Manager?
The role of a Product Manager is
–> Market Analysis
–> Segment Analysis
–> Competitor Analysis
–> Qualitative and Quantitative research
–> Planning and Preparing the marketing mix
–> Delivering the marketing mix
3) Explain what is your pre-call planning to a chemist?
–> When did the distributor deliver the last order to the chemist
–> What is the distributor frequency of visit
–> What category of your drugs is the prime focus of his purchase and in what quantities
–> Would you like to inform the pharmacy staff about a new drug launch
–> Do you have any question about generic substitutions
Medical Sales Representative or Detail Man Interview Questions and Answers
Medical Sales Representative or Detail Man Interview Questions and Answers
4) What is your typical day like?
The unspoken questions: How do you work? Is your work style organized or improvised? Will you fit into our culture, or be a maverick? Will we have to worry about you? Are you likeable?
Response: Tell the truth, but don’t focus on minutiae. This is your chance to highlight traits that are helpful in pharma sales jobs, such as initiative, organization and the ability to follow through.
5) How competitive are you on a scale of one to 10?
The unspoken question: Do you have the drive it takes to build your margins?
Response: Everyone says they’re an eight or nine, which features job interview tips for pharma sales reps and other professionals. “But you also need to explain why you are that kind of person,” he says. “Give some situations of how you’re competitive both on and off the job.”
6) Are you a lucky person?
The unspoken question: Are you optimistic enough to succeed?
Response: No matter what you really believe, the answer they want is yes. And prepare to give examples. “Even if you’ve hit a stretch of bad luck, you must find the nuggets of gold in your life,”
7) Explain what is meaning of Marketing Mix?
Marketing mix refers to the set of actions, tactics which a company uses to promote its product or brand is referred as Marketing Mix.
8) How many sales calls are you supposed to make each day?
Your sales depend on how often you see your physicians and make contacts. To achieve maximum sales it is desirable to make maximum calls and fix the appointments. On average, any company demands around 10-12 calls a day.
9) Explain how should a sales call of a representative should end?
A sales call of a med representative does not end like that or normal sales call. Instead it sounds like offering an option like
–> Trial usage
–> Repeat prescription
–> Continued usage
–> Extended usage
–> Expanded usage
Once the client or physician identifies it requirement, it will choose one of this option.
10) How would you reach a physician who does not see a representative?
–> Try to communicate with their staff (receptionists, medical secretaries, practice nurses, etc.)
–> Send him product information and literature through e-mail
–> Drop literature regarding product to their clinics
–> Invite him to speaker meetings and see him at CME meetings
11) Can you think of a time when you didn’t see eye-to-eye with a supervisor?
The unspoken question: Most obviously this question is about your ability to handle authority. But your interviewer also wants to see how tactfully you handle delicate situations and how you pick your battles, both important skills in pharmaceutical sales jobs.
Response: Describe a situation where you were correct, and the (polite) arguments you made to bring the boss to your side. Make sure the result was a win-win.
12) Explain what do you find most re-warding about being a med representative?
The most re-warding about being med sales representative is satisfaction of helping patients and becoming a medium of providing them a lifesaving medication. Apart from that you help physician to make the right decision about the product and nevertheless you get an opportunity to see many people throughout the day.
13) Explain what are the pros and cons working for a small scale and large scale pharmaceutical company?
–> It is easier to shine and advance at small pharmaceutical companies
–> Small scale industries become big pharmaceutical companies very rapidly
–> Small companies offer stock options as incentive to stay with them long-term
–> Often smaller companies are sell out to larger companies, and the original stockholders get wealthy
–> For entertaining clients, small pharmaceutical companies do not provide significant expenses
–> Territories are bigger, and you have to drive more instead of working in a limited territory
14) Explain as a medical representative what is your selling style to the physician?
–> Be clear and precise about your product
–> Use Pictures, Illustrations and Drawing and if possible use PowerPoint Presentation to show product
–> Support your argument with evidence like case studies or clinical trial results
–> Every drug has advantages and disadvantages- do not hide any information about product
–> Maintain constant communication with the physician
–> Build relationship with physician and staff
15) What have you done to increase your margins?
The unspoken question: Companies want to know in detail how you saved and made the company money. And they want to make sure the accomplishments on your resume are really yours alone and not your team’s.
Response: Be specific. You should come prepared with at least three examples of ways you personally contributed to increased pharmaceutical sales. Back up your points. Before the interview, write three specific situations in your current or previous jobs when you attained goals. Example: “I increased the sales of X with my three-part strategy of…”
16) How many product does a med rep usually carry? How do you get bonuses paid on them?
Usually, a med rep carries 2-3 products and sometimes four if it is an experienced guy. Each product is responsible to a portion of the rep’s sales bonus. To get bonuses paid, they have to sell all the products and meet the decided quota.
17) What do you consider to be the most important requirements for this job?
Expect interview questions that explore your knowledge and understanding of this specific job opportunity. Do your homework on the company and the position to make sure you can answer this question properly.
You need to have a clear picture of what this job involves and what is expected from the person who does it. The more you can relate what you are currently doing to these job requirements the more suitable you will appear.
Get as much detail as possible on the employment opportunity, the company and its products and parallel your experience to this. The company website is a good place to start.
18) What is the training aspect, if one is selected for the sales representative position?
The training can include
–> University or school studying all the aspect of the product
–> Training on field with an experienced representative
–> Learning anatomy and physiology to competitor’s products
19) What do you consider the most challenging aspect of a pharmaceutical sales job?
Be candid about what you have found to be the most difficult aspect of pharmaceutical sales and then clearly describe how you have successfully managed this challenge. A common difficulty is getting enough time with health care professionals to properly discuss your products. Detail how you have used your initiative and problem-solving skills to effectively deal with this and get sufficient access to the customer.
20) What will be your approach if you are given a territory and a list of physician to call on?
80% of business comes from 20% of the people. For a given territory, your first approach should be
–> Analyse and see the customers and their potential
–> Gather all the data’s of sales particularly in the area you are given
–> Target those physician or customers who have bigger sales potential
21) How do you research a product?
This question is exploring your ability and motivation to be fully informed about your products. Keeping current with product data is essential to the job. Detail the resources you use to stay current and informed.
22) What is your expectation from your sales manager?
–> Provide you with all amenities and tools required for job
–> Knowledge and tips to increase sales
–> One who can assess your potential and set realistic goals
–> One who supports and use his knowledge and yours to bring synergetic result
23) Give me an example of when you managed to get a physician to switch to your product?
Expect questions that investigate your sales ability and persuasiveness. Highlight how you found out what influenced the physician’s choice of products and how you used a combination of appropriate tools to convince him or her to change to your product. Show how you used your persuasive skills, your knowledge and understanding of the product and of the physician’s needs to change the perception of a product.
24) How you can convince a physician to switch to your drug?
To convince a physician to switch on to your drug is most challenging task especially when he is happy with its current drugs.
To switch on to your prescribed drug, your first step is to
–> Make your presence by setting small sales initially let say targeting 1 or 2 patient and target bigger later on
–> Gain complete knowledge about the drug and observe the prescribing behaviour of physician
–> Use your product knowledge and other tools to make physician understand your product.
–> Once the physician show his confidence in the product, push him to prescribe your product for more patients
25) How have you planned and prioritized your call schedule for your current territory?
You need to be able to plan and organize your activities to meet specific goals.
This comes down to the old 80/20 rule. Highlight how you have set priorities based on the best return on your time investment by spending time on customers with the greatest sales potential. Detail how you were able to establish that 20 percent of customers as quickly as possible and how once you had successfully established that 20 percent you moved onto developing new customers.
26) Explain why pharma sales is different than other sales?
–> Pharmaceutical sales is an indirect sales role
–> Pharmaceutical sales have no order to close or contract to sign
–> It serves for an expert physician promoting product through education and awareness
27) Tell me about a time you lost the business. How did you handle the situation?
This question is about your ability to learn from a situation and move constructively on after a set back. These pharmaceutical sales interview questions look at your ability to handle stress and your tenacity and emotional resilience in the face of opposition and challenge. Include other examples of your persistence and determination in finding solutions to difficult challenges.
28) What are the key responsibilities of a medical representative?
The typical work activities that a medical representative has to do is
–> Increase Sales
–> Increase awareness of the brand
–> Increase market share
–> Meet and exceed targets
–> 6-7 calls per day and fixing appointments
–> Manage the territory like a small business
–> Build a relationship and convey product information
29) Tell me about a situation where you had to adjust your approach to meet new circumstances?
This job requires interaction with a wide range of people. Your ability to adjust your approach to the situation and individual is key to success. Focus on the different approaches you take to meet changing demands and needs. Highlight your adaptability.
30) Experience and qualifications related Questions for medical sales:
–> What type of medical devices/products have you sold? Surgical tools, physical contact with the patient devices or any other instruments etc.
–> What is your technical knowledge on these devices?
–> How do you research a product or a device?
–> Have you taken any classes on Life Sciences, Biology or Chemistry?
–> To which target institutes have you sold medical products?
–> What is your proven record of accomplishment in medical device sales?
Answering the above medial sales interview questions:
Review your employment history on your own or with a colleague. Before the interview, consider all of these questions. Think about your career and speak about the highlights, and any unusual situations. List them, and review them. Plan your responses based on this self-research. Additionally, bring any paperwork related to your responses. If you have sales brochures, or any reports you have created, offer copies to the interviewer.
31) Medical Sales Representative Related Interview Questions:
–> How does your education lend itself to a career in pharmaceutical sales?
–> What about the pharmaceutical representative position interests you?
–> How do you efficiently target customers in your territory for the maximum sales results?
–> How do you handle the pressure of sales quotas?
–> How do you prepare your paperwork in your current position?
–> Let’s pretend your product is this desk. Sell it to me?
–> A nurse or receptionist is angry and preventing you from seeing the doctor. How would you deal with them?
–> How does your current or former job experience compare to pharmaceutical sales?
–> What was your rating on your last Performance Management Review?
–> How would you describe “selling?”
–> Name five reasons why you believe you would be a good pharmaceutical sales representative.
–> Have you interviewed with other companies?
–> How do you feel about working on your own most of the time?
–> Why should we hire you over other candidates?
32) Behavioral related Interview Questions for medical sales:
–> Have you ever entered into conflict with a physician or institution regarding sales or devices? How did you handle this? Did you still make the sale?
–> What creative ways have you used to meet quotas and deadlines?
–> How do you feel when not making a sale or meeting a quota?
Answering the above medial sales interview questions:
Speak about any resourceful approaches you have used. If you have created them, better yet. Share them with confidence, avoiding arrogance. When discussing any conflicts, be succinct and avoid assigning blame. If a peaceful compromise was reached, emphasize that. End on a positive note. When describing any feelings, if possible, underscore their roll in encouraging you to achieve ever greater goals.
33) Medical Sales Rep Job Interview Questions:
? What has been your biggest accomplishment at your current position?
? Your company has a new sales initiative. The new drug is more expensive than your competitors’, and not covered by all insurance. However it is more effective. How do you overcome the price issue?
? On your last visit to Dr. Smith, she committed to writing your drug and you left samples. When you return, the samples are gone but she has not written any prescriptions. Now she wants more samples. What do you do?
–> If you have no previous pharmaceutical sales experience, why do you believe you’ll be successful?
–> A doctor is resistant to trying your product. What do you do?
–> Your product and a competitor’s are the same price. How do you position yours above theirs?
–> How would you differentiate yourself from the other reps calling on the same doctor?
–> You have a lunch with a doctor scheduled, when a larger doctor calls and wants you to do a lunch at his office on the same day, and it’s the only time he has. What would you do?
–> Was there a person in your life who really made a difference?
–> What experience do you have that would lend itself to pharmaceutical sales?
34) Some goal oriented Interview Questions for medical sales:
–> How do you see your future in the medial industry?
–> What future do you see for this medical device product?
–> Do you have a career goals and objectives for 5 or 10 years from now?
Answering the above medial sales interview questions:
They want to know how you see your future with their company and the industry.
If you do not see a forecasted future, how can your prospective employer?
Gather information. You may consult with colleagues, or contact retired sales people or read about goal projection. Even if you have not thought that far in advance prior to this interview, you can formulate goals now. Feel free to think big, and include your hopes. Optimism is impressive and contagious! Your sales fantasies may very well cause you to sound pleasantly enthusiastic, resulting in the coveted job offer.
35) Medical Sales Representative Job Interview Questions:
–> What challenges are you looking for in a position?
–> What is the toughest problem you’ve had to face? And how did you overcome it?
–> Why do you want a job in pharmaceutical sales?
–> Do you consider yourself a risk taker?
–> Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?
–> What are the biggest challenges a pharmaceutical representative faces?
–> You have a 45 minute lunch with a doctor that is prescribing your competitor’s product. How will you handle this lunch, and what will you say?
–> How do you develop knowledge of a doctor’s prescribing needs?
–> How would you ultimately describe your work style?
36) Is there any software available in the market to help to track their sales and progress?
Pharmaceutical specific ERP software are available in the market which can be useful to track the total number of sales, exact customer location; profit made quarterly, sales management, stock information from stockiest and so on.
37) If given a territory and a list of physicians to call on, then how would you go about it?
Do a planning and routing, group the DRs in the same area together and call on them, managing my time more efficiently, so I can focus more on work and driving my agenda.
38) How can you become a successful pharmaceutical representative?
Pharmaceutical sales is a high turnover business and to get its foot into it requires
–> Positive Approach
–> Good Network and Focusing on Sales call
–> Good communication skills
–> Good product knowledge
–> Understanding market value of your product
–> Good research on competitors and their sales target
39) How to handle stressful situations?
Calmly. Tactfully. Professionally. Ask questions. Find a solution to solve the problem at hand.
40) What are the challenges in being a Pharmaceutical Sales Person?
The true challenge for a Pharma salesperson, is to convince a doctor to switch from a drug that he or she is prescribing to their patient.
41) Have you ever taken care of someone? Did you enjoy it?
I was a staff nurse for 6 years and while I enjoyed taking care of some types of pts with some types of disease states, I did not enjoy others.
42) How would you like your ideal sales manager to be, to get the best out of you?
Ideally I would like my manager to work with me, be a resource and supportive.
43) How long did it take you to get through all your schooling?
Because I transferred from one school to another and changed my major it took me 5yrs and months to complete my degree.
44) How do you think you would get a Physician to switch to your drugs?
It has been my experience that I would offer clinical research, relay outcomes, and prove efficacy. After I get the physician to agree that it is proven and effective request a trial.
45) Why do you want to change careers to pharmaceutical sales?
I have a lot to offer a pharmaceutical company. Not only am I a clinician with sales experience but a clinician with sales experience that is well established in this medical community with a large network to draw from and who is largely familiar with the landscape of healthcare in this market. I also really enjoy detailing pharmaceuticals to physicians and peers.
46) How to perceive a pharmaceutical representatives typical workday?
A pharmaceutical reps typical work day consists of early visits, detailing doctors that allow access, scheduling appointments with offices that have limited hours to access, logging calls, all while developing and managing relationships with physicians, medical staff, and key decision makers.
47) It’s your first week on the job; what will you do to organize yourself?
I am a very organized person. I will make sure that my car is in order, that I have all of the key learning information and products in my bag. Most importantly I would ensure that I have learned my product and am mentally ready to deliver the correct message to my customer.
48) Why do you believe that you would find a career in pharmaceutical sales rewarding?
Being part of a company that thrives on improving lives is very rewarding to me.
49) What do you believe are the most important factors for success in a pharmaceutical rep?
Being adaptive, creative, attentive and having an established network in the medical community.
50) Are you currently interviewing with other pharmaceutical companies?
I am actively looking but not haphazardly. I am laser focused on finding the right fit for both my future company and me.
51) A doctor doesn’t want to use your drug because it’s too expensive. How do you proceed?
Find out if the drug is covered under insurance plans, promote its superior side effect profile compared to other medications.
52) How long do you believe you would like to sell pharmaceuticals?
I am looking for my final resting place. I would eventually like to develop further along but looking to be here for a long long time.
53) How did you decide pharmaceutical sales would be the right career for you?
This is the most basic of questions, but you are almost certain to be asked this question. While people interviewing for other types of positions are asked why they decided on their career choice, it is very important that you answer this question correctly for a pharmaceutical sales interview.
First tell them that you love selling and site examples where you have done this even if you haven’t been employed as a salesperson. Mention instances where you persuaded someone to “buy in” to your ideas, etc. That is selling! Mention that you have always been highly motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic. Successful sales people have all of these qualities as well as being creative and resourceful. Be prepared to cite examples where you displayed these behavioral characteristics.
Next, expound upon why pharmaceutical sales would be right for you. This is a good time to pull out the information that you have collected during your research. You can explain how stable the industry is, how exciting it would be to be part of such a dynamic field, and one where the opportunity to help thousands of people is a reality. State that this would give you tremendous job satisfaction. Also let them know that you realize the opportunities for personal and professional growth are tremendous with pharmaceutical sales companies. You will thrive on the daily challenges of performing a pharmaceutical sales representatives job. (This would be a great time to mention the “field preceptorship” and how much you enjoyed your day in the representative’s territory!) The research you have done on their company and the industry, and the extra effort you have put forth to spend a day in the field to see for yourself what a pharmaceutical sales representative does will give you tremendous credibility. You will be viewed as a serious candidate!
54) In all of your work experience what accomplishment are you the most proud of and why?
I am most proud of my proven ability to rebuild business. I did this while I was working with WIS as well as at the start of my employment with Shifa. I essentially rebuilt 2 different territories from the ground up while developing and managing key relationships with physicians, staff and other key decision makers.
55) What is your current occupation?
Give an honest answer, but highlight any area of responsibility that you may have which would be seen as a benefit for someone in pharmaceutical sales. This would be a good time to show the “Career Comparison” information that you have placed in your Personal Presentation Binder. You will have already compared your job responsibilities to that of a pharmaceutical sales representative. Were you responsible for marketing a product or idea to others? Have you analyzed a “buyer” to determine that buyer’s potential? Do you have daily contact with physicians or other medical personnel in your day-to-day activities? These are excellent job responsibility areas to compare with pharmaceutical sales job responsibilities. Be careful not to make a negative statement. Always expect to be asked to prove any statement that you make!
56) How do you deal with rejection in your current position?
I embrace rejection as it enables me to probe and do further discovery to uncover the real issue.
57) I see you have held several different positions over the last five years? Can you explain why?
The obvious objective in this question is to determine whether you are a “job-hopper.” Training and educating pharmaceutical sales representatives is very time-consuming and expensive. A bad choice would yield an ineffective pharmaceutical sales representative and one that would potentially leave the job “undone” because that person has again decided to do something else. The district manager will attempt to ascertain whether you are a dependable person and whether you do indeed really want a career that offers upward mobility. He must be convinced that you will stay and work smart. If you have changed positions in order to increase the challenge of your job and allow upward mobility, then that is an excellent reason for changing jobs. Career transitions or job transitions made to increase compensation for your work is another good reason.
58) How would you deal with a hostile customer?
I would listen to his complaint, offer an apology, and ask how I can improve the situation for him. Probe, ask questions, uncover the real problem.
59) When did you decide to pursue a pharmaceutical sales career position?
You might reply that after your extensive research into this career field including actually going on a field preceptorship, that you believe this a perfect career for you. Then you must explain why it is perfect for you. It is perfect because you thrive on the type of challenges faced by pharmaceutical sales representatives! You want to make a difference at a job you are certain you will love. Pharmaceutical sales is a perfect match for your personality and work experience. Then supply proof for your statement.
60) Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer?
So many to choose from, I had a Dr. Tell me that he would never use my product but the beauty of this was I was given an opportunity to embrace a porcupine and start selling. I probed to uncover the real issue and serviced the heck out of his office becoming a resource every chance I had…
Is This Answer Correct? 0 Yes 1 No
61) How long having you been seeking employment in the pharmaceutical sales industry?
Your answer here will be important. You have the opportunity to make yourself look good with the right answer. If you have been looking for a position for a long time, six months or more, then you need to present yourself as a tenacious person who never gives up because you are absolutely certain that you are the right person for the job. Whether you have been granted interviews will matter, because the district manager will wonder why you didn’t gain the position if you interviewed. On the other hand, if you didn’t gain an interview that means you failed the first sales test. Perhaps you turned a position down because of location. That’s a good reason to decline. If you’ve just started looking for a pharmaceutical sales position and you’ve already gained interviews, it’s because you are impressive, on paper and in person.
62) Why do you think you would excel at pharmaceutical sales?
I think I would excel at pharmaceutical sales because I am adaptive to the culture of each office, creative in order to achieve goals, attentive to my customers needs and I have a large network to draw from.
63) Tell me what is the most challenging aspect of being a pharmaceutical sales person?
A novice to the world of pharmaceutical sales may think that the most difficult part of the sale is meeting the medical practitioner, but that is actually not so.
The challenge is actually convincing a doctor to switch from a drug that s/he and their patients are quite comfortable with and convert to a new alternative. The sales rep must persuade them that such a change would be an improvement, and that is the true challenge. If you have experience, share some of your success stories.
64) How to differentiate yourself from your peers?
I am polished, poised, and professional. I am well established in my medical community. I have clinical credentialing that is highly regarded. I am familiar with the healthcare landscape of this market place and can multi task like nobodies business.
65) How to perceive a typical day for pharmaceutical sales representative?
With this question, the interviewer is investigating your dedication and whether you are up to the physical aspect of working as a pharmaceutical salesperson, as well as the unusual times.
In responding, mention your awareness of the times available for sales calls; that is, when medical practitioners and other medical officers are relatively free. Day time hours are generally off limits; usually calls must take place at about seven in the morning or nine in the evening.
This way, you will not only express your knowledge of the business, but also inform the interviewer that you are ready for the hard work and difficult hours that are part of becoming a successful pharmaceutical sales representative.
66) Tell me about a time you persuaded someone professionally?
While at Shifa, I had to convince doctors of the importance of DHA. One of the products I sold was ***** and it required clinical presentation to show its efficacy. I requested a clinical trial and he began enrolling pts at the start of their pregnancy.
67) What do you think the company would help you the best?
This question is really an attempt on the part of the company to discern if you are a team player yet capable of working on your own.
In your response, give examples of how you have worked in both of these capacities, even if not job related. Suggest that the company chalk out a plan with a quota that must be met by the end of a month, and then provide you with the resources to fulfill the goal. Proclaim that you will do your utmost to meet any reasonable goal.
68) What is the most challenging aspect of pharmaceutical representative?
My top 3 are access, formulary coverage and pt trials.
69) What is your interaction level with your previous supervisor? What did he do right and what did he do wrong, according to you?
Basically, this question is aimed at finding out whether you are good with some kind of authority above you or whether you are someone who requires a mentor. Your response may also cause the interviewer to view you as an optimistic or complaining type, so tread carefully.
The best answer is to speak of the cordial aspects of the relationship you enjoyed with your supervisor. If you must mention any issues, be brief, and downplay any problems. For example, explain how any differences you had were purely theoretical and in the end, what was best for the company won. Of course if this is not so, explain the difficulties and how you overcame them. End with an encouraging example of getting along.
70) What was your most rewarding experience during college?
Tutoring local high school students in physics and chemistry.