Interviews: Be Prepared for Anything

October 24, 2007 · Posted in For Sales Managers, Interview Coach, Interviewing Skills and Tips, Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on Interviews: Be Prepared for Anything 

So you’re looking for a job as a medical device sales rep, pathology sales rep, pharmaceutical sales rep, or laboratory sales rep.  Ever wish you could find a comprehensive list of sample interview questions and answers, what to expect in different types of interviews and strategies for them, what to wear and what not to do, how to prepare and how to follow up?  Or what if you’re conducting interviews as a sales manager in the health care field and you’d like to have a list of insightful questions to ask that go beyond the basics and get you more complete information about your candidate?  You’re all in luck…I found one for you.  Mr. Lychee has pulled an incredible amount of information together from all over cyberspace into an Interviewing Cheat Sheet:  100 Resources for Interviewers and Candidates.  I love this list!

What makes you stand out in an interview?

October 16, 2007 · Posted in Interview Coach, Interviewing Skills and Tips, Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pharmaceutical Sales · Comments Off on What makes you stand out in an interview? 

There’s a video on collegegrad.com that points out very nicely that the most important aspect of your job interview isn’t how well you can summarize your degree and experience, but instead it’s how you show your passion for the job.  The only way that can come through to an employer is during a face-to-face interview.  Think about it.  If you were an employer who needed to hire someone for a pharmaceutical sales job, medical device sales job, or clinical diagnostics sales job, wouldn’t you rather hire someone who was sincerely interested in the products and excited to be telling people about them over someone who was mostly interested in how much money he could make?

“Free” training

October 10, 2007 · Posted in Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pathology Sales Jobs, Pharmaceutical Sales · Comments Off on “Free” training 

If you find yourself in the position of working for a company without pay in the name of “training” (see This Can’t Be Happening) run, don’t walk, away from that situation.  You have options. Companies with strong leadership understand that training is the company’s responsibility and not a item to be purchased. There are lots of good companies out there for medical sales reps, pharmaceutical sales reps, pathology sales reps, biotech sales reps, medical device sales reps, and laboratory sales reps…and I can set you up with them.

Exit interviews – Smile and Wave!

October 9, 2007 · Posted in For Sales Managers, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on Exit interviews – Smile and Wave! 

Ever conduct (or participate in) an exit interview?  Which, if you don’t know already, consists of questions for managers to ask employees who are leaving the company to discover areas to improve in so that they don’t lose valuable people over things that can be fixed.  Great idea.  There’s even an article on 12 Questions to Ask in an Exit Interview.  In theory, these are good questions that really would give valuable insight to managers–if the questions could be answered truthfully.  But really, how many times is that the case?  My advice to employees is:  “just smile and wave” on your way out the door.  Sometimes the truth hurts, and you want to maintain the most positive relationship with your “ex” as possible.  I know this may not be what HR departments in medical sales would like to hear me say, but it is their responsibility to find out about the issues within their own organization!

Technical Support or Field Service work….. anyone??

Feeling trapped behind your lab bench or desk? Come on over to the field side (or the industry side of the business). What is a field based position and what are the benefits of this type of position? Whether you’re a Med Tech, histotech, or a technical service engineer we have field based positions that require the technical expert to travel on site to your customers to assist them with their technical issues. In these positions, you are the “go to” person; both your company and customers value your expertise, training and advice you have to offer. Many no travel jobs can become monotonous, especially for the type of individual who can feel trapped being in the same place day in, day out. Field work offers more excitement with meeting new people, seeing new places, and having great variety in the work day, not to mention that increase in pay. These positions will keep you on the go and your frequent flyer miles quickly building up for that big vacation. So get out from behind that desk or bench, and come over to the field side. Let your job be an adventure.

How free is your FaceBook page?

Do you use MySpace or FaceBook?  It’s getting hard to find someone who doesn’t, these days.  If you do, this is just a little FYI and a warning for you:  please be mindful of what you put on it, especially if you are looking for a sales position in the biotech, pharmaceutical, clinical pathology, or medical device industries.  It’s becoming standard practice for employers to look at the social network pages of potential employees.  You don’t want them to find something that will make them think you’ll be an unstable or undesirable employee.  (see What’s on YOUR MySpace?)  “Adapting to Social Network Surveillance” points out that “job boards are where companies go to find qualified job candidates, but social networks are where they go to disqualify job candidates”….so don’t put anything on there you wouldn’t want to see as a “national headline” in the newspaper.   “Big Brother” has become not just the government…it’s all of us, including (potential) employers.

The 90 day part of the 30/60/90 day plan….

October 3, 2007 · Posted in 30/60/90 day sales plans, Business Plans for Interviews, Interview Coach, Interviewing Skills and Tips, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on The 90 day part of the 30/60/90 day plan…. 

The 90 day part of the plan is the getting settled part of your new job. You have already completed most training, you know the company systems and standard operating procedures and now you can focus on the subject at hand – sales! (either pharmaceutical sales positions, pathology laboratory sales, biotech sales jobs, clinical and research laboratory sales opportunities, laboratory service sales or medical device sales)

Here is a sample for the 90 day piece:

90 Days 

  • Continue calling upon accounts and prospects within territory, completing 3-5 cycles before month’s end.   
  • Land my first “Strikeforce” account.   
  • Schedule 2-3 speaker/dinner programs.   
  • Continue fine-tuning most efficient driving route within territory based on geography and availability of accounts.   
  • Brainstorm new & creative ways to get prospects attention in the field and ask your managers input.   
  • Continue to turn in paperwork and call reports in a timely manner.   
  • Continue dialogue with District Manager for performance feedback.   
  • Fine-tune my personal presentation style.   
  • Study!  

Get your own fill-in-the-blank, proven job-getting 30/60/90-Sales Plan here.

Hiring outside the box

Transferable job skills is becoming more and more of a big idea in the workplace…the idea that skills you acquire in one industry can be directly applied to another one with only a little tweaking…there’s lots of stuff about it online (see this one).  Sadly, not all companies hire people with transferable skills in mind, preferring to hire candidates “with experience.”  This article by Jennifer Klimas encourages companies to deal with the coming talent shortage by changing their current thinking about hiring people with transferable skills:  to look for people with potential or aptitude from various backgrounds (including growing good candidates through specific programs in-house), rather than just looking for industry-specific keywords on a resume.  This idea is especially applicable to all medical sales, including clinical diagnostic and pathology sales, medical device sales, and pharmaceutical sales.  These were my comments:

I love it!! One of my client companies completely embraces this practice. They hire sales people from copier sales, envelope sales (way to go Harvey), etc….to be sales reps for clinical diagnostics selling capital equipment and reagents into the hospital laboratory. This willingness to give someone a shot has earned them greater loyalty and less turnover (BTW – the #s look great too!). But sadly, other client companies do not accept candidates who have not been there and done that. This severly limits their hiring talent pool and puts them in a bidding war!

The 60 day part of the 30/60/90 day plan….

My candidate was interviewing for a capital equipment sales position (selling into the clinical laboratory of the hospital). She read my blog and worked up a 30/60/90 day sales plan for the manager. She said that it took her 3 hours to do (more than normal because she is not from this industry). The manager called – she is moving to a final interview. The other 4 candidates (not mine) are not. Why? “She was so prepared. She had really thought the job out. The plan she had put together was very impressive. I wonder why more candidates don’t do this….” These are the manager’s statements. The answer is 1. – they don’t know how or 2. – they don’t want the job enough. Be my candidate – prepare the sales plan! You will be amazed at the doors that it will open. Even prepare the plan when you are applying for an internal promotion.

So below I am going to paste in the 60 day part of the plan. Really it is usually more field time, less training and more customer introduction and a review of customer satisfaction with their current supplier – even if your company is the supplier…..Good Luck. This applies for all sales positions but especially for pharmaceutical sales positions, biotech sales jobs, clinical and research laboratory sales opportunities, laboratory service sales or medical device sales!

Here is the sample:

60 Days 

  • Continue calling upon accounts and prospect within territory, completing 2-3 call cycles before month’s end. Make sure all Anchor, Core & Developmental accounts have been visited. 
  • Schedule first speaker/dinner program. 
  • Fine tune most efficient driving route through territory. 
  • Continue to turn in paperwork and call reports in a timely manner. 
  • Continue dialogue with District Manager for performance feedback. 
  • Fine-tune my personal presentation style. 
  • Study!

Get a complete, proven 30/60/90-Day Sales Plan here.