Job Interview Etiquette….At Lunch

Not out to lunch…at lunch.  As in, what do you need to know to have a successful job interview over lunch?  Interviews over meals may seem less formal than office interviews, but they are just as important.  If you have a lunch interview for reasons other than your interviewer is truly incredibly busy, it’s because he or she is looking for something more than just your job skills.  Like, how do you handle yourself in a semi-social situation?  Can you focus with multiple distractions?  (Are you gross when you eat?)  MN Headhunter has a great article on Business Lunch Etiquette (which you’ll need to know anyway when you get the job in medical sales, pharmaceutical sales, laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, DNA products sales, medical and surgical supply sales, medical device sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, or any healthcare sales, management, and marketing position).  He covers everything from what to do with your napkin and utensils, what to eat and when to eat it, and how to handle the check. 

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Sales Candidates: Don’t bury the BS on your resume…

August 25, 2008 · Posted in Clinical Diagnostics, HealthCare Sales, Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pharmaceutical Sales, Resumes · Comments Off on Sales Candidates: Don’t bury the BS on your resume… 

A Bachelor of Science degree (major in Chemistry, Biology, Molecular, etc.) is not necessary, but it is helpful in medical sales, clinical diagnostics sales, laboratory sales, DNA products sales, sales of medical or surgical supplies, medical device sales, pharmaceutical sales, or any healthcare sales.  So don’t bury it at the bottom of your resume where I have to search for it.  Candidates who don’t have a BS try to hide that fact in various ways, but if you have yours, display it proudly.  (But don’t fake it!)

While we’re on the subject of resumes:  Recruiters have limited time to sift through the rubble of your resume, so it would be helpful (for you) to use bullet points.  Make it easy for me to skim through and discover how fabulous you are.  Your college professor wanted to read a well-crafted paragraph, but I don’t.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or any other, please do not hesitate to ask….


Hot off the press: Quick Start Guide to Clinical Laboratory – free at

Peggy McKee, owner and recruiter at PHC Consulting – search firm focused on medical laboratory sales, sales management and marketing talent, has just provided her “Quick Start Guide to the Clinical Laboratory” free on her website – www.phcconsulting.

Celina, Texas (PRWEB) August 21, 2008 — PHC Consulting ( has developed The Quick Start Guide to the Clinical Laboratory, a PowerPoint tutorial for anyone interested in sales, sales management, marketing, or technical service/support in clinical diagnostics or laboratory products. The Quick Start Guide explains the different areas of medical/research laboratory work (Histology, Phlebotomy, Hematology, Microbiology/Bacteriology, Chemistry, Blood Bank, and Molecular) and how the tests (different assays that are used to determine if disease is present, whether it is responding to medication and even, what medications will be most effective) and products (the analyzers, the reagents, and the other tangible items that are used to provide the end result to the attending physician) available fit within those areas. Many people are aware of companies like LabCorp and Quest but not clear about what they do behind their closed doors. This guide describes the sections and even names what vendors provide products in those sections (vendors include but are not limited to: Roche, Abbott, Beckman, Siemens, OrthoClinical, etc).

According to Peggy McKee, owner and chief medical sales recruiter at PHC Consulting, “understanding this information in the interview process can be a huge advantage for anyone searching for a job in lab equipment sales, reagent sales, or any role in the clinical laboratory.” Many candidates from other industries like pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical services, etc. usually do not understand the laboratory and it’s role within healthcare. This guide could be their lifesaver! She adds, “There may even be some utility for small companies in the startup phase. This guide could help them with their business plan, their education of the investor or even as a piece to add their own sales training programs.” Hiring sales managers often hire “the unconventional candidate,” which means that the candidate is different from the typical candidate (presumably one with industry experience). This guide would provide a wonderful framework for discussions involving workflow, different disease markers, competitors’ positioning in the marketplace, etc. For a limited time, the guide is being offered for free and is available for downloading on PHC’s website:

I made it into a video (technology is so cool). Here it is:

Sorry – no sound but if you have an idea for the appropriate music, maybe I could add it in.

Any suggestions?

Job Interview is over. Do you think it is thumbs up or down?

August 20, 2008 · Posted in Clinical Diagnostics, HealthCare Sales, HealthCare Sales Jobs, Imaging Sales, Interviewing Skills and Tips, Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pathology Sales Jobs · Comments Off on Job Interview is over. Do you think it is thumbs up or down? 

Found this post at The Sales Hub7 Signs Your Interview Went Well, from Alison Green.  These are great.  Go check them out before your next medical sales, healthcare sales, clinical diagnostics sales, laboratory sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, biotech sales, or medical supply sales interview. 

Pharma job layoffs – Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Glaxo

August 18, 2008 · Posted in Clinical Diagnostics, Laboratory Sales, Pharmaceutical Sales · Comments Off on Pharma job layoffs – Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Glaxo 

 Cliff Mintz over at BioJobBlog has several heads-up articles on job losses in the pharma industry.  Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Glaxo all announced job layoffs last week.  Just demonstrates what I’ve said before about the pharma sales industry being more unstable than jobs in clinical diagnostics and laboratory sales. 

Paris Hilton – You need me as your VP!

August 8, 2008 · Posted in Which job offer should I take? · 1 Comment 

Dear Paris,
I saw your video response to the presidential campaign advertisement (and response). I wanted to let you know that you should call me to be your VP. Why Peggy McKee? Well, you will need a balance (or you won’t win). So while you have a lot to offer the office, I could help you to sidestep some mistakes that will harm your candidacy and office effectiveness. Also, I am not as old as McCain (although with age and experience comes wisdom) or as weak as Obama (sorry but if I put him through one of my behavioral interviews, he would be in trouble). So we will be a step ahead from the beginning. Below I will list a few areas where I think I can be of assistance and you can let me know what the next step is….
1. I am great at identifying, targeting and acquiring the very best talent (I am a great recruiter) and have 9 years of experience doing this for companies that don’t have the resources that you will. You are going to need some strong talent around you in order to win and to perform in this position.
2. I understand presence and how your dress/manners/interactions will affect our voting public (it is the same with interviews). We will need to sit down and go over this, but I think it is safe to say that your advertisements will no longer be made on lawn chairs with skimpy swimsuits. This communicates a life of ease, very little work ethic and poor taste when it comes to your dress. I talk with candidates about this kind of thing all of the time. I am sure with some time, we can come to an agreement about what would be best for you (and our campaign).
3. I understand and love capitalism. I know that your family has enjoyed capitalism (so you probably feel the same). I think if we just put the right opportunities in front of the oil companies and other entrepreneurs like T. Boone, etc., we will be amazed about how this oil/gas can pan out. Oh – and I know that the tire pressure fix is just not going to do it.
4. Because I work in recruiting, I am acutely aware of the pain that some of our fellow americans are feeling (due to layoffs, business failing, etc). I am not sure that you will be as informed or able to commiserate at that level. I can provide that balance for you.
5. You seem a little air-headed. We will need to reduce those things that give that impression. Let’s forget about painting the white house pink (I know that change is good, but a lot of people reacted negatively to the last mention of a color change). And try to wear more colors that give off that impression – so less pink, okay?
6. Have you ever been in the military? Me, neither. But I have a lot of friends, family and business associates who have. So I suggest we do a good job of showing support for the incredible individuals they are. Could we try to influence the liberal news slant? Maybe you and I could figure out a way to get the real news out about our military and the amazing successes that they accomplish but no one talks about.
7. Social Media and the web are areas that you would need my focus. We have a lot of work to do. I had a guy lose a job opportunity the other day because of his myspace page. I think some of your stuff out there is worse. We will definitely have to work to clean it up.
8. Negotiations? Are you good at this? I am. I help candidates and companies come together with mutually agreeable terms (and then stay together for years). I can handle a lot of what you will struggle with here. But, before we get started, you must agree that there are issues, actions and statements that are unacceptable (and therefore non-negotiable). You will have to be prepared to walk with me when we face that type of situation. It is the right thing to do.
9. Children? I don’t think you have any. I do and that experience changes the way you view things. Again, I think I could add a lot of balance here.
So, Paris, think this over and let me know if you would like to continue these discussions.

Tips for Closing the Interview

Jobs in medical sales, healthcare sales, biotechnology sales, lab sales, clinical diagnostics sales, DNA/genetics sales, medical supplies sales, medical equipment sales, and pharmaceutical sales are challenging, lucrative, and therefore….competitive.  If you want an edge in your sales interview, here it is:  today’s video covers closing the interview.  When to close, what to say, and how to deal with objections or non-answers.

The most important thing to remember about closing is to do it.  No hiring sales manager is going to hire someone who can’t navigate a closing process.  The thinking is, if you can’t close on something as important as your job, which is in your own direct self-interest, you aren’t going to be able to close a sale for the company.

How do you close?  The most direct way is to ask for the job:  “I appreciate your time today, and I am so excited about what I have learned about this job.  Based on our discussion, I see this job as the perfect opportunity.  Do you see me as a productive member of this team?”  If that’s not your style, go for the Assumptive Close.  Assume they want to hire you and say something like, “What’s the next step?” Or, “What will my training be like?”

One of the most important reasons to take this step is to uncover any objections they have to hiring you.  Get them out into the open so you can deal with them NOW, while you still have a chance to speak up in your own defense.  If they have a specific concern about your background, you can ask, for instance, if they’ve ever hired anyone with your same experience, or, what are the qualifications of your best salesperson?  Maybe they have the same qualifications as you, and then you can uncover the “real” reason.  Or maybe they’ll rethink their position.

Remember, you are pushing for an answer now.  That may feel uncomfortable for you, but it’s better to get an answer you can deal with now.  If you push and the answer is “no,” ask why.  I’ve had candidates get a “no” and once they found out why, dealt with the objection and wound up with the job.

If they are on the fence about you, you can ask for another conversation in a few days.  I will be telling you how to ask, and what to plan for during that second conversation.

Ask for advice…if you get it, that’s a “buying signal,” which is a good sign for you.

Knowing how to close will not only help you in interviews, but also (obviously) in sales processes, project management, and any negotiations.  Watch the video.  It’s 10 minutes long, but it’s packed with the best advice I have for closing, including exactly what to say in a variety of situations.

Your thoughts?

Listen to these tips from a career coach on how to close for the job in the interview–exactly the words you need to say to the interviewer.

Topgrading for Sales: A Book Review for Medical Sales

Here’s a great book for all hiring managers in medical sales:  Topgrading for Sales by Greg Alexander and Bradford Smart, PHD.  (A special thank you to Greg and Brad for sending me the book to review!)  I have been a fan of “Topgrading” since Brad’s first book, The Smart Interviewer.

Key points about this book:

  • Average Cost of Not Getting It Right-“The average cost of a mis-hire is about $600,000 for a sales rep with a $100,000 base compensation.” While I am not sure of the accuracy of the numbers, I do agree the costs are high.  (Here’s a link to their study.)
  • “80/20 Rule”—According to the authors, “20 % of the sales reps achieve 80 % of the sales.” (Seems like you have heard this before.)

Essentially, Topgrading is packing your sales force with the top performers in the business.  Obviously, that’s what we all want, but how do we do it?  Smart and Alexander recommend several ways:

  • Ask for compensation history and ask lots of questions.  While I agree…I do have concerns.
  • A true “A” candidate has to be shown “love”…interviewers can’t just fire off question after question like it’s an inquisition.
  • Keep a Virtual Bench. What is this? Recruit all day with everyone you come into contact with.  (Networking:  Now and Forever!!!!)
  • Conduct multiple interviews.  While I agree with multiple touches, I think if the interview process is too long, you lose great candidates. No one wants to lose all of their vacation to interviewing.
  • Consider offering a bounty for anyone who can refer a good candidate who gets placed. (Doesn’t everybody do this?) 
  • TORC-Threat of reference check.  Ask candidates to arrange reference calls.  This creates a more honest interview and candidates will be more forthcoming in the interview process.  Here at PHC Consulting  we already ask candidates who will be a reference for them and what they will say about them. This is a very effective screening tool.

Overall: This book is an expansion on the first book with a tactical focus on the concepts of the original book. Definitely valuable to the hiring sales manager!!  Useful for all areas of healthcare sales, medical sales, lab sales, DNA/genetics sales, medical supplies sales, biotechnology sales, pathology sales, imaging sales, pharmaceutical sales, and hospital equipment sales.

Subscribe to a monthly top-grade newsletter. will provide you regular tips on how to hire and keep a top sales team, and it also has a review of this book.

Here’s a video about the book and this is the review that Inc Magazine gave the book.  I would love to hear your comments about it.




5 Tips for Interviewing and Hiring Top Medical Sales Reps!

Today’s video will show you the top 5 things to keep in mind when interviewing and hiring sales reps for medical sales, healthcare sales, DNA sales, medical supplies sales, clinical diagnostics sales, pharmaceutical sales, laboratory sales, biotech sales, pathology sales, or imaging sales:  what to make sure you do, and how to avoid common hiring mistakes.

1.  Use a results-based decision-making process.  What does this mean?  Look at your current reps (most importantly -look at the high performers).  What are their characteristics in common?  Similar backgrounds?  Similar degrees?  What works for them will likely be what makes a good current candidate.  They will “fit.” 


2.  Talk to your top candidates several times.  Make sure you’re getting a full picture of the candidate, not on just one really spectacular day.  And, have others speak to them.  See if others on your team are getting the same impression you are.   

3.  Watch the “tells.” If you play poker, you know about “tells.”  It’s just body language and behavior.  Read the book: Reading People.  It’s excellent.  And pay attention to things like:

–how they follow up with you after the interview

–what the thank you note looks like, how it is written, and when it came

–how the candidate dressed, and what kind of behavior you noticed

4.  Use an assessment tool:  DISC, Caliper, OPQ, or whatever- but use this on your current team first.  It’s like the background.  If you know what kind of personality characteristics make for a great sales rep in your company, look for those kinds of things in new candidates. 

5.  CHECK REFERENCES.  I’m amazed at how some hiring managers don’t check for references or pay close attention to the ones they call.  There are definite signs to look for that will give you solid clues about your candidate. 


Top 10 Reasons To Use PHC Consulting for Recruiting Top Sales Talent

August 2, 2008 · Posted in For Sales Managers, Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on Top 10 Reasons To Use PHC Consulting for Recruiting Top Sales Talent 

I really like the Letterman Top 10 Lists, so here is mine:

10. We eat, sleep, drink and breath healthcare/medical sales, marketing and support recruiting.

9. We are from Texas, which means we are friendly, helpful people. Besides there isn’t much to do here, so we just work, work, work. If your recruiter is in California or Florida, they could be distracted by the beach, etc. Not a problem here!

8. Hiring is hard and stressful, we make it easy (and less stressful).

7. We know that you have other duties to perform, so we take as much of the work out of hiring as possible. Our clients say our candidates are the most qualified, pre-screened of all of the candidates that they receive.

6. Life is too short to talk with another candidate that can’t remember the name of your company (or what your company does).

5. You don’t have time to schedule phone interviews, we do that for you and email you (and the candidate) a confirmation of your phone interview schedule.

4. You don’t have time to schedule your in person interviews, we do that for you and email you (and the candidate) the schedule.

3. If you hire one more bad sales rep, you may be looking for a new job. Our candidates are the most promoted, least turnover, top reps in our client companies! Lessen your risk, call PHC Consulting.

2. You are tired of spelling out clinical terms to your recruiter when you call them with a job. We already know your business, your competition and your client!

1. Our Christmas cards will be custom printed this year with a very cool concept (using medical terminology and colored fonts). If you don’t do business with us, you won’t get one! 

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