How to Answer Interview Questions for Medical Sales – How Do You Deal With Difficult Customers?

One of the most important job interview questions for any medical sales rep is, ‘How do you deal with difficult customers?’ We all know that you’re going to run across a few in your career, and your response says a lot about you and how you will represent the company.

In the video below, I will give you the only acceptable answer to this job interview question.

Click on the video to watch.

Get more information about how to answer this interview question in my blog article, How to Answer Interview Questions Q16.

And be sure to check out the entire blog series, How to Answer Interview Questions. It’s 101 tough job interview questions and answers.

Why Are More Men Than Women In Medical Sales Management?

If you lined up all the medical sales managers in the world, how many of them would be men?

The latest data from MedRep’s Medical Sales Salary Report 2013 survey suggests that 87% of them would be male, and only 13% female.

I realize that those aren’t exact numbers, because it’s limited to respondents to the survey, but it’s not too far from reality.  Most medical sales managers are men.  Why?

Are men better managers than women are?  I don’t think so.  I was a medical sales manager myself and I loved it even more than being a sales rep, and I did a bang-up job.  I’ve known lots of great female managers.  So what gives?

First, you just don’t see as many women as men in medical sales.  If the sales team is 70% male, then there are going to be a lot more male managers.   That’s just black and white numbers.  In pharma, there are more women.  But in other areas of medical sales (medical device, biotech, IT, laboratory, clinical, and so on), most sales reps are men.  Management numbers reflect that.

However, there are several other factors that are important to consider.  A lot of people think that women are discriminated against in this arena, but I don’t agree.  That was not my experience.

My personal opinion is that women don’t go after management jobs, they don’t take enough active roles that put them in a position to be promoted, and they tend to shy away from some of the difficulties of management (travel, politics, and cutthroat pressure).   If that’s a personal choice, that’s OK, but if you want more, you should have it.  Management is where the money is.  There are a lot of talented women out there who deserve to be making that money, too.

If you are a woman in the medical sales field who wants a role in management, you almost certainly need some coaching to figure out how to not just play the game, but win it.  If you want a successful female medical sales manager to show you how you can find the same success, spend some coaching time with me.  I will give you the straight, no-holds-barred, honest truth.  Find out about coaching here.

The other skill you need to move up the ladder is negotiating skills.  Check out this Salary Negotiation Tips webinar and hear how you can boost your salary, increase your benefits, and get what you want in every negotiating situation.





How to Answer Interview Questions for Medical Sales – Describe a time you went ‘above and beyond’.

If, in a medical sales job interview, you are ever asked to describe a time you went above and beyond the call of duty at work, be extremely happy because you’ve just been handed a spotlight to make yourself shine as a candidate.

In the video below, I will tell you what kinds of stories you should choose to tell in response to this behavioral interview question, and how best to tell it.

Click on the video to watch.

For more information, suggestions, and ideas for how to answer this interview question, see my blog article How to Answer Interview Questions Q10 on Career Confidential.

Then start exploring the entire series, How to Answer Interview Questions – 101 Tough Job Interview Questions and Answers to get the best interview answers to the questions you’ll hear in a medical sales job interview.

Medical Sales Jobs – Are Men Paid More? Why? What Reasons Could There Be?

The 2013 Medical Sales Salary Report from MedReps was recently published…if you haven’t seen it, you need to check it out.

This year’s report breaks down medical sales salaries into median vs. average incomes, along with breakdowns of income by:

  • Product Sold (pharmaceutical, lab or diagnostics, health IT, medical device, etc.)
  • Job Title
  • Age
  • Experience
  • Type of Company (small, medium, large)
  • Benefits (company car, car allowance, profit sharing, 401k, etc.)

All this information is incredibly helpful for medical sales reps, and I want to thank MedReps for putting this together for us all.

But what I thought was even more interesting was the breakdown of income by sexmen vs. women.

MedReps is reporting that men make an average of 5% higher base salary and 20% higher total income…a bigger difference than last year.  So instead of closing the gap, women are losing ground.

MedReps explains this by pointing out that men are more likely to be in management and more likely to be in higher-paying fields such as medical device and biotech.

I personally don’t think that’s the whole explanation.  In my experience, men are more likely to both ask for a higher salary when they start a new role (which sets them up for higher percentage-based increases later) and more likely to push for promotions and push to be in a position to take on projects that lead to promotions.  Medical sales is an aggressive field, and for women to be as financially successful as men are (on average), they need to learn how to do those same things for themselves to set themselves up for higher salaries and promotions, too.

***  If you are a woman in medical sales and think that you’re not being paid what you’re worth, or even being paid what the guy next to you is being paid, then spend a few minutes in a coaching session with me and let me show you how to get what you want and deserve financially.  Find out more about coaching here.

***  If you are looking for a medical sales job and want to set yourself up to receive the best base salary possible, then check out the best salary negotiation tips you’ll find anywhere to help you get the best compensation and benefits you can:  Jack Chapman Tells You How to Make $1000 a Minute.







Medical Sales Job Interview Question – Are You a Team Player?

If an interviewer asks you, ‘Do you prefer working in a team, or alone?‘ what do you say? There’s a lot more to answering this question than whether you hate group work or love it.

In the video below, I will tell you how you should be thinking about this question and give you the best way to answer it (and expand on it).

Click on the video to watch.

You can read more about this, and get suggestions and tips for exactly the wording to use when answering this question in this blog post: How to Answer Interview Questions Q8 on Career Confidential.

While you’re there, check out the entire series, How to Answer Interview Questions – 101 Tough Job Interview Questions and Answers.

Medical Sales Job Interviews – Why 30-60-90-Day Plans Are So Powerful

Medical sales is an extremely competitive field, and it’s difficult for job seekers to stand out.  The very best way I know of to stand out in your medical sales job interviews and be the top candidate and get the offer is to bring a 30-60-90-day plan.  That advice is based on my own personal experience, and my experience as a recruiter, sending hundreds upon hundreds of my own candidates to interviews.  This is what causes success.

In the video below, I’ll tell you why 30-60-90-Day Plans are so powerful, and why you need one for your next job interview.

Click on the video to watch.

For more information about 30-60-90-Day Plans, or to get a plan for yourself, click here:  30-60-90-Day Sales Plan.