Good morning! I hope all is well.
Over the past couple months, I've been sharing "curve ball" interview questions. The kind of questions that you can't or won't likely prepare for...because they are not generated out of the core competencies of the position you are interviewing for.
Today, I am going to go off script a bit. I have had a couple of experiences lately that I thought I would share and I think provide some value to you the reader.
I recently heard a friend (hiring manager in the medical sales industry) share with me a series of interview questions that he asks all of his candidates. He is an extremely experienced manager and some of the more difficult questions that
"Once you saw this job posting, how did you prepare?"
"Ok, great. once you learned I was the hiring manager, how did you prepare?"
"If your previous manager (i.e. boss at your current or previous company) was to start a business, would he/she take you with him/her? Why?"
Alright, the first question is a now brainer. This is one that you can expect...AND, as outlined in The Pharma Sales Interview Breakthrough Blueprint...this is one you will CRUSH by following those outlined steps in the book.
The second question...again, also outlined in the book...is one that I think a lot of interviewees overlook. They don't do research on the hiring manager and therefore, don't understand the hot buttons...or front burner issues...for this individual.
Of course, there are the job competencies...and you want to demonstrate your ability to perform within those. But, how often are you reaching out to those around the hirining manager and getting their insight and perspective on his/her imperactives for the next person they hire to be part of their team.
The last question is interesting...because if you are an internal candidate...this hiring manager can actually ask your current manager the exact question. Of course, if you get a question like this...you will want to fall back on the core competencies of the position you are interviewing for and share a success or a pattern of successes that align to those core competencies.
But, let's look at the other side of the coin with this question. It's important, if you are in this situation (obviously, if you are leaving a company and interviewing to join a different organization...then the dynamics of this question are a little less relevant) then you need to have a conversation with your current manager about how they would represent you to the hiring manager.
You may think that your current manager would state the obvious (You are an amazing employee...and YES I would take them with me) but, be sure to vet that out a bit. Highlight recent projects or sales that you have made to further boost your brand in the mind of the current manager. In doing so, you know what to expect them to say to the hiring manager when they have that conversation...and they will.
Let me know what you think...or how you would handle these questions differently. Leave your comments below.
Also, if you haven't downloaded a copy of The Pharma Sales Interview Breakthrough Blueprint...the KINDLE version is only $4.99. You may be in a place where you don't need it now...but don't wait. Interview prep is best...and easiest...when you prepare on a regular basis. Building interview resources and confidence takes time...do it now and you will be ready to rock when the time comes.
Thanks again - Michael
Over the past couple of weeks I have posted a few questions to consider asking the hiring manager or interview panel. Obviously, you will have product specific or marketplace specific questions that bubble up from your research. Many of the questions I have shared are simply designed to better understand the culture of who you would be working for.
Here are the last ones:
"I can see that (insert your findings) are a future threat to the competitiveness of this organization. But, what else am I missing that I might be unaware of?"
"Where do you see the company going in the next few years?"
Again, with these types of questions, you are demonstrating strategic thought and already putting yourself into that role with the organization. The first question also highlights the research that you put into your interview preparation.
These are also good questions to demonstrate your business acumen. For example, with the second question, the interviewer may share some insights...based on your prior research and prep - you may respond in agreement and add your own insights. This ultimately builds credibility and strengthens your"fit" with the organization.
Of course, if you have additional thoughts or comments, please leave them below.
Also, if you are thinking about interview for a new role with your current company...or are wanting to break into medical sales, I encourage you to purchase the KINDLE version of my book. It is $4.99 and will help you focus your preparation to maximize your interview impact!
Have a great day!
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Good morning! I hope your week is going well. Over the past few weeks, I have posted a few questions for you to ask the hiring manager. Here are a couple more to consider:
"What are the success factors for a person to be effective in this position?"
"How will you know the person you have hired for this position has been successful six months from now? In a year?"
I like these questions alot, because they demonstrate forethought and that you are already placing yourself into the role. If I were the hiring manager I heard questions like this from a strong candidate...this would really give me something to consider.
Remember, the hiring manager isn't always going to hire the most qualified...he/she wants someone that has the drive and motivation to succeed.
Of course, if you get the job - your expectations are clear.
Starting tomorrow, at 8am GMT, The Pharma Sales Breakthrough Blueprint will go on sales for £.99...or $1.45 in U.S. Dollars.
So, save your money today and download it tomorrow. The AMAZON Countdown deal will run through June 8th. Take advantage of the deal - I assure you that you will get value from the book.
Thanks for your support! Michael
Worth the watch! Check it out.
If you've read the previous posts (curve ball questions #18, #17, & #16) then you get the idea here. Below is a curve ball question and my commentary.
In The Pharma Sales Interview Breakthrough Blueprint, I share several interview questions that align to core job competencies. Here we are looking at those questions that don't exactly align to core job competencies and could prove to be an unexpected challenge in an interview situation.
Working through your responses to these types of questions (and core competency questinos) will "stretch" your mental muscles. Remember - you want to demonstrate "authentic spontaneity" and the more you practice...the more that will happen in your interview.
Here we go:
Describe the most creative and imaginative work related project you ever completed?
This might sound like a question that a graphic designer would get, someone in advertising or some other "creative" type of occupation....but not sales...right. I mean, sales is black and white...Always. Be. Closing...as Alec Baldwin would say. You either make the sale or you don't.
With this question (I believe) the interviewer is wanting to understand more about how you approach problems. Who ever they hire isn't going to be hired because they will do a great job of the day to day work of the rep...or share information with health care providers who are easy to see. That person will be hired based on how well they solve complex problems and overcome them. A salesperson is hired to access and influence the customers that are hard to access and influence...otherwise - hiring would be easy and any warm body would do.
The way that I would approach this question is this - think of the most difficult and intensive problem that you have had to work through - there you will find your most creative and imaginative work. There is an inverse relationship between the difficulty of a problem and the amount of thought we apply to it. The easy problems get very little of our energy...of course. The bigger ones require more.
So, mabye you led a project that involved may different stakeholders at many different levels within your organization OR...outside of your organization. You broughts those individuals together...tried something out of the norm to help foster and create a shared vision...one that not everyone agreed on...but you got buy-in...and the results of the project were....???
Maybe you had a customer that hated your organization. The common thought was to avoid this customer at all costs because he/she could impact other lines of business. You chose a differnent tact - did something out of the norm - and he/she has relented a bit an no longer has the animosity they once had...and you've grown business by...???
Look back at your calender in the past year. Scroll old emails. Think back to a time when you absolutely LOATHED work more than you normally do. That is where you will find your most creative and imaginative work. You were forced from your normal posture of work and required to think of a new way.
Certainly, if you have additional thoughts or comments - please share in the comment section below. Thanks and have a great week!
By the way - the KINDLE version of the book is $4.99, paperback is $19.99 as shown below. If you haven't purchased it yet - please do so - it is a real value and will help you reach a new level of confidence prior to your next interview.
Very funny! Enjoy
The "Breakthrough" Book