I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Here is our next curveball interview question:
We have quite a few qualified candidates. Many with more experience and more accomplishments outlined in their resume. I'm not sure I could sell you to my supervisor as the hire. Why should we hire you?
This is not an uncommon question, quite honestly. The "why you" is a staple of most interviews...especially in sales. The nuance here though is that the question is loaded with comments to undermine your confidence and in turn, could impact how you respond. One could very easily get a bit emotional...or defensive. That is exactly what the interviewer is looking for. They are trying to hit a nerve or at least see how you respond in the face of criticsm.
If you have any experience in sales, you know that there are going to be some customers that will try to derail you or push buttons to see how you react...or not. It's important to remind yourself that the interviewer may not have any other candidates and may simply be trying to see how you respond. If you do get defensive or emotional...well then, you've lost. You have essentially gave your power to the person across from you at the table.
On the other hand, if you state that you appreciate the fact that there are many qualified candidates, but confidently and clearly communicate the 3 aspects of your brand (that you have so clearly been communicating throughout the interview), then you will demonstrate a calm in the storm that the hiring manager will respect and see that you are in control and can be the type of "quarterback" that can stay calm in the pocket while the defense is bearing down on you.
For example, your response may sound something like this:
"Great, I am glad to hear that you have a large group of qualified candidates. You're right, this role is important and it is certainly important to me. That is why I connected with you prior to this interview, as well as everyone on your district team. I wanted to better understand key elements of the role and the team that could not be communicated on paper. I certainly don't know if the other candidates did this, but if they did not, then I think that says something about how much they want to work for you and with this team.
Additionally, to prepare for this role, I spent some time speaking with the region thought leader, Dr. Blank, to gain his insight on XYZ product and your organization. He shared with me some key insights that no other candidate would know about if they had not spoken with him. Again, I certainly don't know if the other candidates did this, but if they did not, then I think that says something about how much they want to sell this product.
Throughout the interview, I have shared with you examples of how my skills and abilities align with the core competencies of this role. They are specifically outlined here and bullet pointed (direct the interviewers attention to this prepared piece).
But, what you cannot see here on this paper is how much I want to work for you, with your team, and with this organization. I hope that my desire has been demonstrated by my preparedness for this interview and that while others may have more qualifications or experience...my desire to do this job and make the most of this opportunity is unmatched...and because of that, I will exceed all expectations in this role for this terrritory. As the great sales person, Zig Ziglar, once said, "Desire is the great equalizer".
I want this opportunity more than any other candidate. Hire me now!
Those are my thoughts on this question. That is how I would answer. Share with me your thoughts on how you would answer! Thanks and have a great week!
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
Regardless of what you are struggling with or how you are struggling...keep your eyes on the prize and rise above it!
Have a great week everyone.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I wanted to share they great news that "The Pharma Sales Interview Breakthrough Blueprint" is now available as an ebook on NOOK and KOBO (In fact, it's a little cheaper on KOBO if that interests you)!
Also, the print version is available to order through Nook press as well.
The links for the ebooks are below. Thanks again for your support of this book. Have a great day.
Hello everyone! Let's dive into our next curveball interview question today!
Is there anything that you have heard or read about our company that you don't like?
If you've read my book, The Pharma Sales Interivew Breakthrough Blueprint...which is only $4.99 via KINDLE...this question would really be a slam dunk. Honestly, the amount of insight and perspective regarding the company you are interviewing with after following the steps in the book would be overwhelming. You would likely know more about that respective company than the interviewer knows.
That said, let's discuss how you would respond to this question. Of course, you do not want to respond with anything negative. Even if you have heard negative things about the company. Although...if you have read something and whatever it was, was front page news...then you would want to mention it or refer to it...but then explain that you feel it has no bearing on the future that you see for the company and for yourself with the company. Not mentioning "front page news" would make it look like you didn't do your homework.
Regardless of the situation thought, you want to take time to respond to this question by sharing a few key insights regarding the current success and future success of the company. These are insights that you acquired during your research. Assuming you have connected with someone already in the organization, prior to your interview, you will want to reference that individual and possibly share some insights that you gained from them as well regarding your impression of the company.
All of this demonstrates the homework and research you put into learning about this organization. Of course, press releases are a good source for this info. Check out the companies annual report. Again, my book outlines several avenues for this background info that ultimately boosts your confidence and your credibility as a candidate.
I hope this helps! Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments regarding this question below. Have a great week! Thanks again for all of your support of the book!
"Believe you can and you're halfway there."
Yep. No question. There always seems to be a small voice that creates doubt in all of us...whether it is seeking out the new job or extending ourselves creatively.
We only get "one at bat" so to speak...in this life. Make the most of it. Don't have regrets when your time is up.
Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving!
I saw this the other day and thought I would share. Some of these questions we have directly or indirectly tackled in previous blog posts.
Click the link below and check it out! Worth the read.
After the election last Tuesday, I posted a link to an article that provided some immediate thoughts regarding what might happen with Obama Care now that Trump is the elected president.
Clearly, how this will play out is anyone's guess...and I certainly don't have any insights or thoughts that would be helpful.
That said, I do want to post another link to a more qualified article that was published yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Jonathan Oberlander is a professor of Health Policy& Managment at UNC Chapel Hill. Here is a link to the article in the NEJM. It is a thorough...but quick...read. Please check it out. You will feel smarter for doing so :).
Below is a quote that I believe captures the key point of the article.
"The GOP-led House has already voted to repeal Obamacare dozens of times and will most likely do so again. The situation in the Senate is more complicated. The Republican majority of 51 senators is far less than the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster and thereby pass contested legislation. However, the GOP can use a legislative procedure that requires only a simple majority — budget reconciliation — to overturn Obamacare’s main coverage provisions.
Republicans face challenges in dismantling the ACA. Procedural limits mean that reconciliation can be used to repeal many Obamacare provisions but not the entire law (its insurance market regulations would probably be spared). Moreover, some of its provisions, such as banning insurers from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents’ health plan until 26 years of age, are popular."
It's a quick read. Check it out.
Hello! I hope all is well. I realize it's been a while. It's been a very busy past few months. So, here is the next "curveball".
Share with me several, business critical decsions, you've had to make in the past year in your current role at your current company.
I like this question alot because it allows the interviewer to evaluate the actual decision and the actions you took. But, I think the meat of this question...or the intent...is to actually evalute what you deem "business critical". A follow up question may be "How do you prioritize your time in the midst of so many competing priorities to give these business critical decisions...or circumstances...the attention that they needed? Again, this would be a way that the interviewer would evaluate NOT what you actually do...BUT, how you determine the prioritization and allocation of your time.
For example, in sales, many sales people focus their efforts on being "busy". Instead of actually allocated their time wisely and investing their time into those efforts that move the needle and have the biggest payoff. A sales person could spend equal amounts of time with all of their customers, or they could segment their business in such a way that the time they spend is with the 20% of their customers that are responsible for the 80% of their business.
The same would apply here...even if your "business critical" decisions did not relate particularly to sales. It may have been a particular project or a particular customer complaint. Or maybe, it was something that the leadership of your organization takes for granted and no one would necessarily notice...but you know the true impact if you didn't take action.
I hope this helps with this question. Take some time to reflect on how you would respond. I hope to have another curveball interview question for you all soon.
Feel free to share your thoughts regarding this question, below. Have a great week!
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
Personally, and to be honest, I'm not sure. There are alot of moving parts here and alot to discern between now and January 20th.
But, if you are interested in learning more, or at least pontificating, read what Modern Healthcare has to say here.
The "Breakthrough" Book