The Pharma Sales Interview Breakthrough Blog
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!
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