After years of conducting interviews as the owner of a medical device company, I’ve noticed that the art of interviewing has seemingly been lost. There is little thought, preparation, and care that goes into interviewing, and much of the advice offered is quite generic, and lacks industry specificity. This is why I wanted to write this article to share with you my interview tips to for surviving a healthcare sales interview.
Interview Tip #1: Adding Value
One of the most important questions that I ask sales reps during an interview is “how do you add value?” Quite often I find that reps are unprepared for this question. We tend to think in terms of “I”. “What will I get out of this?” “How will I benefit?” What we need to remember is to think from a company perspective. Yes, you may benefit greatly from the experiences you’ll have, but what do you bring to the table that can benefit the company.
How do you determine your value? Simply discover and play to the needs and wants of the company.
For example, you learn through talking to the interviewer that ABC Company needs reps that are can build a rapport with their offices; the reps need to form real relationships with the offices in order to facilitate sales. So, when the interviewer asks, “How do you add value?”, you could explain how you are very personable and would be able to build rapport with doctors and staff.
While it can take some sleuthing to figure out the needs of the company you want to work for, you can use that information to help inform your answers.
Interview Tip #2: Selling Yourself
This is one of the most basic tips I could give you: SELL YOURSELF. You are applying and interviewing for a sales position. This is the perfect time to put those skills to use. Through my years of interviewing, I’ve come up with a three step process to complete in order to help sell yourself.
Step 1: Dress the Part
The way that you dress is vitally important. Make sure everything you wear is clean, wrinkle-free, and reflects the environment in which you are trying to enter. Remember, you’re trying to infiltrate an existing environment. Proof of adaptation is key to the success of your interview.
Step 2: Researching the Part
This step happens both before and during the interview. Not only should you research the company, the key players of the company, and the position you want, but you should also make an effort to learn the hiring manager’s expectations. Use those expectations to your advantage. For instance, the hiring manager may like candidates to bring in references. Taking that extra step will make you feel more prepared and make a good impression with the interviewer.
Your research doesn’t stop once the interview starts. As I’ll explain later, listening closely to what the interviewer is saying will help you inform your responses in a more intelligent and impactful way.
Step 3: Act the Part
This is it. You got the interview. Now how do you sell yourself. What I suggest, and what can go a long way is to bring something for the office. Whether cookies, doughnuts, or bagels, bring a small offering to your interview. This goes a long way in terms of selling yourself. You’ll bring a smile to someone’s face, as well as demonstrate that you care about the job you’re seeking.
Interview Tip #3: Interesting vs. Interested
Again, this is one of the pitfalls that I see happen time and time again to reps that I have interviewed. Let me explain the difference between being interesting vs. interested and why this interview tip is so important.
Being interesting means that you are acting out in order to garner attention. It may be in your dress, way of talking, or topics of discussion. While discussing your skills, your life, and what you hope to get out of the job is all fine to touch on, your focus should be on the interviewer, not yourself.
Being interested means listening to your interviewer. Actively engage in what he or she is saying by focusing on what is being said, instead of what you will say next. Your ability to actively listen will enable you to learn what is important to the interviewer and respond in a thoughtful way.
Like I said before, I’ve been interviewing reps for many years and I can tell you there are certain things that owners and executives look for in interviewees. These interview tips are some of the important factors that I look for when interviewing a new rep. The quicker you can discover what the interviewer considers a good employee, the quicker you can become that employee.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to land a job in healthcare sales, check out our Sales 101 course, now available!
What was your favorite interview tip? Leave a comment and let us know!