20+ TOP Pharmaceutical Interview Questions & answers
1. How do you think you would get a Physician to switch to your drug?
The biggest challenge comes with a physician who is happy with his current drug. In such a case, your first step is to make your presence felt by setting small goals and making small in roads. As you gain more knowledge about the drugs and the physician’s prescribing behavior you would use your product knowledge and other tools to make the physician view your drug favorably. Then your next step is to get the physician to prescribe to one patient type, and you have a foot in the door. Follow up with the doctor to see the results on the patient type and then you can push for other patient types.
2. How would you like your ideal sales manager to be – to get the best out of you?
Some pharmaceutical interview questions like this one are tricky. But you would certainly like a helpful sort who equips you with all the tools and knowledge, tips and other forms of support. You need one who can assess your potential and set you realistic goals based on a well-analyzed sales plan. One who actually sees you in action and tells you how to get the best strategy in place. One who can drive you, who supports and believes in you, who is open, honest and who can use his knowledge and yours to bring about a synergistic result. One who can add value to both your personal and career goals.
3. If given a territory and a list of physicians to call on, how would you go about it?
Nothing beats sound field knowledge to make a strategy. Know your territory first. Know your customers and their sales potential. Analyze the data and figure out where your biggest potential is in terms of the 80:20 principle (80% of your business comes from 20% of the people). After the A list is covered, then make your own B list and C list within a time frame that fits with the organizations sales closing.
4. What is the most challenging aspect of a pharmaceutical representative?
As a pharmaceutical representative your biggest challenge is pretty much in influencing the physicians among many others representatives who are doing the same thing. Tell the interviewer on how you find your way to sell yourself to physicians creatively and to make it count in numbers.
5. How do you perceive a pharmaceutical representatives typical workday?
As a sales representative you know very well that your job is to sell to the physicians. Whatever it takes you have to increase the sales figures. To do that you must make a favorable impression on the doctors, especially the ones that count. Discuss how you plan for each doctor differently based on their work schedules and preferences, likes and dislikes.
6. How do you think the company would help you the best?
This question basically means the company wishes to know whether you are a team player and whether you can handle your own resources.
The answer to this question is that the company should chalk out a plan and quota that you should achieve in a month and then give you the resources that are reasonable and logical for you to meet.
7. How do you perceive a typical day for pharmaceutical sales representative?
When asked this question, it would normally mean that the interviewer is looking for your dedication and whether you are up to the physical aspect of working as a pharmaceutical salesperson.
To this question, you should generally reply that you are quite aware of the day time table of a pharmaceutical salesman.
You would also have to make a special mention of the times when the medical practitioners and other medical officers are relatively free, that being around seven in the morning or even around nine in the evening.
This way, you will not only speak about your knowledge of the business, but also inform the interviewer that you are ready for the hard work that goes into becoming a pharmaceutical sales representative.
8. What is the most challenging aspect of being a pharmaceutical sales person?
A person who is new to the world of pharmaceutical sales will most definitely point out that the most difficult part is meeting the medical practitioner, but that is actually not so.
The most difficult part is actually convincing a doctor to switch from a drug that s/he and their patients are quite comfortable with and present a new alternative, which may or may not be better. Of course, the target group of a pharmaceutical is quite different than a common salesman, but that is the least challenging aspect of a pharmaceutical sales rep.
9. I think I want to be a pharmaceutical sales representative, but how can I know for sure?
The first thing you should do is sit down and talk with as many real live reps as you can. Ride a day in the field with a rep, too. You’ll learn firsthand that the job is not all peaches and cream.
You should be very familiar with what you are getting yourself into. It’s like any career choice – you need to not have merely a good idea of what the job is about, you should have a working understanding of what a rep does.
The other things you should do is examine your motives. If you’re looking for big money fast, this is not the job for you. If you want to be continuously learning and training, this might be up your alley.
10. What do you consider the most challenging aspect of a pharmaceutical sales job?
Be candid about what you have found to be the most difficult aspect of pharmaceutical sales and then clearly describe how you have successfully managed this challenge. A common difficulty is getting enough time with health care professionals to properly discuss your products. Detail how you have used your initiative and problem-solving skills to effectively deal with this and get sufficient access to the customer.
11. How do you research a product?
This question is exploring your ability and motivation to be fully informed about your products. Keeping current with product data is essential to the job. Detail the resources you use to stay current and informed.
Below are the core competencies identified for success in pharmaceutical or medical sales. Expect behavioral questions that explore these competencies or behaviors. Use the behavioral interview guide to familiarize yourself with this type of interview before preparing specific answers to these questions.
12. Give me an example of when you managed to get a physician to switch to your product.
Expect questions that investigate your sales ability and persuaisveness. Highlight how you found out what influenced the physician’s choice of products and how you used a combination of appropriate tools to convince him or her to change to your product. Show how you used your persuasive skills, your knowledge and understanding of the product and of the physician’s needs to change the perception of a product.
13. Tell me about a time you lost the business. How did you handle the situation?
This question is about your ability to learn from a situation and move constructively on after a set back. These pharmaceutical sales interview questions look at your ability to handle stress and your tenacity and emotional resilience in the face of opposition and challenge. Include other examples of your persistence and determination in finding solutions to difficult challenges.
14. What is the most challenging aspect of being a pharmaceutical sales person?
A novice to the world of pharmaceutical sales may think that the most difficult part of the sale is meeting the medical practitioner, but that is actually not so.
The challenge is actually convincing a doctor to switch from a drug that s/he and their patients are quite comfortable with and convert to a new alternative. The sales rep must persuade them that such a change would be an improvement, and that is the true challenge. If you have experience, share some of your success stories.
15. What is Plasma?
Plasma refers to the liquid part of our blood. Roughly, half of our blood is made out of plasma. The plasma transports the blood cells as well as other essential elements to different parts of the body. It is made and located in our liver.
16. Can you explain about the blood vessels?
Yes, we have three distinct kinds of blood vessels in our body. Arteries are the blood vessels, which collects oxygen-rich blood from our heart and transport it to different parts of the body. Capillaries are rather minuscule blood vessels, even thinner than our hairs, acts as the communicator between arteries and veins. The nutrients, wastes and oxygen pass in or out the blood by means of the capillary walls. Finally, the Veins take blood back to our heart.
17. Why the job of a PSR is challenging?
One of the great attributes of pharmaceutical industries is its fast growing pace. The companies are introducing ground-breaking medications in the form of tablets, capsules or liquid that keeps the representatives energized and lively. Consulting doctors about same products make the job monotonous whilst introduction of certain new items boost their energy level. This makes the occupation challenging because positioning a new product offers a special mental satisfaction. Reps find great pleasure in communicating new advancements to the physicians and other stakeholders. The nature of job never makes them tedious or sluggish.
18. What is the hardest thing about being a pharmaceutical sales representative?
The hardest thing for me is remaining psyched up and enthusiastic. Selling the same product for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years can get boring. When I am bored or unexcited, my presentations are boring and unexciting. This translates into uninspired and mediocre sales.
I keep my creative juices flowing by speaking to the patients who use my products and thinking about how my stuff has changed their lives for the better. Thinking about the many people who are living better lives because of me getting the doctors to use my products recharges my selling batteries.
19. If I am hired, what kind of training can I expect?
You can expect training that is a combination of charm school and university studying. It’s very vigorous and intense. You’ll be learning every aspect of the product you’ll be selling, from the underlying anatomy and physiology to competitor products. You will be bonding with your associates and hopefully form life-long friendships (or at least career-long friendships).
You’ll also be taking a course in sales. You will likely be sent to another city for your training, but don’t count on having any extra time for sightseeing or meeting with friends.
20. What is the best way to land a job in pharmaceutical sales?
Without question the best way to find a job in pharmaceutical sales is to network your way into it.
If you read the page that has become known as “Corey’s Famous Advice,” I describe how important word-of -mouth is when you want to land a good job in detail.