How To Prepare For A Sales Job Interview
How does the interview process unfold? Honestly, when I started out pursuing a role in this field I thought I would show up for the first interview and if things went well the hiring manager would maybe give me a verbal offer on the spot. The reality is this is not how it works. If things do play out like this it is probably beneficial to have a little skepticism on the job or company in question. The interview process will be different every time, but I have outlined some of the general steps below. As they say it is a marathon. Even if things go well at each step this process may be spread out over a few months before a hiring decision is made. Read below to better understand the medical device interview process.
The Sales Interview Process
1. Phone Screen Interview
This step serves to confirm you are a real person, the experience listed on your resume is legitimate, and there are no red flags after talking with you for a few minutes. Be clear and concise and make an effort to ask a few good questions. This conversation will most likely take place with a recruiter.
2. Phone Interview With Hiring Manager
A phone interview with the hiring manager or a phone interview with one of the reps is usually the next step. But there are distinct differences between the two. A phone interview with one of the reps serves as another screening. This is a good time to ask good questions and fully understand the day-to-day of the position. The reps are typically not responsible to make an extensive judgement or decision based on a brief conversation with a candidate. On the other hand, a phone interview with the manager can be more influential. This conversation will set the stage for the interview. If the manager is disappointed with this conversation there may not even be an in-person interview.
3. Interview Hiring Manager
Next up is the initial in-person interview with the hiring manager. This is the step where the real evaluation and judgement is made. The company has narrowed down the large pool of applicants to potentially 5-15 legitimate candidates to be interviewed. Through this stage of the interview process the manager will select 2 or 3 folks to be seriously considered. This is the interview you need to nail to be considered as a finalist!
4. Final Interview With Hiring Manager
Typically, the final step is an in-person meeting with the hiring manager and their boss (regional manager, national sales manager, etc.). At this stage you understand the job, have asked some good questions, and highlighted why your strengths and experience are a good fit for the position. The hiring manager will many times setup a final interview with their boss to select the final candidate. Frankly, it can be frustrating at this point in the process. A lot of time, resources, and energy has been invested into the process and you just want the offer. But to get there you will need to stay focused and perform well through the final step.
Medical Device Interview Process
I went through this process with a mid-size company that sold products to sterile processing departments at hospitals. Every step of the interview process seemed to drag on. There was even an additional step with another layer of management. It was like c’mon, I am sure you know who you are going to end up hiring. And this was only for an associate position! The final interview was repetitive with many of the same questions. The national sales manager acted as if he was going deeper by asking detailed questions in which my answers didn’t probably matter anyways. Unfortunately, I didn’t perform as well as I did in the prior interviews and I did not get the job.
Medical Representative Hiring
The takeaway – I should have leveraged the fact that we were through the basics by the fourth interview and kept things simple, focusing on the skillsets I brought to the table. I should have built confidence throughout the prior interviews as by the end I knew some of the folks I was interviewing with each time. Interviewing is similar to storytelling. Throughout this process you are using facts about your experience and background to craft a story of why you are a good candidate for the role. Throughout the interview process some may try to rattle you on elements of your story, but remain confident and stick to your guns.
How To Nail A Medical Device Sales Interview?
Some medical device companies even post information on their specific hiring process. On Stryker’s Career blog you can find information about each step of the recruitment process. Stryker has an interview step in which you have to take a phone interview with the Gallup organization. The Gallup interview aims to reveal a job candidate’s future potential and success through behavioral questions. Check if the company you are interviewing with has information available about their recruitment process!