MSL and medical sales coach

Real strategies for landing MSL and Medical Sales jobs

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Scary medical sales interview questions – “What is your greatest weakness?”

Pic - interview question

“What is your greatest weakness?”  This simple question can send tremors of fear through even the most confident of candidates.  Why is it so scary?  People try to make answering this question harder than it needs to be.  Most people fear that admitting a weakness will reduce their chances of landing the job.  The reality is just the opposite.  Properly answered, you gain the hiring manager’s respect and differentiate yourself from the other candidates.  Let’s face it, everyone has a weakness. 

You can make this question work for you.  I don’t recommend trying to outwit the interviewer by giving him a worn answer like “I don’t have a work / life balance.”  Hiring managers are smart and view that type of answer as a way of avoiding the question.  A hiring manager is looking for self-awareness – weaknesses can only be managed if you recognize them. 

This simple process will help you understand the question and answer it in a productive way.

  1.  Identify your weakness. WEAKNESS:  You are a control freak and don’t always trust others to do their part of a project as well as you could.
  2. Evaluate how that weakness can or does impact your job performance.  IMPACT:  You try and take on too much work and are not viewed as a team player.    
  3. Identify how you manage your weakness so that it does not have a negative impact on your job performance.

Revised answer to the question:  “My greatest weakness is that I am too much of a perfectionist and tend to want to control all aspects of a project to ensure it meets my quality standards.  I’ve learned that this is not only unrealistic, but also unfair to other team members because it limits their ability to learn and contribute.  I now manage this by focusing on doing my part of the project by my standards and supporting other team members as needed.  I have come to respect the fact that they are qualified or would not have been a part of the team.  Other people’s methods and views are as equally valid as mine.”

The above answer shows self-awareness, deals with the weakness head-on, and demonstrates maturity in the acknowledgement and management of the weakness. 

What are your job search challenges?  Connect with Elizabeth Danford, Medical Sales Job Search Specialist, Interview Coach, Resume Writer, & Candidate Advocate.

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Are you tired of submitting your resume into a black hole? There is a solution.

The most common frustration I hear from job seekers is the lack of response they receive from companies once they submit their resumes online.  In some cases a rejection email will arrive minutes after submitting Stop submitting your resume into the black holean application.   Over 50% of the rejection letters sent to job applicants are automatically generated by a computer based on the information input during the application process.  For every job posted there are an average of 300 resumes submitted.  Less than 10 of every 500 resumes submitted will make it to a hiring managers desk.  With odds like this, landing a medical sales job can seem more like a fantasy than a realistic goal.

You can dramatically increase your chance of landing an interview by ensuring that your resume is seen by a true decision maker.  Move away from the time consuming and frustrating cycle of submitting resumes online (and into the black hole) by identifying key decision makers at pharmaceutical and medical device companies and emailing your resume to them directly.  Show a hiring manager that you have initiative and know how to get past the gatekeeper (isn’t that what sales is all about) by emailing your resume directly to him.

Clinical Strategies & Resume Writing is pleased to announce that The Strategic Job Search Guide for Medical Sales is now available.  This game changing guidebook teaches you how to develop an effective job search strategy and provides step by step instructions on how to identify key decision makers AND find their email addresses.  It provides the tools to market yourself (yes, you are a product) to companies, increasing your chances of landing one of the mysterious “hidden jobs”.  How many times have you read that 40% of all jobs filled are never posted anywhere.  This process gives you access to those unadvertised jobs by teaching you to focus on companies and not only on job postings.

Changing your job search strategy will change your job search results.

Contact Elizabeth Danford, the medical sales job search expert, coach, resume writer, and candidate advocate for more information.  The guidebook is available electronically and can be purchased for $27.00.