The first interview was very much a getting to know you process and going over my CV and expanding on all my previous roles. There were no competency questions just - What are your best skills? Why do you want to get into sales? Why Medicina? Location? Why did you leave your last job? What attracts you to the medical sales market?
At this stage they said they were impressed with my enthusiasm and phone presence, both must have for a role in sales.
After passing this stage I was invited to a final interview - a face to face interview with teh sales director, this interview was going into more CV in more detail and the usual competency questions such as 'Name a time you've failed and what you learnt from this' 'tell me a time you've given good customer service' 'Tell me a time you've dealt with rejection' 'tell me a time you met a specific goal' 'explain to me a time when you were part of a team and showed leadership' 'explain to me what you can bring to the role' 'what do you know about our products' 'What do you know about our competitors, how would you sell against them'
It's key to use the STAR method - situation, time, action, result.
Most difficult question
The most difficult question I faced and I didn't mention this in the description was 'what is your biggest weakness'. I always pray they never ask this question as I find myself either giving a very cheesy answer like - working too hard or drop the ball and say something silly like time management. This time I said that I can sometimes talk too much and I could be more succinct but that will come with experience.
Know your CV and know the experiences that you've had that will show off the skills you need in the role.
Research the company, the products, the competitors, read the news articles on the industry and the company - they will be impressed if you can say what industry leaders have said about the future, or what might change
Be confident, make yourself known, it just takes 1 day of being uncomfortable and embarrassed to get a good job, so don't leave thinking you could have done more.
Be presentable, get a haircut, dress as sharp as possible.
Enthusiastic and self motivating. Always mention you are good with managing your time. Don't be afraid of talking about your actual hobbies, because people will want to hire people they can be friends with.
Don't put anyone down in the group exercise, and always listen and tell people if you like their idea, put never put people down. Try to take a role like time keeper and or writing the notes.
In sales especially, do not be afraid to say you're motivated by money. That is the reason everyone gets into sales.
If you don't get the job it probably wasn't the right job for you. And who wants to be with a company that don't see your potential. On to the next one.
Experiences at the assessment centre
15 people 5 different tasks.
Role play - Individual - Given a product to sell, I was given a pen. I had to sell the pen to the director in front of me. I started by asking what pen he used now, what he liked about the pen, what he didn't, then started showing him the pen I had. I managed to close and up-sell.
Business Test - Much like a psychometric test, but with business case studies. Tell me which product sold the most in jan 2006. If revenue was not an issue which plant would you move to? The usual.
Face to face: As mentioned before.
Presentation: Each given a business proposal and we had 20 minute to plan and 5 minutes to present. The proposals all were very boring so no one could really show anything other than natural public speaking skills.
Group Exercise: As a team, come up with a new event to launch a new product. Our product was randomly an energy drink. I quickly took charge of the drawing board to note down the plans and manage the group.
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