What are medical device companies looking for in a candidate? How can I shine during the interview? I need answers now and I just want to break into medical sales, but how? These questions and more came streaming into the top healthcare job website in our industry, MedReps.com, this past week and people want answers quickly!
MedReps.com contacted me requesting that I change my Ask Linda Column approach from answering one question with a very long answer, to getting pithy with it and handle many questions with brief answers in one article. They said I had to think differently. Gosh I hate change, but boy do I love a challenge!
Welcome to the Ask Linda Lightening Round!
1) What are medical device companies looking for in candidates?
Each medical device company has something unique to their job and culture they are seeking in a job candidate, but there are some common themes that prevail amongst all:
- The Basics, a 4 year college degree.
- The right work experience, the resume reflects the companies MINIMUM job requirements.
- Solid tenure (no job hopping), staying at most jobs for at least 3 years and no more than 3 jobs the past 7 years.
- Top Job Performance, top sales awards, rankings and/or promotions within the same company.
- Excellent communication skills (listening, answering questions succinctly with authority and on point).
- Looks the part, professional appearance (dress and grooming).
- Personable and a team player.
2) What are some of the biggest challenges medical device companies face when recruiting sales people?
- The number 1 issue is finding Millennial Candidates who will stay at a job longer than a year or two!
- Finding successful top sales performers who have the proof of their success (rankings and awards).
- Finding people with grit who handle adversity in their work and grind it out to a successful outcome.
- A tight job market right now where we have more jobs than qualified workers (low unemployment rate).
3) What is the best way that candidates can differentiate themselves to shine in an interview?
- Do your homework on the company, the product, the customer's they service, their mission statement.
- Do your homework on the open position and know who and what they are looking for in the right candidate.
- Know what you bring to the table in comparison the right candidate the company is seeking.
- Do your homework on the person conducting the interview utilizing LinkedIn (their career history and etc.).
- Follow up, Follow up and Follow up with a sense of urgency to all requests by the company and recruiter.
- End each interviewing by displaying your high interest, highlights of what you could bring to the company as discussed and agreed upon during the interview and ALWAYS ask if you are moving forward to the next step (or asking for the job if a final interview).
- Always email a well written and thoughtful thank you note immediately afterward to each person that took time to interview you (no cut and paste generic thank you notes, make each unique and specific to the discussion!).
4) What’s the main piece of advice you would give someone wanting to work in the medical device industry?
- It is difficult to break into the medical industry, most companies desire a very specific work history and background. I highly suggest reading my Breaking Into Medical Device Blog String on this topic.
- Do not quit a job unless you have a job lined up (never!).
- If you lose your job NEVER take an extended period of time off, get right back in and job hunt for your next job.
- Never give up, keep networking and become a master of how to utilize LinkedIn to further your search.
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