Tips for winning that job as a pharmaceutical rep

Categories: Prescription Drugs | Posted On:

As a public service to our readers, here is some help with your interview to become a pharma rep, via

It also helps if you are young, blond, and have a nice pair of pompons.

SAMPLE QUESTION FROM HIRING MANAGER: What is your perception of a typical day for a pharmaceutical representative?

THOUGHT PROCESS: The Hiring Manager is looking for your perception of what the representative does every day. They are also looking for work ethic (working early, late) and commitment to getting the job done … DO NOT SAY THIS IS A PUBLIC RELATIONS POSITION. Do NOT answer “Drop samples and have dialogue with physicians.” Your interview is dead with that answer…

SAMPLE ANSWER: I have an idea of what the day is like for a pharmaceutical representative and I think it parallels some of what my normal day is like. As a representative I would see as many of my assigned physicians as possible and sell them on why they should use my drug over the competition … I don’t know if you entertain physicians like I do with my customers currently but I would do some entertaining at night (restaurant) or on the weekends, (golf, hunting, fishing) – whatever it takes to beat my numbers.

SAMPLE QUESTION FROM HIRING MANAGER: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of a pharmaceutical representative?…

SAMPLE ANSWER: …There are physicians that don’t see representatives. You have to be creative in finding a way to gain access to them…

SAMPLE QUESTION FROM HIRING MANAGER: You are given a territory and a list of physicians to call on. How would you organize and prioritize your call schedule?…

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SAMPLE ANSWER: I would analyze my territory, and determine the accounts that have the greatest sales potential. I would quickly work to determine my most profitable 20 percent of my clients. Once they have been contacted and I feel comfortable with my relationship with these clients, I would then work the rest of my customers and develop new clients.

SAMPLE QUESTION FROM HIRING MANAGER: Tell me about your last manager. Did you like him/her?…

SAMPLE ANSWER: I liked my manager and we had a positive working relationship. We had similar thought processes on how to run my territory and how to best manage me

SAMPLE QUESTION FROM HIRING MANAGER: How do you think you would get a Physician to switch to your drug?…

SAMPLE ANSWER: … I would determine what influences his behavior: reprints, speaker programs, peers, and formularies. I would use a combination of the appropriate tools to gain physician agreement on my drug’s effectiveness. After this, I would gain commitment from him to use the drug on a specific patient type. After the physician has tried my drug on this patient type, I would get him to notice the success on this patient when the patient comes back in for a follow up visit. When the physician admitted efficacy, I would then gain commitment for use in other patient types.

I think we get the picture.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs. - Search. Compare. Save.

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