Most candidates adopt an attitude before interviewing that in some cases sounds fatalistic. For example, “I’ll just answer their questions to the best of my ability and let the chips fall where they may…” As a result, most of them get the old phrase “We’ll get back to you when we are finished interviewing others,” in response.
Many times candidates don’t have a clue as to why they did not do well in the interview despite their own confidence that the interview was successful.
Here are some basic points on being prepared:
- Turn the interview into a conversation.
A conversation, simply at a higher level. Example: “Ms. Smith, are you willing to travel?” Response: “Yes, I am. Can you give me an idea of the extent and kind of travel involved in MY position”? The ‘MY’ forces the interviewer to visualize her on the job by using assumptive interviewing techniques which work. Bingo!
- How do I handle the salary question?
This is not as tough as you think.
Example: “What salary are you expecting?” Response: “Mr./Ms. Employer, like everyone, no matter how much I earn, there never seems to be enough. However, salary is not my primary goal. I’m more interested in the people I will be working with and the kind of long term opportunities here at <company name>. But since you mentioned it, what kind of salary RANGE did you have in mind?”
If the employer names a salary range, then respond like this: “When you decide I’m the person for you, I am sure we can make it a ‘win-win’ for both of us.”
- HR questions: How do handle them.
Often I hear these questions as “blue sky” questions, like “What are your long-term goals?” Most candidates answer in the subject of JOB TITLE (i.e., Director, Marketing).
A better answer discusses future job CONTENT such as, “I would like to have the responsibility for people reporting to me, helping them realize their potential, strengthening weaknesses, motivation, etc. Is this type of opportunity available to me here at <company name>?” See the difference? You have now responded “out-of-the-box” and HR has to be impressed. You passed in flying colors!
- Ask for the job.
Most interviewers close by saying, “…we have covered a lot of ground today, do you have any further questions at this time?”
Response: “I am sure that I’ll think of questions after I leave, however, based on our conversation, I want you to know that I am very interested in this position. I’m confident I more than meet the expectations of the position.
How do you see me fitting into your team?”
Remember, preparation WILL make a difference in the interview. Over the years we have seen remarkable results based on the above principles.
Over the past several years, December has proven to be much busier in terms of interview activity than most people realize. Why? Clients would like to secure phone interviews before the holidays and schedule in-house interviews first thing in January. This ensures a fast start to the new calendar year.
So, if you are a selected candidate for a particular position, now would be a good time to secure that phone interview and/or corporate in-house interview.
First, be sure your resume is accurate. Check and double check dates and specific titles held while working for specific employers – both past and present. Also, be specific in listing your responsibilities and accomplisments. Don’t let a mistake on your resume be an embarrassment to you later.
Second, use bullet points vs. paragraphs when listing responsibilities and accomplishments directly in line with the specific position held. This format is easier for a client to read and make note of your special skills when he or she may have a pile of resumes to review.
Finally, it has been our experience that Arial or Times Roman 11 sized font is best for resumes. The appearance of your resume should reflect the business professional that you are.
Refer Us To a Colleague
Do you know someone in the pharmaceutical industry who could benefit from our service? Our specialties include market research, marketing, sales management, and business analysis positions. Feel free to give them our phone number and email address. We would also be glad to add them to our newsletter distribution list. This is a great way to keep in touch and let you know what positions we are working on.
Have you ever wondered how we find exceptional candidates for our clients? We hear that particular question a lot. At PharmaOne Search, our mission is to uncover the very best talent for our clients in the least amount of time.
The pharmaceutical industry is home to a lot of talent. For us, the key to finding the perfect candidates for our clients is analyzing exactly what qualities they desire in a candidate. Most often, these talented individuals are “passive” candidates, happy and content in their current positions, not actively searching -but open to taking a look at new opportunities. Because PharmaOne Search takes a proactive approach in locating candidates (we don’t sit back and wait for them to come to us), we are able to unearth candidates that our clients wouldn’t find through the course of their normal recruiting practices.
We start our searches by calling on people with whom we have already spoken – a logical place for us to start because our contact network is one of the best in the industry. When we first come across a candidate, our research department initiates a dialogue with them to learn more about the individual’s career objectives and aspirations. It is our policy not to recommend a position unless the candidate will benefit and take a ‘step up’ the career ladder. If we don’t have an immediate opportunity for a candidate, we stay in touch with them, because there is likely to be a match for them in the future.
Our sources for finding top talent come from a variety of places, such as industry directories and contacts, internet postings, supplier resources and competitors. However, our most important source is referrals from candidates. We have found it to be true that excellent candidates refer other excellent candidates.
People are what make this job great! During the course of the day, I get to speak to a lot of wonderful candidates. Through my job, I have made a lot of great friends all over the country. So, the next time you receive a call from PharmaOne Search, keep in mind that we have your best interests at heart.
During a typical week I will get quite a few calls from folks asking about new opportunities in pharmaceutical companies, and some will want advice on resume preparation as well as scenarios at their current employer, etc.
My advice is consistent…. Make sure you are being proactive and improving your skills with initiative and professional persistence to perform at your best, each and every day.
Competition for talent is fierce. Improvement and self evaluation are necessary. If you find your career is lacking challenge or the glass ceiling is getting thicker, perhaps the time is right to explore new opportunities.
I was recently talking to friend of mine who is a senior level executive at one of our pharma clients and I found her advice to be quite valuable: “I am more interested in what a candidate tells me about vision and initiative for the future and what they see ahead for the company, than spending a majority of time reviewing what he/she has done in the past….”
Wow! She is right! A resume with a track record and experience is great, but companies want to hear about how a person can make a difference and add value to a company. The result: You’re hired!
So, if you are in the ditch, close to the ditch, or the mud is flying up on your new car – take an inventory of where you are, what you’re doing, and recommit, get focused, or start exploring for new opportunities because the positions are out there and companies can’t wait to hire you – if the glove fits…you’ve got the job!!
Many of us have been in new positions and some will even start a new job this month, but how comfortable are you during that first day/first week in your new office environment?
Over the years, we have consistently heard from folks who have started their new positions with various clients and here are some valuable tips they have shared:
- Wear a suit or outfit you feel the most comfortable with… that gives you that spark of physical and professional confidence! If you look good, you’ll feel good about yourself and will become less stressed that first day..
- Smile! Yes, smile even though you may feel nervous or anxious! When you greet a co-worker, supervisor, or administrative assistant, those first impressions count and last!
- Memorize names and person’s faces. For some, this exercise can be very difficult in the beginning, but the results are very impressive. A very powerful and respectful communication skill is using a person’s (first) name upon getting to know them. Reaching out to co-workers reassures them that you value their experience and expertise.
These tips may side with basic common sense during a first day on the job, but nothing is surprising or out of the ordinary in these times….make your first day and every new day count!
The Interview! (Phone and/or In-House)… Probably the single most important part of establishing your specific VALUE for the company you are pursuing.
But what separates one candidate from the next? PREPARATION, no doubt about it. You do the research, define your strengths, be familiar with your specific resume and the chances are you will score points in the interview, big time.
At PharmaOne Search, we specifically encourage all candidates to prepare, prepare, prepare!! Know and anticipate what questions will be asked of you. Take a look at these commonly asked interview questions, and feel comfortable with your answers..
Top 15 Interview Questions to Prepare Answers For:
- Why are you here interviewing with us today?
- What is there about this opportunity that most excites you?
- What will make you enjoy coming to work here everyday?
- How do you make decisions?
- What do you think are the most important attributes of successful people? How do you rate yourself in those areas? Why?
- What’s one thing you would like to do better? What’s your plan for improving it?
- If I were to ask your current supervisor to tell me one thing you do that drives him/her crazy what would he/she tell me?
- What’s the one accomplishment you are most proud of over the past year? Why?
- If you had only two words to describe yourself, what would they be?
- When you have failed at a particular time, describe what happened and what you learned from it?
- How do you take advantage of your strengths? How do you compensate for you weaknesses?
- What would you do if you made and important business decision and co-worker challenged it?
- Describe a crisis you faced at work. What was your role? How did you resolve it?
- What is your greatest fear and/or concern about this opportunity?
- Is there any question I haven’t asked you that I should?