Pharmaceutical Questions and Answers
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1 :: I am in college. What can I do to enhance my odds of being hired as a pharmaceutical rep?

Study hard and get good grades. There are many more applicants than open positions and the drug companies can afford to be picky. If you have an outstanding GPA, it tells the drug company that you are a hard worker and a disciplined student - two valuable traits.

Also, get involved in campus activities such as student-government or intramural sports -- these activities show that you are a team player and that you can get along with people.

Also, I strongly suggest that you take a life-science course or two to demonstrate that you enjoy learning scientific subject matter.

It is also a good idea to get some sales experience during the summer vacation or during the academic year. Sales experience is not an absolute prerequisite, but it can only help you land that job.
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2 :: What are the pros and cons of working at a small pharmaceutical company versus one of the biggies?

There are a lot of advantages to working for a small pharmaceutical company. First of all, a small company may be more willing to take a chance on somebody with less experience.

It is easier for you to shine and advance at small pharmaceutical companies. Also, small pharmaceutical companies can become big pharmaceutical companies very rapidly. Small companies offer stock options as incentive to stay with them long-term. Often, small companies get acquired by larger companies, and the original stockholders get wealthy.

However, working for a small pharmaceutical company is riskier than working for a big one. If your company has a small stable of products, that means you have all your eggs in one basket.

Small pharmaceutical companies don't provide big expense accounts for entertaining clients, and you don't have as much marketing support. Also, the territories are bigger so you have to drive more. Instead of working a territory that's 3 hours end-to-end, your territory may be an entire state.
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3 :: What should I bring to an interview?

It's a matter of opinion, but I wouldn't focus too heavily on a "brag book" full of your accomplishments. You should certainly bring a pen and something to write on, as well as additional copies of your resume. Also, bring your PMA ( pharmaceutical industry jargon for Positive Mental Attitude).

Make sure that you are on time, etc. There are many interview books and articles out there that go into detail regarding interview etiquette.

Go over your resume because the interviewer should have a copy in front oh him as he interviews you. Make sure you know the timelines of your employment or schooling.

You should look professional and well groomed.
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4 :: What is a ride-along?
What is proper etiquette for a ride-along?

A ride along is where you ride with an experienced sales representative for an entire day. You are the representative's shadow.

You two go into each doctor's office together. On ride-alongs you get a good idea of what your day will look like if you get hired.

In the eight hours together, the two of you will talk, have lunch together, etc.

Did you ever hear the phrase " there is no such thing as a stupid question?" This does not apply to ride-alongs. Don't ask stupid questions that may give your host the wrong impression of yourself.
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5 :: I have been on several interviews but received no offers. What could I be doing wrong?

If I knew the answer to this question, I would just wave my magic wand and give everyone who wanted one a job in pharmaceutical sales. I can't diagnose your problem, but I do recommend you take a good look at yourself.

This is a really tough question. There may be something that you are doing or saying that you are not aware of that leads the interviewer(s) to believe that you are not a good match.
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