An Interview with a 15 Year Veteran of the Pharma Industry

Press conference microphones isolated on whiteWelcome to installment #6 of the interview series “An Interview with….”.  Thus far we have interviewed professionals that have held numerous positions in the industry and it is with great pride that we bring the latest installment to you.  This person was kind enough to lend his thoughts to as he has held many different positions in the industry from Territory Representative, Specialty Representative, Regional Sales Trainer, and District Manager.  All of these held positions and his time spent in the industry have given him great insights some of which we will bring you here today.  Please enjoy our latest installment: You have been in the pharmaceutical industry for about 15 years….what changes have you seen take place in the industry during that time?
15 Year Veteran of the Pharma Industry:  The industry has changed in many ways over the past 15 years. Promotional effort and activity are two areas of change that immediately come to mind. In 2000 the name of the game, at least in primary care/ psychiatry, was activity. Calls per day, reach/ frequency, productivity, and attainment, KOL’s- top 50 MDs lunch and learns, programs and one on one dinners. It was a numbers game in every sense from the individual rep to sales force deployment it was all about who made the most noise. When I started as a territory rep my first field evaluation was scored solely on my ability to deliver the 5 key selling points on every call. I received a point for each selling point delivered and that is how my impact was measured. Fast forward a few years, new compliance regulations, spotlight on industry, managed care and an over saturated market of representatives and sales ability becomes the name of the game. How many products can you effectively sell in a single call? What is the future, in your opinion of the pharmaceutical industry?
15 Year Veteran of the Pharma Industry:  I think the future is bright for sales people, it’s all about identifying, creating and capitalizing on opportunities. The sales representative job is tough, but good sales people will succeed. With the introduction of the Millennial generation into the workforce, what changes have you seen with the professional qualities or traits that pharmaceutical interviewees have brought to the interviewing table?
15 Year Veteran of the Industry:  Unfortunately I have seen people coming in for entry-level territory sales representative positions with a sense of entitlement. They expect to be celebrated and compensated for showing up. As someone who has interviewed many candidate over the years, what advice can you impart on the audience surrounding how to best present oneself for a pharmaceutical interview?
15 Year Veteran of the Pharma Industry:  Be humble, be eager to learn, demonstrate your desire to succeed and focus on the big picture, long-term career opportunities. I have seen way to many people ask about vacation time in the initial interview. It is a huge turnoff, it creates the perception that time off is more important than challenging work. Do your research and come with real specific questions about the role, about the person who is interviewing you. You have held many different positions in your time as a pharmaceutical professional…each of which presented different unique challenges.  What did you enjoy most about your time as a pharmaceutical professional?  What did you enjoy the least?
15 Year Veteran of the Pharma Industry:  I can honestly say I have enjoyed it all. In every role you learn something new. I have been lucky to work with some really solid people. If you could go back and do it all over again, would you pick this industry again and if so/not why?
15 Year Veteran of the Pharma Industry:  I would. I feel like being part of this industry has shaped me into who I am today. I stated as a territory rep when I was 22. I have spent all of my professional life in this industry. I love it!