Do your preparation… the good old basic interview 1-0-1.
- Where are you going?
- When are you going?
- How are you getting there?
- Who are you meeting?
- What is the format – is there anything additional to prepare (such as a presentation)?
Interview tips and preparation advice
- Look at who would be working in the team around you, what is their background? What are their roles and how do they fit with the team? Think about the structures you currently or have previously worked within and how you can relate. This will really help bring your story to life as well as demonstrating insight and understanding.
- Know your own strengths and don’t be shy in selling them during your interview – Medical Affairs is so cross-functional and having the presence and confidence in yourself and your abilities is as important in the job as it is at the interview. So demonstrate it.
- If you’ve not done something directly before be prepared to demonstrate your input, awareness, willingness to learn and how you would tackle the given task or situation if you were successful. For example, if you’ve not been responsible for producing the medical strategy plan, talk through your input and how you have seen it done successfully. If you’ve not had a huge amount of direct management experience, talk through your dotted line management / mentoring experience, involvement in training others (who and what) and how you have managed matrix relationships, particularly on a given project. Again this will help it be real and allow you to really engage.
- Read about their products – know their therapeutic focus and research marketed products as well as those in development (what phase are they in? do they have ongoing IIT’s?).
- Interviews are a two-way process so you also need to ensure its right for you! Within Medical Affairs there are so many variables to consider from the initial job, future progression and product pipeline to the companies compliance frameworks and risk appetite. You need to make sure the fit is mutual, so think of questions around the things important to you and that you will need to make a decision to join the organisation and accept this role.
- During the interview – own the space you’re in – sounds silly but put your feet on the floor, shoulders back, make eye contact, and engage! This is a senior role, an integral hire and the company are looking for someone to lead in terms of people, strategy and direction. (They have the advantage of knowing the individuals in the team who are undoubtedly a mixed group – demonstrate your ability in dealing with a variety of different people and functions.)