5 Questions to Ask a Hiring Manager in the Interview

An interview is like speed dating in some ways. You have an average of 40 minutes to decide whether or not the company you are interviewing with is right for you.

In medical sales, representatives have a lot to consider before they accept a new job. Is the compensation structure right? Will the culture be a good fit? How much autonomy does the job offer? These are a few of many questions you need to ask yourself before accepting a new job in medical sales.

It can be difficult to predict whether or not a company will be a good fit before you are hired, but the interview affords you a unique opportunity to get some clarity. Make the interview a two-way street — rather than limiting yourself to responding to questions, ask some of your own. Here are a few to get you started:

1) What is the one skill from my resume that interests you most, and where could I grow?

This question will give you two valuable pieces of information. First, it will allow you to see what skills the company values most, and the kind of contribution they believe you can make. If this is a job you really want, this is something you can emphasize throughout the rest of the interview.

When the hiring manager tells you the areas in which you could grow, you will gain an understanding of the company’s expectations of sales reps. Your job should be one that helps you grow, equips you with more skills, and makes a significant addition to your resume. This question will open up communication about what the company can offer you in the long term.

2) How would you describe your company culture?

It is critical the company’s culture is a good fit. The management style and atmosphere of any workplace will have an effect on your life there.

When your interviewer responds, be sure to listen to the tone of their voice and watch their body language. If the culture is unhealthy, you’ll be able to tell. If the interviewer is passionate and excited about the environment, it’s a good indication you will be as well. They should be able to provide you with clear examples of the things they love best about the company.

3) How do you reward top sales reps?

Asking this will reveal how the company shows appreciation for its top earners. It will also help you segue into a conversation about salary and benefits. Most candidates are shy to talk about salary, but an interview is your best time to put your cards on the table. Your time is valuable, and you need to be sure your expectations align with theirs.

4) What features of your product line distinguish it from competitors?

Before you meet the hiring manager, prepare yourself for this conversation by researching the company, finding out its niche in the industry, and discovering the products it’s known for. Asking for further information will reveal the company’s strengths and open the door for you to prove why you’d be an asset. Further, you can give concrete examples of how you would leverage your skills and experience at the organization. You may be able to offer several innovative suggestions or selling angles, which helps you stand out from the rest of the applicants in a big way.

5) What’s the next step of the interview process?

If your interview reveals a great job with a fantastic employer, you want to open the door for further communication. Do this in a way that lets the hiring manager know you are interested in the job and are ready to take the next step.

Be assertive, not overly aggressive – phrase the question in a way that allows the interviewer to give you the next steps and provide you with a window of time in which you will be contacted.

Most people think of the interview as a time for the hiring manager to assess you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the opportunity to perform your own assessment. Preparing yourself with careful questions will help you select the best opportunity for your own professional growth.

Join the conversation! What questions would you ask hiring managers in an interview?

Author: Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager at, a job board that gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web.

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