So, imagine you’ve just gained your degree and have been avidly applying to MedComms roles, whether that be for an editorial position or account executive.
Now a potential employer has liked what they have seen so far with your job application and would now like to meet you for a face to face interview! This is now the perfect opportunity for you to convince those that work at the company that you are the best MedComms candidate for the position.
So how can you put yourself in the best place for consideration within one of these roles? Let us give you some helpful advice and guidance on preparing for the interview that could kickstart your career.
Research the organisation:
You may have had a telephone interview before being asked for a face to face by the company – remember that each company is different and will have different recruitment and selection processes that will fit with their business and culture, but you can never conduct enough research on the organisation. Websites are a great source of information and will be kept up to date with the latest news, blogs and press releases. Look at the organisation’s background, values and if you can find it their mission statement. Look on their social media pages and look at their services and products to help you better understand the business and what they do.
Being a fresh graduate, you may not be an expert on the MedComms industry yet. But you can really impress the panel within your interview by conducting some research on MedComms. You can do this by looking at press releases, business publications, journals and magazines online (for example on medcommsnetworking.com). This will show that you are committed and interested, it could also be a factor that helps you to stand out from other graduates in the mix.
TIP: try and find out more about the interviewer/s that you will be meeting on the day of your interview. Find out their position within the company and what they do and see how you would be interacting with them within the role.
Look at the job description:
The job description gives a list of the duties that will be involved within the role, and the specification of the type of person the company is looking for to fill that role. Compare the skills required to any transferrable skills you may have already gained at university and prepare some answers to questions that could come up if there are any gaps.
Prepare some questions:
In many interviews you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions that may not have been answered in the interview. As you are new to the job market, you may have a flurry of queries about what the job entails, how the industry landscape is changing and what to expect going into your first role, and this is the perfect chance to ask.
TIP: Write things down – an interview is not a memory test, and it is normal to be nervous on the day of the interview. By writing down things that you would like to ensure are mentioned within the interview will help you to be as relaxed as possible, and make sure that you get across your most suitable information to the interviewer.
The Night Before
Fail to plan then plan to fail. Try to avoid as much a stress as you can on the day of your interview and be as organised as you can. The night before your interview you can:
Choose the outfit you will be wearing and try it on: MedComms is not about dressing in a suit and tie, but ensure that your clothes and overall appearance is neat and clean – don’t forget this goes right down to the shoes you wear so keep them looking fresh. With pierced ears, studs work best and neutral make up works for a clean professional look.
Plan your route: If you’re working with a recruiter they will send this to you in advance, but always map your route in advance or if it’s local you could even do a test run so you know how long it will take for you to get to your interview location.
Gather any information you need to take with you in a folder: you may have been asked to prepare something for the interview so put it all together in a presentable folder to ensure you don’t forget anything. You may also want to take some examples of your recent qualifications.
Re-read through your research and questions: make sure there is nothing you have missed and that you are happy with the questions you would like to ask.
The Day of the Interview
Set off for your interview in plenty of time – remember to allow for traffic. Aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview time. If you arrive early, take the time to re-read your notes and check the names of who you are interviewing with. If you are going to be late, make sure you inform the interviewer as early as you can.
During your interview:
– Try to make good eye contact with everyone in the room,
– Speak clearly, try not to rush you answers,
– Sit up straight yet comfortably
– Think before you answer – if a question is asked that you have not prepared for don’t panic. Look at your notes and think about the answer carefully.
– Smile and be confident,
– And lastly, remember to relax, the interviewer/s want to get to know you so let some of your personality shine through.
If you are looking for support in your career development, feel free to contact Seb Hall, Senior Healthcare Communications & Consultancy Specialist at Zenopa