A: 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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Take a good look at yourself. Remove that nose ring and tongue stud and cover up your tattoos. Maybe you are dressing too funky or your hairstyle is too attention-getting. You want to look like Joe Conservative, not Joe Camel.
You might have bad breath. Maybe you are a foreign born person and you don't use deodorant - or emit a strong smell of spices in your sweat. Or too much makeup, or something else regarding your appearance says "I don't fit in".
Maybe you are too talkative - like you are on cocaine or ecstasy.
The shaved head and hoop earring look may be suitable if you are auditioning for a role as "Sinbad The Sailor" but not for an interview in a conservative industry like pharmaceuticals. Ditto for statement-making jewelry or apparel.
Sit down with a good friend or consultant and go through a mock interview. Videotape it and watch yourself. You might find you looking down constantly or saying "ah, ah, ah" all the time. You can probably fix these things.
One time I had to interview candidate for an entry level position, along with my manager. The candidate's eyes were opened wide and he stared directly into my eyes like it was a staring contest during the entire interview I was a little freaked out.
I kept thinking that this isn't normal. It looked like he was giving me the evil eye or that he was trying to hypnotize me. After the interview, my manager asked me for my feedback regarding the candidate.
She made the same observation that I did. She was more weirded out than me. She concurred that the staring was inappropriate, and we didn't pass him on to the next level.
Another banana peel you should try to avoid is asking dumb questions. There is such a thing as a dumb question, especially a question that makes you seem unethical or uninformed.
In my experience, the problem is usually that the candidate does something or says something that says " I am not going to fit in with the rest of your team."
When I was a management trainee early in my career I had the opportunity to conduct a screening interview on a lovely young woman for a sales rep position.
She went to a good school, she had sales experience, her resume looked great, she looked professional, she was on time, she was courteous, etc., etc., etc.
Her disqualifying action was that she got too familiar with me. She made a little joke with a hint of sexual innuendo. Also, during our brief interview she used inappropriate language. (I think she used the word
" bitch" or "screwed around" or something like that).
In any case, I had to ask myself: "Can I imagine her sitting down to breakfast with the president of my company?" The answer was "no way." "When in doubt, knock them out" is usually the interviewer's prime directive.
Keep in mind that some people just aren't cut out for the industry, and managers may be able to sense that in an interview.
Remember, you're not a bad person just because you don't get a job offer in a drug company. It isn't for everyone.
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