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3 Reminders for MSL Interviewing Season

It’s that time of the year for those in the pharma industry.

The majority of annual bonuses payout soon, which means people are gearing up to interview. But maybe it’s been a while since you’ve interviewed and you’re a little rusty on how to stay on top of everything. Here are 3 Reminders for MSL Interviewing Season:

1. Update your resume!

But don’t just update it…update it quickly! At this time of year, timing is everything. Hiring managers want to fill MSL positions as soon as possible. Maybe they have a launch coming up, or want to have a full team before conference season arrives. The fact that the next couple of months are the best time for you to find a new job also means that it is the best time for many other MSLs to do the same.

One of the more common things we hear is “That job sounds interesting, let me update my resume.” But that day or two that it takes to tweak your resume could be costly. You may be surprised how often a hiring manager can corral several solid candidates in the first few days of the job posting. And, they may have additional backburner candidates at that point. Be proactive in getting your resume updated so you can pounce as soon as you see the right position.

2. Track your interviews

You have a phone interview coming up in 2 hours. Is the interviewer’s name Bill? Or, was it Bob? Is this the position that covers a two-state territory or the one with the 7-state territory? Even if you’re interviewing for just a few different positions, the details can add up. You’re looking at talking to a minimum of 2-3 people for each job, so the number of new names to commit to memory can add up. Same with the drug names, the disease states, the territories, and all of your own personal pros and cons for each role. Everyone has organization systems that work best for them. Whether that’s keeping a detailed spreadsheet, or keeping a folder for each company with whom you’re interviewing. But keeping organized during your interviews will help save some of your sanity.

3. Tidy up your favorite presentation

At least 90% of MSL interview processes conclude with an in-person interview and presentation. The majority of the time, you’ll be allowed to pick a scientific topic of choice on which to present. So, go ahead and pick out your favorite slide deck and get it ready for your next interview. The safe bet is you’ll need to present for 15 to 20 minutes, so pare it down to the appropriate length and rehearse to get reacquainted. Getting yourself comfortable with the presentation ahead of time helps you avoid pitfalls that so many interviewees face – stressing out about the presentation at the last minute!

Questions or comments? Email me at

Author: Lawrence Beck, CPC

Lawrence joined SEMbio in 2011 and is a team leader in recruiting and business development. He attended Texas Tech University on a path that led him to obtain his Master’s degree in Sports Management which provides Lawrence a unique perspective as a recruiter.