Being able to nail a scientific presentation is a necessity of the MSL. As a result, it’s usually a necessity to succeed in an interview. Experienced MSLs are generally good presenters of scientific data. But, when given instructions to develop a new job interview presentation, uncharacteristic mistakes can appear. Here are 3 Ways to Botch an MSL Interview Presentation.
1. Being too long-winded
One of the pieces of advice we give so frequently is that when interviewing for an MSL job you need you to remember that you’re being evaluated as if you’re at a KOL meeting. What might be on your schedule as a one-hour appointment with a KOL could become 15 minutes. When given a shorter-than-expected time frame, can you quickly make the point and succinctly highlight the key parts of the presentation? Or will you talk in circles and leave the audience wondering when you will wrap up? Taking longer than necessary to get to the point of a presentation will start to raise concerns with your audience.
2. Using cartoons
It’s tempting to insert some cartoons or light-hearted images into your slides in an attempt to entertain the audience. But you need to remember to play it conservatively in your presentation. Again, ask yourself “is this something I would do when presenting to a KOL?” Even if your thought is “well I know a KOL that would love some flair thrown into a presentation,” keep in mind that different groups of KOLs can hold various characteristics and your audience may be evaluating you with that in mind.
3. Presenting on the company’s own product
You may think that you’re setting yourself up to knock it out of the park by impressing your interviewers with your knowledge of their product. But you are typically setting yourself up to disappoint the audience. No matter how much time you put into the 1-2 weeks you have to prepare for the interview, you still won’t know as much as they do. And when given the choice, present on a topic in which you are well-versed.
Author: Lawrence Beck, CPC