SURVEY: What topic would you present on in your final interview round?
This was a close call 54-46%. The jury is not out!
We captured below some of the best comments from recruiters, hiring managers and MSLs.
- It's risky to go with data you aren't as familiar with. It can pay off but often it doesn't in my experience. Great question!
- Presenting on something relevant to a future job shows agility, adaptability and getting outside the comfort zone which can say more about him then a perfect presentation on a topic that the hiring managers know is his area of expertise (it's most probably highlighted all over his resume).
- You definitely want to do a topic you are an expert on -- this is the best scenario because in your current MSL position. This demonstrates to the interviewer(s) what you would be like as the "MSL expert" up-to-speed on the data and presenting it to others, etc.
- I would e-mail and ask them if they prefer scientific or if it can be anything. I prefer candidates to present on an interesting topic they are passionate about rather than scientific. It makes for a more interesting presentation and dialogue afterward. I feel like the goal is just to see you can present well, communicate, and be personable! I presented on a personal topic one that was not in the disease state or very scientific. I asked permission and what they were looking for first.
- Most of the companies I have interviewed for want you to at least present on something in the same general wheelhouse. So a Neuro presentation of some kind for a neuro gig, etc.
Below are some of our personal thoughts. We strongly believe in presenting on the phase 3 clinical trial data you will be working on as an MSL, for several reasons.
- It shows your LEVEL OF DEDICATION as you made the effort to learn and upskill on what matter to the role ie the disease, the product and the data (efficacy/safety) in a "short" amount of time
- It shows that you really UNDERSTAND THE THERAPEUTIC AREA you will be working on ie current treatment landscape, guidelines etc.
- It shows your ability to critically assess the strength and weaknesses of the clinical trial you will be covering as an MSL
- It shows your ABILITY TO QUICKLY UPSKILL on a given disease/product – which is a critical aspect of the MSL role.
- It shows you LEVEL of READINESS to start working as an MSL on the disease and product you are applying for
PS: It does take a lot more effort than presenting on your favorite topic, but I believe it clearly shows your are ready as an MSL and think, talk and present like an MSL.