Medical Science Liaison interview

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Medical Science Liaison interview

Postby Mounia B » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:22 am

Hi all,
I need some advices from experienced MSL who get a MSL position after a PhD or a post doc.
I am currently working as a post doc and I will have soon an interview for a MSL position in a big pharma company. I'd like to know if you have any advise to give me. In particular about what I can bring to the company without any MSL experience?
I read a lot about this role and I think I understand quite well what a MSL does! But I am still lost on how to manage answering this type of question.
Also if you can give me any feedback on your first month as a MSL, it would be really great.
Mounia B
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:12 am

Re: Medical Science Liaison interview

Postby D.X. » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:33 am

Hi Mounia B,

I'm a former MSL and still have touch points into that world from a more strategic, high-Level.

A few things you can bring where you can Focus:

1. Communication ability: the tangible out here is how you present with interest in your presentation faciliation skills. How do you engage you audience be it a crowd or just one Person. You should be given a paper or something to present as part of your interview. Linked to that will be how well you can take complex scientific Information and explain that to audience if diverse scientific/clinical Background, i.e. your high scientific key Opinion Leader vs. your Nurse in the trench.

2. You relationship Engagement ability: ability to establish relationships and maintain Rapport, while leveraging those relationships to deliver on a Business objective. Alot there but basically are you are relationship builder and can you be convinicing enough 1. build advocacy for the disease and product science and 2. leverage expertises accordingly. see communication skills above. Also Networking, have you levaraged a Network to gain ass

3. Scientific/Clinical accumen: this one is not your ability to be super scientific, rather a bit the opposite, ability to be super scientific but ability to take the key Points and NOT get lost in the Details. i.e. Targeted scientific communication. Alot of your presentations and discussions will be Clinical data, can you distill the salient Points of the clinical stuides you'll be dealing with and get the message acrcoss in a targeted, accruate and meaningful way. See my poit again about communication. This will part will be the Basis for crediblity.

4. Crediblity: you success and the company's success will be based on your crediblity, that is trust with your customer stakehodlers and internal colleagues. This include seemless linkage to the oints above and communicating in such way that allows other to define you as credible and trust worthy. This industry is highly regulated and as a MSL you represent the Company so how you communicate, you crediblity is very important. If you can talk to experiences where you have represented an organization, that can help but how you come accross, your over all demeanor will help here.

5. Ablity to learn fast - this will be important, depeniding on the Company and TA you may Need to be deployed faster than expected or to get on board fast. So emphasize that.

So in summary here , you must Show you can bring all of the above as your value with emphasis on your targeted communcation skills and relationship buidling skills. The presentation you will give will give insights into this. Obvioulsy you'll never be able to talk about how you would Access a difficult to reach KOL (a Standard question) because you don'thave the experience so think outside the box and take it from the Point of how you would Approach, think of any other example you may have had with something like this. Apply that to other questions.

Less important will be Business accumen but still important to relay you understand where the Business Need is, you will develop that over time. So good luck there.

Regarding your first month, um, difficult each Company will have thier own on-Boarding program, if it is a big pharma then it will by quite structured. Expect to spend time getting trainined both on the scientific platform (data), Meeting your team-mates, and potentially touching on the soft skills side, but ist about getting you integrated inot the Company, i doubt you'll have any KOL visits, if so they will be shadowed or you'll accompany another MSL. Remember you have to get your home Office set up, Computer, Internet, etc. plus deal with compnay car delivery stuff, adminstrative stuff like getting the SOPs out of the way, learning the expense System, the customer relationship Management (CRM) System, etc. Most on-Boarding programs are about 3 months and Training or so may carry out to 6 months, you'll basically spend your first year Training, on-Boarding and starting to build your customer relationships while learning your territory - depending on your style you could be running out there making an Impact after 6 months as was my case, or other who were a bit slower and taking up to a year before the Team/Company startes to see a return on Investment. Again depends on Company, Training, culture ext. In my Company we expect them to be running fast so rare we'll hire a newbie. So on-Boarding is quick, within 3 months they're out there (see my Point about crediblity).

Cheers, let me know if you have any other questions,

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