Market Research plays a vital part in every Pharmaceutical / Healthcare organisation. Through the use of Market Research, companies are able to collect and process information about customers, competitors, and markets, gaining valuable insights that answer key, business-critical questions.
If you’re actively looking for your next move within Market Research, you may be invited to an interview any day now. Be it for an entry-level Research Executive or top-of-the ladder Research Director opportunity, there is a common ground among the interviews for all Market Research roles. So, we’ve asked our specialist consultants to share useful tips and advice on how you can get well-prepared for your next interview within Market Research.
If you’d like to know more about the sector of Market Research and Business Intelligence click here, or if you want to find out about how to progress your career within Market Research, read our full guide here.
How Is a Market Research Interview Carried out?
Most companies try to avoid a prolonged interview process as it can compromise hiring success. So, they usually carry out a 2-stage process for non-senior roles and a 3-stage process for senior roles. Remote interviewing, which emerged and thrived due to the pandemic, has also helped speed up the process and look like to stay for a while yet.
Preparation Is Key
If you’re a seasoned market researcher, be as clear as you can on the areas of research you have the most experience in. This could include experience in specific therapy areas, patient/physician/KOL respondent types, proposal/presentation development, and business development etc. And highlight your USPs while going through the experience – what sets you apart from your peers?
It puts you in a much better advantage to know the company. Make sure to align yourself to them; find out what markets they work in and the types of research they carry out. Prepare to demonstrate your knowledge in those specific areas.
What to Expect at a Market Research Job Interview
Some hiring managers may come up with questions based on specific roles or their company culture. Our consultants, with many years of experience in the field, can advise on some common questions that may come up in most interviews:
From the Associate Director level upwards, questions around sales and business development are to be expected. Some roles have more of a business development weighting, so it’s crucial to understand the specifics of the role you’re applying for.
What projects have you led and assisted on before? Be prepared to present examples of the projects you can own as well as the ones you’ve helped others with.
For the more junior level roles, hiring managers often ask about the involvement the interviewee has had in projects. Specifically, they will want to know what responsibility YOU had – so what did you do throughout the research process, did you have much client contact, what research methods did you work on, etc.
Tasks are often a part of an interview process. At more senior levels, you may be asked to write proposals or develop debriefs or presentations. The hiring manager won’t expect you to have all the necessary information to create a full proposal, so you need to be able to make logical assumptions. Bear in mind that the impact and delivery of the pitch will be considered more important than if a couple of your assumptions are slightly wrong.
When it comes to in-house positions, hiring managers tend to use more data-heavy assignments. The same advice goes to attempting these: don’t be stressed about not having all the information – try to be creative!
At the Research Executive level, you might come across assessments that are focused on your attention to detail. For instance, taking data from spreadsheets and collating information for clients. You could be tasked to respond to client enquiries or add slides to presentations and interpreting data and then conveying it back. These are set to put the candidate’s knowledge in qual/quant to the test.
Asking the Right Questions
It’s a good idea to find out about the day-to-day responsibility of the role you’re applying for and the company culture as they help draw a better picture of what it’s like to work in that position and within the team.
It’s also important to know how the company you’re applying for differentiates themselves from their competitors. So, ask the interviewer what sets them apart!
Some Final Thoughts
The last piece of advice from our Market Research consultants: know your worth. If you’re a capable pharma researcher, you are in high demand! Make sure you demonstrate what you offer that your peers might not. And lastly, be confident. After all, you’ve been invited to an interview for a reason.
If you’re looking for your next opportunity within Market Research, our specialist consultants are here to support you. Please feel free to get in touch with them using the contact details below, or take a look at all our live Market Research jobs here.
Matt Goldrick (Senior roles) +44 (0)1625 541044 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Newall (Mid-level roles) +44 (0) 1625 541043 / email@example.com