Charitable giving is common in the medical device industry. The interviewer wants to see that you care about more than just a job but that you find joy and purpose in giving back to your community.
Ethicon Interview Questions
At Ethicon, giving back to the community is really important to us. What are you doing in your current position to give back?
Charitable giving is common in the medical device industry. The interviewer wants to see that you care about more than just a job but that you find joy and purpose in giving back to your community.
"At my company, we are close to an elementary school and volunteers are needed to read to the students each week. I volunteered immediately and have been part of this program for 2 years. Sometimes it is hard to leave the office each week because I'm so busy, but each time I go there, it is so rewarding. "
"For example: "My company didn't have a robust volunteerism program and we are pretty small, so I actually started a school supply drive to benefit schools in our community. This isn't something our teams were used to doing, so it took some promotion, but in the end, we ended up with a huge amount to donate. The schools were so pleased and it really boosted engagement at our office."
Here at Ethicon, our quality focus extends to product stewardship and sustainability in regard to them being eco-friendly. What types of sustainability programs do you have experience working with during your career to this point?
Ethicon, and their parent company Johnson & Johnson, takes a focused approach in ensuring that their products are friendly to the earth's environment and the organization feels very strongly on this stance. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have the same point of view when it comes to being a great steward of the environmental resources and products. Talk about any environmentally friendly programs or projects you have been a part of during your career and make sure that your interview walks away from your conversation knowing that you will buy into the philosophy with Ethicon.
"With my current employer, I've been part of our Green Team that has implemented new procedures and policies that are focused on reducing our water and energy usage. I am a firm believer that a little bit of effort from everyone goes a long way in ensuring that our planet is left in better shape for generations to come. When I read Ethicon's Earthwards program, I was very pleased to have the chance to work for an organization that has the same stance as me."
"In my current role as a Field Sales Representative, I work very closely with my accounts to help ensure that they participate in our packaging recycling program that my organization implemented. Upon delivery of product, our delivery staff are trained and able to take packaging from prior shipments for reuse. This program has been a huge benefit for our customers in reducing waste costs and it's been a huge benefit to my organization in saving packaging costs. But most importantly, it's been most beneficial to the earth by reducing the amount of Styrofoam potentially filling landfills. With my customers, my belief in this program really helps sell the effort on their part to participate in the program."
Give an example of a time that you showed great commitment to a customer or colleague that you worked with. Why was the commitment necessary and what helped make the committed relationship successful?
Ethicon, and their parent company Johnson & Johnson, are dedicated to a full commitment to their customers and for this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you have the same customer centered values as the organization. In your example, think of a time where you went the extra mile for a customer (or colleague) that you worked with that produced a great end result for both you and the customer. Explain that this approach is your everyday approach with your customers because they are the life blood of the work that you perform.
"A few years ago, I was working with a new automotive dealer to our area that had purchased a long-standing, family owned business that had been prevalent in the area for many years prior. In wanting to run a great marketing campaign that would introduce them as the same family friendly atmosphere, I kept a very close tab on the statistics from our campaign and reported them on a weekly basis to the customer. Throughout the entire radio and television advertising campaign, my regular data kept the customer engaged and informed and they even thank me and my manager for the great service and updates. I quickly realized that attention to fine details like this can make or break business in the marketing world and I'm always happy to do these things for my customers."
"Managing a sales team brings me in touch with a large number of customers, both internal and external. I think my unique approach of considering internal production and supply chain staff as customers in my sales world really benefits the organizations that I represent as a whole. A few years ago, I learned that a imminent shutdown was coming on one of our featured product lines and this shutdown could impact our external customers for one week to several weeks. In hearing this through the grapevine, I immediately contacted our Operations leadership team to set a meeting the next day with them for me to gather information. In wanting to both serve our external customers the best and ensure that production wasn't backlogged when back up and running, I utilized their plan for production shutdown to work up a plan for our external customers. I was thanked graciously by our operations team and in the end, my sales force was able to bridge orders for our largest customers and set expectations for product unavailability for all of our customers. It was a win-win for all."
What is a work accomplishment you feel very proud about that you'd like to share?
Everybody has that shining moment in their career that they look back on and feel good about. Share a work accomplishment that is significant to you and let the interviewer hear the passion in your voice.
"I have been selected to the President's Club 3 years in a row. The first year I was selected, I am especially proud of because I was given a territory that was performing really terribly. I didn't know if I'd be able to turn it around. With focus, dedication, and a close eye on numbers, I was able to make really great strides in that region and it is still a high performing area for the company."
"For example: "I'm really proud of the fact that 3 of the people who reported to me have moved on to leadership roles within my company. Coaching and mentoring people is really important to me and I spent a lot of time with these individuals talking to them about what it would take to get to the next level. They were like sponges and listened, and then did exactly what I knew they could do. Teaching others is something I have a great passion for."
In the medical device industry, it is important our teams are cohesive so we can continue to drive excellence. Tell me about a time you gave feedback to a peer?
The interviewer wants to know that you aren't shy about giving feedback to your peers to help them succeed. True leaders show their true colors by mentoring and supporting colleagues, not just by supporting and training direct reports. Show the interviewer that you care about the development of others are aren't afraid to give feedback.
"I noticed my peer was really struggling with her communication with another leader. He would get very anxious and even out of breath when he was telling me about what was going on. One of the times that he was venting to me, I listened, but then asked a few more questions to probe deeper. Through my questions, my colleague was able to think of a few different strategies to try when working with this person in the future. The power of the question is very powerful."
"For example: "We had bi-weekly team meetings and we do a lot of brainstorming during that time. One of my colleagues came across really negative and would shoot down people's ideas really quickly. This really deflated the energy in the team. I asked him to go for a walk with me and I told him how his behavior was being perceived. He was caught off guard by this feedback. However, because we were walking and our bodies were moving, it helped him to calm down and hear me. At the end, he thanked me for pulling him aside and talking to him about it and I could tell at the next meeting that he came with an attitude that was different and more open."
At Ethicon, we have worked very hard to make sure our workforce is inclusive and represents our customer population. Tell me about your experience in working with diverse groups of people in a work setting.
Are you accustomed to working with a very large or diverse team of individuals? Assure the interviewer that you can handle an environment that offers diversity. Even better, give an example of being able to embrace diversity in the workplace.
"I have worked with diverse groups of people most of my career, including my time in University. I value opinions that are different than my own and find this environment challenging. If everybody thinks alike, that is not only a boring environment, but it isn't a creative environment."
"I am so glad you pointed out your need for diversity at Ethicon LLC. I grew up in a small town that wasn't very diverse, so I specifically chose a college in a more diverse location so I could have exposure to other cultures. I have learned so much about the beliefs and values of others that I have brought to the workplace to have a higher level of EQ."
How do you want to grow your career within the medical device industry?
The interviewer would like to hear that you would like to stay with the company as you develop new skills. Tell the interviewer your long term goal, but make sure it aligns with where the company is going.
"I noticed at Ethicon, you have offices in over 20 countries. This is really exciting to me. I'd love to be in this role for several years, but then think about how I could use the skills I've learned to work in one of your global locations. I'd love to work overseas for a few years and then come back to a leadership role."
"For example: "One of the elements of Ethicon LLC that I really love is the career growth opportunities. I'd love to take the knowledge I'll gain in this role and move to the sales organization to be the person in front of clinicians, showing them the great things our devices can do. When you are selling something you believe in, it doesn't really feel like selling, it just feels like helping people."
At Ethicon, we continuously strive to use data to improve our work quality. How do you use data in your work to make sure that your work is the best possible?
No matter what career path you are on, the ability to utilize data in helping to improve processes is extremely important. But, the type of data you use and how you use it can vary greatly, depending on the work that you do. Be sure that you speak about using relevant data and information in your work and explain how you can apply this to the job that you are interviewing for. Talk about your ability to use resources to pull data from and your ability to sift through large amounts of information to pull what is truly important to the work that you do.
"In R&D, customer data is extremely important to help guide my work into the future. With my current organization, we rely on our sales and manufacturing staff to provide us with market data from our customers to assist us in coordinating projects for the future. In the artificial intelligence field, my team recently developed a program for a large human resources contractor that sifted through online resume to help recruit top candidates for their open positions they were contracted to recruit for. This project was implemented because of customer data that we received from several HR related customers and what their future needs were. Since the development, other large organizations have purchased the program."
"Account management in the manufacturing world requires the use of data to help boost sales and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. With my customers, I keep trend data of product sales over time and update my customers one per quarter on their numbers. This transparency goes over well with my customers and also helps them get insight into their own business at times. As well, I like to look at overall trends in our overall business and compare that to my individual customer's trends. This give both me and my customer's an idea of their performance against the whole."
At Ethicon, our organization is highly matrixed with US and global partners on our teams. How have you navigated this kind of environment in the past?
Working in a matrixed organization means you have multiple people you are accountable to, often with competing priorities. It can be complex to navigate in this space, so the interviewer wants to know you can handle working in this environment.
"Currently I report to a leader here in the US, but my functional leader is in the UK. With the time change, it can be difficult for us to reach each other, so I changed my hours slightly to be in the office earlier so I could talk more via Skype with this person. I felt like our emails weren't necessarily the most effective means of communication. With my leader in the US and I try very hard to keep her in the loop about what I'm doing and make her feel like I'm including her in my decisions. After a month or so of trial and error, I have a nice system down now."
At Ethicon, we've been voted a best place to work. What kind of working environment do you thrive in?
Every work environment is different. The interviewer wants to get a sense of your preference for the atmosphere in which you'll be working. Be honest, but also demonstrate flexibility since you'd don't yet know what the environment is like.
"I can adapt to most work environments. I've been in very chaotic, noisy environments and can thrive with some strategies to help me focus, like my headphones. In other positions, it has been very quiet. I gravitate to environments that are collaborative and not too quiet so people feel like they can ask questions and interact with each other."
"In my internships, I had exposure to many different settings. I prefer a busy, fast-paced environment to keep me on my toes. I also like when there are many people around so I can ask questions if I need."
Have you ever had a time where your ethics were tested on the job? What was the situation and how did you handle it?
Ethicon believes that both ethics and fairness are important in all that they do and they expect their employees to follow the same belief. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that your moral compass matches that of the organization and they're doing this by having you give an example of a time your ethics were tested. No matter what example you give, be sure to point out that you always do what you feel is right and ethical while doing it in a manner that is beneficial for all that are involved.
"I feel very fortunate to not have been put in many situation where my high ethical standards were tested during my career, but I can think of one time a few years ago when it was. Working in a large warehousing operation at the time, we had a week where our used oil container was getting to capacity. Knowing that our recycling pick up for that wouldn't be for a few weeks, it was inferred to me that I should dispose of as much as I could in the regular garbage headed to the landfill. Rather than oblige, I stood my ground and said I would not do that and would look into other measures. I contacted our oil recycling company and they let me know that the earliest they could be to us was three days later. I worked with them on how to safely and efficiently hold used oil until pick up and I did just what they recommended in the meantime. Following the pick up, I worked with them on having a much larger oil drum delivered knowing our production would be up in the coming year."
"During college, I spent evenings and weekends working as a waiter and bartender at a popular restaurant in town. On one evening shift, a couple of coworkers asked me to help them carry out a case of alcohol to one of their cars. With sirens going off in my head, I asked them why they needed the case of alcohol and if the owner had requested this. Based off the surprised look on their faces, they must've assumed that I would have played into their plan to steal to benefit from it. When I saw that, I told them to seriously rethink their thought process to steal from their employer. Looking back, my approach in that situation allowed us to maintain a good working relationship moving forward and it helped change their mind in not trying it again under my watch."
What importance do you feel that feedback from your customers and/or colleagues plays in your work? Have you every proactively sought out feedback in your work?
With Ethicon's deep focus on quality in the products and services that they produce, the organization is always seeking customer feedback in those products and services. For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you place importance on feedback from those that you work with and that you are willing to take constructive feedback and put it to use. If possible, also let your interviewer know about a time that you actively sought out feedback to help you and the work that you produce improve.
"My personal stance on feedback in my work is that it is vital to helping me improve and be the best salesman that I can possibly be. For you as my manager, you can rest assured that I would always have an open ear to constructive criticism and feedback to my work. I would fully expect you to let me know if I had areas for improvement on a regular basis, not just on yearly performance reviews. I also expect the same from my customers and I look to keep this window open for them through open communication and follow-up with them following product sales and delivery. I never hesitate to ask if my products are meeting their needs and if my service did as well. Last year, I had a great learning opportunity from a customer that informed me that our warehouse staff had shipped a wrong part needed by them. As I looked back into my system, I had fulfilled the order incorrectly. I owned up to it with the customer and made time to personally deliver them the correct part the next day."
"Working with many different production departments as a Test Engineer, I openly seek out feedback and thoughts from the production supervisors that I work with. They know their product lines and staff much better than I do and their feedback on testing processes is extremely helpful in the work that I do. With each project, I take time to meet with the supervisors I will be working with as sort of an intake session. This entails them getting to learn more about my project and me learning more about their work and their preferences. This open approach has led to great relationship and successful projects in my current role."
Talk about a time that you gave your opinion or viewpoint when you normally wouldn't have in that situation. What compelled you to speak up and what was the outcome?
At Ethicon, the Johnson & Johnson Credo is the driving factor in the way of life for all employees of the organization. As part of the expectation for living and breathing the Credo, Ethicon believes that employees have a responsibility to speak up when someone breaks the code of the credo and your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are comfortable speaking up about things when times are uncomfortable. While your answer to this question doesn't necessarily have to pertain to someone breaking rules, make sure that your interviewer gets the sense that you are willing and able to stand up for what you believe in in any situation.
"A few years ago, it was announced at a department meeting that our leadership team was going through an RFP process to look at new vendors for our drawing software. When my manager discussed the vendors that they'd be looking at, I immediately spoke up about my negative personal experiences with one of the software programs. I gave my firsthand knowledge of working with that software at a previous job. While I did point out some positives about that particular program, I felt it was very important that they hear from someone that has spent a great deal of time working hands on with it. Having been through an RFP process, sufficient time to see all of the features and benefits of a program isn't available. My manager thanked me much for my input."
"Early in my sales career, a couple of colleagues that I worked closely with tried convincing me to use some sales tactics that I felt were both unethical and against company policy. By not disclosing all information in our contracts to their clients, I felt strongly that the relationship between our organization and the customer could be badly damaged and I let them know that right away. My approach initially was to indicate that I would take no part of that in my contract deals with clients. I also let them know that I thought they should seriously think about their approach with their clients. I let the issue go and went about my business. Six months later at a company event, one of the colleagues approached me and let me know that our conversation had really resonated with him and he had since changed his ways of closing deals and contracts."
At Ethicon, our products are focused on helping surgeons and operating room staff provide excellent results for the patients they are operating on. Do you have any personal experience with this product line?
For this question, your interviewer will be looking to hear that you did some research on Ethicon and the products that they put out to hospitals and clinics around the world. They'll also be curious if you have any personal experience with the products to see if you have any personal buy-in into the work you'll be performing with the organization. Be open and honest with your experiences and make sure that you can speak knowledgeably about their product line.
"Two years ago, my wife and daughter were in a serious car accident where my daughter suffered some significant injuries at the time. With open wounds to her arms and abdomen, her arm required some stapling to help the wounds heal and they performed wonderfully to help her get back to health. While I don't know if the stapler used on her was produced by Ethicon, I do know the impact that this product had on my family and I'd love to be a part of an effort to help produce these with Ethicon."
At Ethicon, we do a lot of cross functional team projects. Tell me about a project team you've been on and your role.
If you thought group projects ended in college, you were wrong! Most organizations have their share of project work as well as the day to day work. Walk the interviewer through a successful project where you played a big role and had large ownership.
"At my company, I was selected to represent my department in a larger project team to implement a new CRM system. We met weekly, sometimes twice a week for about 12 months, My role was to make sure our old CRM system data converted into the new one and that it was organized in a useful way. I collaborated with IT as well as the project manager for the new system to make sure the data was useful and organized. When the new system launched, our old and rich data was there and useable so that we could maintain relationships we our customers seamlessly."
"For example: "In college, we had to do a big project in my Marketing class where we created an advertising campaign for a local business. I was in a group with 4 people, none of which I knew very well. We started talking to figure out where people's strengths were and there was clearly a person who was more technical, one who was a really good presenter and communicator, a financial person, and me, the creative person. We all had our own lanes, but came together to help on the different pieces. We pitched our idea and the business we had modeled, actually wanted to implement the majority of our ideas."
Many of our projects have very strict timelines. Tell me about a time you missed a deadline or deliverable and how you handled it.
At Ethicon, an important piece of our Credo is our employees having a sense of security, fulfillment and purpose in their work. What does it take for you to find purpose and fulfillment in the work that you do?
In the medical device industry, there is a lot of industry jargon and lingo and many acronyms to learn to understand the business. What are some strategies you've used to acclimate quickly when you've started a new job in the past?
What unique traits will you bring to our team here at Ethicon?
Part of the Ethicon and Johnson & Johnson Credo states that we will strive to provide value and reduce costs to our customers. What are ways that you are resourceful in helping to reduce costs in your work?
At Ethicon, we believe in continuous feedback so we can all improve. When is a time you received constructive feedback?
Do you have any direct experience working with surgery focused products or in healthcare in general? If not, what will be important for you to transition effectively into this role?
In the medical device industry, we are highly regulated by the FDA and other entities. What experience do you have working with regulatory bodies?
In the medical device industry, a background in science is really helpful so you can learn how our products work and help save lives. Tell me more about your background in health sciences or anatomy.
At Ethicon, our medical device products touch lives throughout the world. We have offices in over 20 countries. Tell me about experience you have working with a global workforce.
The technology in the medical device industry is changing rapidly. At Ethicon, we are investing in new technology to help patients and our teams do their jobs more effectively. How do you keep up to speed with changing technology?
At Ethicon, our medical devices can truly change people's lives. Sometimes, though, a patient may have a question or concern about one of our devices. How have you handled a difficult customer interaction in a previous position?
What interests you about working in the medical device industry?