MockQuestions

MSL Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your MSL interview, here are 35 interview questions and answer examples.

MSL was written by and published on May 30th, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 35

Talk about a time when you had to be extra diligent in order to meet a deadline.

Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

Part of your duties as an MSL will include deadline-specific tasks like trial registry, creating presentations, and writing for publications. Your interviewer would like to know that you are a diligent individual when it comes to meeting the work-related deadline of an MSL, especially when you are multitasking many things at once.

Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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35 MSL Interview Questions & Answers

  • Behavioral

    1. Talk about a time when you had to be extra diligent in order to meet a deadline.

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Part of your duties as an MSL will include deadline-specific tasks like trial registry, creating presentations, and writing for publications. Your interviewer would like to know that you are a diligent individual when it comes to meeting the work-related deadline of an MSL, especially when you are multitasking many things at once.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Talk to the interviewer about your ability to act diligently on the job. Your example should clearly display how you organize yourself in your work to ensure that you prioritize upcoming deadlines while still ensuring all other work gets completed on time. Don't hesitate to talk about any tools and resources you use to keep yourself on track with meeting deadlines in your work.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "Just a couple of months ago, my current organization was releasing two new drugs and my large client load required a great deal of planning to prepare for taking it live to the market. In the weeks leading up to the official release, I sent out client communications via email and then made a detailed plan for site visits with my top KOLs. My organization is very thorough with new drug releases and the expectation is that all of our collaborating physicians be armed with knowledge of the drug within a week of hitting the market."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    2. When a problem requires a quick solution, how do you typically respond?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      When it comes to complex problem solving as a Medical Science Liaison, decisions are not always readily reached. It takes practice, experience, and confidence to learn what sorts of decisions yield the best results. In asking a question about your ability to respond quickly to solutions, your interviewer wants to hear that you would join their team with the ability to be confident and calculated in your response to the situation.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Walk the interviewer through your process when it comes to making quick decisions. Maybe you rely on past experience or perhaps you go with an educated gut feeling. Maybe you have read case studies that you lean on in these instances. No matter how you answer, you want to ultimately demonstrate that you are confident and able to react swiftly when the need arises in the field with a key medical leader.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "First and foremost, I stay calm in the moment and rely on my knowledge to help come up with a solution. I use my best judgment to gauge situations. If a decision can take some time to be more thought out, I don't hesitate to communicate that to key stakeholders and get their input."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    3. What challenges do you anticipate if hired as our next Medical Science Liaison, and how will you meet those challenges?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      When starting a new job, you will always face new challenges. Given the MSL positions can differ from company to company and medical industry to different medical industry, your interviewer wants to hear that you have put some thought into this question, that you recognize where you might personally be challenged and that you have a plan for tackling any challenges that you foresee.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Discuss with your interviewer a couple of responsibilities in this MDL role that will present a learning curve for you. What your interviewer will ideally be looking to hear is that you have a plan in mind for meeting and overcoming the challenges that you foresee. Perhaps this opportunity requires you to learn the details of an unfamiliar medical specialty and you know that it will take some time to adjust. Be honest with the interviewer about the challenges you expect to face; however, focus most of your response on the action steps you plan to take to meet these challenges.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      1st Answer Example

      "As you can see from my resume, I have spent the last 10 years of my career in medical devices. While I am very confident in my abilities to build great relationships with the KOLs I will be supporting in this role, my learning curve will come in resetting my focus in the cardiovascular care arena of healthcare. If I were fortunate enough to be offered this role, I would immediately begin learning and mastering your products to become as knowledgeable as possible on day one of the job."

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

  • Behavioral

    4. Can you work under pressure as a Medical Science Liaison?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      At times, the work-life of an MSL can include long hours, days on the road, and increased pressure to help boost company numbers. Your interviewer wants to know that you are cognizant of these pressures that their MSL will face and that you will come to their organization armed with the tools to handle that pressure.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Don't sell yourself short by giving a simple yes or no answer. Take advantage of this question and take the opportunity to sell your skills and value profiles. Provide a brief yet comprehensive answer and seize the opportunity to sell yourself.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    5. Do you consider yourself as someone who is direct and forthright with others?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As an MSL, you will need to be direct in working with the internal teams of developers and the physicians you will work alongside. The interviewer wants to see that you do not leave people hanging when it comes to answering questions, providing direction, or offering necessary feedback. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were candid with a coworker, customer, or superior, ensuring that they had the direct information they needed from you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      When responding to this question, you want to avoid coming across as meek and timid to the interviewer. When searching for their ideal candidate, they want to hire an MSL who is direct and candid with those they work with. Be confident and optimistic in your response, showing the interviewer that you have the skills needed for the job.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    6. When change occurs in healthcare, it can create new problems. Do you see inevitable changes as inconvenient problems or opportunities to learn?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Throughout your time in training and in your medical experience, you already know that problems often arise due to new implementations and procedures or unforeseen kinks that need smoothing when a change occurs in the workplace. Your interviewer wants to see if you positively approach these changes or resist the change.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      Pharmaceutical, biotech, and other medical device companies must be flexible and willing to approach change as an opportunity. Due to the ever-changing nature of continually developing and releasing new products in the industry, MSLs must hold this same value. Reiterate to your interviewer that you thrive in the ever-changing environment that you will be joining in this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    7. Talk about the most challenging aspect of your current job. How did you overcome it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      MSLs face challenges each and every day on the job when the expectations of the KOLs and the vision of the organization they represent don't align. To get a sense of your ability to handle this aspect of the role, your interviewer wants to hear you discuss a challenge you faced and overcame in your current job.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Sometimes the most significant workplace challenge is a difficult task that puts you outside of your comfort zone. It could be something that requires skills you haven't mastered yet or qualities where you are not the strongest. Explain to the interviewer why it was difficult, but be sure to spend more time highlighting the actions you took to overcome the challenge. If you are a new graduate seeking their first MSL role, it is okay to talk about a challenge you tackled during your doctorate program.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Behavioral

    8. Our MSL's play a critical role in the success of our organization. How can we motivate you as a leader, keeping you engaged in the job?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Medical Science Liaisons holds a crucial role in bridging the gap between new product development and the frontlines of providing care to patients. With such a busy and task-filled schedule, it's no doubt that even the most poised MSL can be in danger of feeling unmotivated and disengaged now and then. If they are to seriously consider you for this role, the hiring company wants to know how they can encourage you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      As you answer this question, you should be able to identify and express what keeps you showing up, working hard, and supporting your team. Your motivation may be that the idea of success and achievement drives you. Perhaps you are working towards career advancement. Take some time to think about what truly motivates you. You want to avoid saying that you do not need the company to keep you motivated, that you can do it on your own. Even the best leaders need outside motivation from their superiors and those they work with. The interviewer wants to see what they can do to help you shine in your position and keep you motivated and inspired as their next Medical Science Liaison.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Communication

    9. How would you describe the written communication skills you would bring to our organization as an MSL?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Being a bright communicator, in written form, is an essential skill to master as a Medical Science Liaison as you will be providing written tactical plans and other disease-specific product info to the physicians you work with. If they are going to consider hiring you, your interviewer needs to be assured that you would come to their organization with stellar written communication skills.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Discuss any courses you have taken in communication, journalism, or writing. As well, talk about the direct work experience you have in preparing advanced written communications as an MSL. If you have a sample of your written communication in the form of a report or a work-related article, you can certainly bring that example with you to your interviewer. Talk to the interviewer about your written communication abilities and support your answer with a case or story. Some possible words you can use to describe your writing style can include articulate, crisp, formal, and succinct.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Direct

    10. Have you ever provided training to physician and other healthcare leaders? If so, what aspect did you enjoy most, and what did you find most challenging?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Even though it can be intimidating to train a group of high-level key opinion leaders in the medical field, this will be a critical part of the role of an MSL. Your interviewer wants assurance that you are confident enough in your training abilities and presentation skills to deliver an effective training session, regardless of the level of the medical professionals you will be providing training for.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      If you have direct experience in providing training to medical staff, be sure to talk in detail about the materials you presented and be open and honest about what aspect you enjoyed and what you found to be challenging. Be sure to talk about the size of the group that you presented to and how you handled the entire training to give your interviewer the sense that you can handle providing leadership training at their organization. If you are a new grad that doesn't have direct experience in this realm yet, talk about your experiences in training and educating other medical professionals and how this experience will help translate to this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    11. What do you like to do in your free time?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Working as an MSL can be a stressful job, and the interviewer wants to see that you can find a work/life balance and have a way to stay healthy. The interviewer asks this personal question to learn more about your interests, hobbies, and personality. They also want to see that you take time for yourself with activities outside of work and know how to decompress from the job stressors.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Prior to your MSL interview, put some thought into how to answer the question that comes up about yourself and your personal life. Keep your activities positive and don't hesitate to give some insight into your family life and any unique things about you that shows you would be a great fit with the team you are interviewing with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    12. What gives you the most satisfaction working as an MSL in the healthcare industry?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Job satisfaction is a significant factor in making the right hiring decisions. For this reason, the interviewer would like to unpack the details of where you derive your motivation and satisfaction in your career as an MSL. Talk to the interviewer about what satisfies you in your work and keeps you moving on the most challenging days. Be sure to show enthusiasm for your career path and this new job opportunity.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      The interviewer wants to see the passion for your job in your voice and facial expressions. If you do not show enthusiasm in your response, the interviewer might feel that you lack motivation and satisfaction in your profession. They want to hire Medical Science Liaison who is energetic, enthusiastic, and satisfied working in this role, so speak with passion as you answer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    13. Highlight your top leadership qualities for me. How do they benefit you as a Medical Science Liaison?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a successful MSL, you will be collaborating with top medical professionals in your industry and being the key component in bringing ideas back and forth from the field to your organization. This requires a vast amount of leadership qualities. Your interviewer wants to know what you consider strong leadership qualities for an MSL. Be sure to discuss how these qualities will help you succeed in this role and benefit the organization if hired.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      What to Avoid

      When describing your leadership qualities, avoid general terms, and give specific examples of these qualities you possess. Instead of saying an MSL needs to have excellent communication, you should back it up with examples of your excellent communication skills in action. A great leader is someone who people naturally want to follow. They have exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with nearly any personality type. A respected leader will take ownership of their mistakes and always lead their team by example. True leaders see the importance of motivating others and recognizing even the smallest achievements. As you know, these are all essential qualities for a Medical Science Liaison.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    14. With your education and a wide array of options, why did you choose a career path as a Medical Science Liaison?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewer is interested in what inspired you to pursue a career as an MSL to determine what type of employee you will be with their organization. They want to see that you are passionate about your work and are in this field for the right reasons. They know that your educational path could have led you in many different directions and want to hear what really makes you tick in this work.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Prior to your MSL interview, put some serious thought into what motivated you to enter this career path. Whether you have a Ph.D., PharmD, or other advanced degrees, you had many career options and your interviewer needs to hear you speak with passion about why this work was right for you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    15. What do you think our company's biggest challenge is?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As your interviewer likely considers a great pool of highly qualified MSL candidates, they will be looking to see how much each candidate has prepared for the interview process. This question allows them to gauge your understanding of their business and what challenges they face now and in the future.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      This question presents an opportunity for you to stand out from other candidates by providing specific details of how you plan to make a positive impact when you are hired. Be as detailed as you can while expressing enthusiasm for the opportunity to meet the company's needs by utilizing your greatest strengths and talents.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    16. What are you most looking forward to in this role as our next MSL?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewer asks this question to assess whether you can fulfill new responsibilities in their organization as a Medical Science Liaison and whether you fit in well with their culture. They are also looking to gauge your overall excitement for this role and maybe even gain some insight into what motivates you on the job.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When formulating your response, align the responsibilities and opportunities in your current role with those of the role you're applying for. Assure your interviewer that you've done your research on the job and the culture by speaking about what makes you excited about this MSL position. No matter how you answer this question, be sure to speak with passion, as that will be one of the top qualities they will be looking for in the candidate that they hire.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    17. How do you keep up to date on new technologies and trends in this industry and your career as an MSL?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      One way that a potential employer will gauge 'fit' with the MSLs they consider is by ensuring that you are passionate about their particular industry and look to stay educated and up to date on new trends in their field. This question opens the floor for you to talk about the ways that you keep yourself educated in your field.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      The best way to show your natural interest in your role is to study industry trends, newsworthy events, and policy changes. Show the interviewer that you are still excited about your industry by openly discussing how you stay on top of industry trends. If you belong to any societies or MSL-related groups, now is a great time to talk about that and the benefits that you have reaped from your memberships.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    18. If hired as our next MSL, do you have the availability to travel regularly throughout the region?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Some Medical Science Liaison roles require regional travel and this can often be extensive travel. If asked this question during your interview, travel will be required and your interviewer needs to be assured that you are able to handle this basic requirement of the role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Even prior to applying for this position as an MSL, the travel requirements should have been laid out in the job description. Come prepared to show your interviewer that you are aware of the travel requirements, that they fit with your personal life, and that you are excited for the opportunity to travel to meet face to face with key medical experts in the field.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    19. How would you define excellent customer service as an MSL?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a Medical Science Liaison, your goal will be to develop excellent peer-to-peer relationships with key medical experts in your field to help your organization grow. Your interviewer knows that these relationships will best be built on the service you are able to provide, so they want to hear what providing excellent customer service means to you in this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Excellent customer service goes beyond doing precisely as your expected, and it's more than having a smile on your face when the physicians you work with are looking. Excellent customer service means that you actively seek out the opportunity to deliver more than the standard. It means thoroughly listening to your key experts when they tell you what they need. Also, it equals offering support when a physician maybe a little bit in over their head. Keep your answer brief but ensure that it packs a punch.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    20. What does the word 'innovation' mean to you as a Medical Science Liaison?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The term 'innovation' is often overused in the medical industry these days and has now become a buzzword that many people don't fully understand. Your interviewer would like to know what you feel innovation indeed is for a Medical Science Liaison.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Include an example of a time when you have witnessed an innovative change in the workplace, or when you have exercised creativity.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    21. What do you hope to achieve in the first five years as our Medical Science Liaison?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewer wants to ensure that the candidate they ultimately offer their MSL role to is dedicated to building successful relationships with key healthcare leaders in the field and will be with them for the long haul. They don't want to invest in someone who is going to leave a year or two down the road.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Come to your MSL interviewer prepared to talk about your thoughts on what success will look like in this role. By researching the company you are interviewing with and the details of the particular MSL job you interviewing for, you will get a good idea of the ultimate goals of the job. Be honest but emphasize that you plan to continue building your MSL skills and progressing within the industry. Show that you are ambitious and goal-oriented, as well as passionate about the company you are interviewing with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    22. Why do you think companies need to employ MSL's?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Medical Site Liaisons can play a multitude of roles within different organizations. Your interviewer asks this question to ensure that you have a firm grasp of what their role looks like and that you see yourself thriving in it if hired.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Come to your MSL interview prepared to discuss your personal thoughts on why your job is important to the overall successes of the company that employs you, the healthcare teams that you work with, and the patients that ultimately benefit. Then, try to discuss those factors when discussing this particular MSL role that you are interviewing for. Speak with passion as you discuss the overall importance of this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Discovery

    23. When planning for a client interaction, presentation or report, how often do you create alternative scenarios to help you adjust to changing situations?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Being able to problem solve and think outside the box when it comes to changing situations is a valuable skill set to have as an MSL. Your work with KOLs in the field will never be predictable and your interviewer needs to ensure that you have the ability to plan for and handle situations that throw you for a curveball to ensure success in your work as an MSL with their organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Talk to the interviewer about your ability to create a variety of potential scenarios in the work that you do. You may never need to take on these scenarios; however, it's great for the interviewer to know that you can adapt your plan on the fly.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Experience

    24. Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment as an MSL?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      No matter if you are applying and interviewing for a role as a Medical Science Liaison with a large medical device manufacturer, pharmaceutical developer, or a contract research organization, you will be working cross-functionally with teams of internal developers, engineers and scientists. Add to that the fact that you will be the liaison between the company and medical professionals in the field and your interviewer needs to know that you are experienced in communicating and collaborating with multiple teams in this role.



      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Maybe you headed a project which required you to collaborate with the members of different internal departments. You may have had the opportunity to organize a volunteer activity or team-building exercise, company-wide. Share any challenges that came up and what you learned from the experience. As you research the MSL role you are interviewing for, try to talk about the importance of working with all of the cross-functional teams you will be in this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • General

    25. Talk about the various administrative duties you are responsible for in your current job. Why are these duties important to the overall success of a Medical Science Liaison?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Success as an MSL involves many different administrative duties that often aren't the most exciting or gratifying duties. Your interviewer wants to hear that you take them seriously and that you understand their importance in the overall process.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When not in the field meeting with physicians and other key healthcare leaders, you will be handling duties like working through email communications, creating presentations, and analyzing data. As you discuss the administrative duties that you handle in your current role and talk about why they're important in your job, keep in mind what administrative duties you will be handling in this role. Before your interview, try to do as much research as possible on this role so you can speak to your ability to handle all duties required in this job to impress your interviewer.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • General

    26. What are the components of a successful, and effective, presentation as a Medical Science Liaison?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Whether or not you have direct experience now in giving formal presentations, this role as an MSL will be putting you in front of physician stakeholders and presenting data and information on the product or trials your organization is hoping they will utilize. Your interviewer wants to be ensured that you know the qualities of a successful presentation and that you are comfortable given them in this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      First and foremost, you need to assure your interviewer that you will be comfortable presenting information to medical field leaders, both in-person and virtually. Talk about your ability to present complicated information in an exciting and educational manner. Then you can get into the details on what makes a presentation to physicians and healthcare leaders effective. Some of those components include understanding your audience, using correct medical terminology, being presentable in appearance, and utilizing the art of storytelling.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Leadership

    27. Tell me about a time when you took charge of a meeting. Was the outcome a positive one?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As you collaborate with key physician leaders in this role as a Medical Science Liaison, you will be expected to take charge and maybe even push back at times to help get your products in the field. Your interviewer would like to know that you have the confidence in speaking up, taking charge, and letting your mind be heard in the company of intimidating leaders.


      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Think about a time when you had to step up and take charge of a meeting, no matter if it was a one-on-one meeting or a large group. This example could be a phone meeting, a lunch and learn, or an extensive client presentation. You should clearly describe the situation and discuss why it was important for you to step up and take charge. As you answer, make sure your interviewer walks away knowing that you are comfortable in your ability to speak up and take charge with the KOLs you will be working with within this role.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Operational

    28. As our next MSL, how would you prioritize multiple duties calling at once when they all seem equally important?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      The world of a Medical Science Liaison potentially involves working with a large network of physicians and medical leaders on several different products of the organization you are interviewing with. There will be days where your phone will be ringing off the hook, emails are coming in steadily and more things keep popping up hourly and your interviewer needs to be assured that you would join their organization with the ability to prioritize your work and ensure all get handled in a timely fashion.


      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When answering this question, show the interviewer that you have a system in place that helps you to think through what needs to happen, and when. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an asset to their company! While there are many approaches you can take, it's important you understand what works for you and reiterate that in your interview. You can mention that you are a list maker or you utilize calendar technology, just make sure you emphasize that your method works for you.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Operational

    29. As an MSL, you often have to bridge the gap between research and front-line healthcare providers. How do you see yourself as building that bridge in this role?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Medical Science Liaisons have the difficult task of bringing a variety of research and data into the frontline healthcare setting and being that person that bridges the gap between theory and patients relies on strong communication and relationships. In asking this question, your interviewer will ideally be looking to hear that you would take the reins in this role as their next MSL and build trusting and long-lasting work relationships with the physicians that you'd be working closely with.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      As you answer this question and talk about how you promote the turning of data into medical practice, make sure to discuss how you would go about building a trusting relationship with the staff at this organization to ensure that the bridge you build is solid. You want your interviewer to walk away from your time together knowing that you understand how bridging this gap ideally works at their organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Salary

    30. If you were to be offered this MSL position, do you have any specific salary expectations?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Medical Science Liaison position salaries can vary greatly from company to company. First, your interviewer wants to ensure that what they are offering for the position meets your needs. With this question, they're also hoping to hear that compensation isn't your primary goal for pursuing a position with their organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      To prepare for this interview question, do your homework and find out as close of a range as possible for what the organization you are interviewing offers to their MSLs. Remember this is just the first interview and you haven't been offered the job yet. The first interview is not the time to enter negotiations. Go ahead and give a broad salary range without selling yourself short while also ensuring that you are fair to yourself and your expectations.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Scenario

    31. If you could not make a key physician happy, what would you do?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      No matter what medical subspecialty you are working in as an MSL, you will likely encounter a difficult and hard-to-please physician at some point or another. Your interviewer needs to be assured that you would be willing to do what is necessary to still maintain a great level of service with them, even when it may be very difficult personally.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      It is essential that you can turn most customers around; however, this will not be the case 100% of the time. Your interviewer would like to see that you have the sense to offer a solution while keeping the company's best interest in mind at the same time. Discuss what you would do to make sure a physician's needs were taken care of while keeping in mind that, at times, the individual may be very hard to please. Also, there may be times when client satisfaction cannot be achieved. Talk about how you come to terms with that.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Situational

    32. When have you had to think outside of the box to solve a problem?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Your interviewer is looking to hire an MSL that will come to their team with the ability to foster innovation and bring new and creative ideas to their department. This requires the willingness to think outside of the box at times and this question allows your interviewer some insight into your willingness and ability to be unique and creative in your thought process on the job.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Talk to the interviewer about a time you had to solve a problem creatively. Your answer doesn't have to be an invention or a tremendous breakthrough you made in your previous role. Any unexpected decision you made will most likely count as a creative solution. Pick a scenario where you were pleased with the outcome.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Situational

    33. Talk about a time when you had to work closely with someone who had a difficult personality. How did you handle that situation?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      Medical Science Liaisons need to have the ability to work with strong, dominant, and sometimes bullheaded personalities. These personalities can be found both in the internal stakeholders they work closely with and with the external key medical experts they work alongside. Your interviewer wants to know how well you work with others despite a difference in personality. Your ability to adapt to various people, regardless of a positive personality match, shows that you are a mature and professional MSD, even when factors are not entirely ideal.



      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Avoid extreme responses that include speaking negatively of others or naming people. Also, avoid telling the interviewer that you get along with everyone all the time. Most interviewers will interpret a cliche response like that as dodging the question. Focus on when your work personality or style was different from another person, but perhaps you still had to collaborate together. Discuss, in a positive tone, how you made it work!

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Situational

    34. Tell me about a time when your integrity was challenged. How did you handle it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As an upstanding Medical Science Liaison, you must have a strong sense of morals and clinical ethics to always focus on what is best for patient care. Your interviewer needs to be assured that your moral compass is strong and that your decisions are made with integrity if they are to hire you to join their organization.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      Honesty and integrity are key traits to possess as a successful MSL. Prior to your interview, think back to a time when your integrity was challenged on the job. Clearly describe the situation, your thought process, and the action you took to ensure you handled the situation with integrity. If you are a new grad, think of a time when your honesty was challenged and you made the right choice in the end.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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  • Situational

    35. Talk about a time there was a serious conflict on a team that you collaborated with. How did you resolve it?

      Why the Interviewer Asks This Question

      As a Medical Science Liaison, you will be collaborating closely with physicians and internal staff at your employer and you will often be bridging the gap between the company and front line physicians. There will be times when you have to manage conflict with those that you are collaborating with and your interviewer needs to be assured that you can manage conflicts in a healthy and productive manner when they arise.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

      How to Answer

      When cooperating with people from different work backgrounds and various work styles in this MSL role, conflict is inevitable. Prior to your interview, try to think of an example of when a team you were a part of experienced a conflict. Be sure to highlight how you skillfully handled the conflict issue and reiterate to your interviewer that you will be the ultimate diplomat as their next MSL.

      Written by Ryan Brunner on May 30th, 2022

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