HomeSales & MarketingArea ManagerInterview Questions - Area Manager in Pharmaceutical Companies

Interview Questions – Area Manager in Pharmaceutical Companies


Area Manager is the Most Important field sales position. The biggest challenge is the paradigm shift from Job role of Doer to Getting Job Done. Preparing for Interview is always critical, As this 1 Hour of Interaction/Process decides your fate. To prepare you better sharing Interview Questions in 2 Parts. The first part is specific to Area Manager in Pharmaceuticals, 2nd part of Interview preparation comprises of 25 top Important questions which are asked in General

Interview Questions for Area Manager in Pharma

1. What is Job of Area Manager?

  • To lead and Develop team to improve their abilities for Generating Prescriptions by building scientific partnership with the doctors,
  • Coaching, On the job training,
  • Reviewing their performance and feedback to the Company.
  • Supervising and Controlling Activities of Team.

2. What are the key responsibilities of Area Manager?

  • To achieve and exceed Sales Target
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Execution of Promotional Strategies and other norms, SOPs by team members.
  • Analyzing and Planning Business Development.
  • Coaching and Developing Team members to perform their Job/Task effectively.
  • Supervision and Control
  • Building Team and Teamwork culture

3. What is Job of Medical Representative?

Amongst various responsibilities the key responsibility of Medical Representative is to Generate Rx

Other Important Jobs are

  • 100% Customer Coverage
  • Regular RCPA
  • Achievement of Target through Rx Generation
  • Dr. Conversion.
  • Retail/Dispensing POB
  • Timely Submission of DCR & Feedback.

4. How the Job of Area Manager is Different than Medical Representative?

  • The biggest difference is where an M.R is a doer, ASM has to get the job done.
  • A medical representative is responsible for his actions, competence and Execution compliance.
  • ASM is responsible for his team and has to ensure things are in Place in Team i.e Handling Team Effectively

5. How do you select a candidate for your team?

Pre-selection – Getting Market feedback, Track records, Reference Checks.

Selection – Roasting him extensively during Job Interview to leave no room for error.

Induction – Robust Induction, Making him Part of our Company’s family.

6. How to Induct a New Medical Representative under you?

  • List down important details to be given to New Joinee
  • Important Data’s to be shared.
  • How much product Knowledge is necessary for starting his Job.
  • Detailing/Sales presentation or How to Position brand/product, USP’s
  • Customer Data Base, Existing Customers, Potential Customers, our Key Customers.
  • Organogram, Territory Coverage Plan.
  • Target Sheet, with a Meticulous plan to achieve the target. This builds confidence and Trust of New Joinee.

Read More details Induction of Medical Representative

7. What is the objective of JFW?

The objective of JFW is not only to ensure proper supervision but also to develop Medical representatives on various fieldwork Parameters.

8. What are the Objectives of a Joint call, and how should you plan the Joint Call of a Doctor?

  • Pre-call Planning on role play in Dr’s Chamber.
  • Defined communication between the Participants (Maybe ASM ZSM, SM, PMT)
  • No echoing of Text or USP’s delivered by Medical Representative.
  • The objective is to present the product/brand more effectively. ASM Job is to add Value.
  • On job Coaching/Training on Effective Sales presentation must be in Focus.
  • The medical representative must be taken through Probing, Asking Questions, Demanding Prescription, Presenting/Using Samples/Literature/Gifts skills, and Most importantly Objection Handling skills.
  • Demonstrate – Evaluate – Coach – Attempt – Demonstrate must be the Model to Train/Coach.

9. How you make your Tour Program? What are the basis of Days allocation?

Following are the Parameters to Plan tour program

  • Performance of H.Q
  • How Old is team Member?
  • Developmental Requirements
  • Existing Business V/S Target assigned.
  • Prescriber Base.
  • Adherence to Activity and Work standards.
  • KOL’s and ROI.

Days allocation and schedule of Repeat working is decided with the help of above Parameters

10. How do you Plan your JFW?

Following data and Knowledge is refreshed before proceeding for Joint fieldwork

  • Last visit Discussions and Tasks assigned v/s Executions.
  • Performance of Territory.
  • Customer Coverage and Gaps
  • Product Mix performance to date.
  • ROI and status of KOL’S
  • Input utilization and review of outcome.

11. What are the Key analytical parameters and Inference from the Daily call report of M.R?

  • No of Calls v/s Objective of Organizations (Dr’s and Chemists are equally Important)
  • Time Utilization during fieldwork. (Ex How scattered was Fieldwork? Waiting Period, Travel period, etc)
  • Dr. Brand Matrix, Promotion of Brands v/s specialty… v/s Previous Report.
  • No. of Brands Promoted.
  • Are brands focussed as per strategy? eg. No of Dr/Brand.
  • The frequency at which customers are covered (Regular as per Plan or Haphazard, erratic, irregular?)
  • Missed Calls/Customer Analysis (Missed calls are different from Missed Customers)
  • Analyzing which customers are missed more than twice and why?

12. How many KOL’s are known to you? Name Them

This is a typical question asked from Medical Representatives, But its Importance cannot be neglected for Area Manager since this is required for

  • Vacant Territory Management
  • Adding your contribution to the performance of a Medical Representative.
  • Holding better control of Performace.
  • Knowledge is important while Inducting new M.R or planning Business exigencies.

13. What is On job Training/Coaching? How to do it?

On the job training is Training given to team member during Joint fieldwork with the Norm of Performà Evaluate à Demonstrate à Perform,

This is Most critical and Important Job of an Area Manager during this he must focus on-

  • Focus on Sales presentation skills.
  • RCPA Skills
  • Data analysis and usage.
  • Rx demanding and Managing skills.
  • Reporting and its inference.
  • Objection handling and Discussion skills (eg Probing skills, asking questions)

14. What is your call Average? What steps are taken to achieve it?

An area manager has to lead by example and Demonstrate high standards of Execution, This is a direct marker of your Planning & Execution Capabilities.

15. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

A very tricky question, remember no one will Hire you for your weakness, any interviewer is in search of strengths which can help to perform the job efficiently. Always frame your answer based on your market research about the company, their requirements, and Expectations, Share few tangible weaknesses which you can overcome, share your plan/actions you are doing to overcome this weakness. This further strengthens your Competence/Capabilities.

16. How to launch a product successfully?

Steps Involved in Successful launch of Products are

  • Understanding the Product (Product Knowledge) its USPs, Indications, and Strategies in Launch meeting. Ensure each and Every member understands, Crosscheck, impart necessary Knowledge.
  • Preparing sales presentation/Detailing for Effective Communication (Sharpening your Axe before cutting a tree), what value you planned to add while the launch of New Product during Joint work?
  • Selection of Target Doctors, Revalidating your selection through proper RCPA.
  • Ensuring that product is made available at all stockists and in the Market before Launching Product.
  • Ensuring 100% Execution of Launch strategies eg Teasers or Mailers/ Literatures/Scientific Communications, etc.
  • Effective and Regular Follow-ups until the desired Number of Doctors are converted in the Territory.

17. How to reduce Expiry and Returns from the assigned area?

  • Keeping Track of Non-moving products through Monthly reports received from team members, Analysing sales trends, Product-wise, Non-moving products.
  • Preparing an action plan with the concerned team members.
  • Ensuring a plan is executed and feedback is submitted on predefined parameters.
  • Checking physical stocks randomly at stockists & retailers

18. How you ensure ROI?

  • Regular follow-ups
  • Tracking the value of Business Generated.
  • Planning call of such customers during Joint work.
  • Regularly updating to customers also on Business Generated.
  • Tracking our Rx trend v/s Competitor through intensive RCPA and Reports from stockists.

19. How to handle Local trade unions/Associations?

Updating knowledge about their operational styles

  • Who are the key persons involved
  • Having good relations with key persons.
  • Able to reach them for any productive discussion and vice versa.

20. What are your Expectations from Management?

  • Environment to Develop and Learn.
  • Learning Skills and capabilities to handle higher responsibilities.
  • Career Growth.
  • Conducive work environment.
  • Sense of mutual trust, Respect, and Confidence.

For Important General Questions asked during Interview Please click the Link Below

Most Important Questions for Interview Preparation


“Interview is kind of overhauling of your knowledge and competence to perform your Job Better”

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