The interviewer is not only asking this question to find out the actual actions you took in preparing for the interview, but also to see if you were deliberate in your preparation. If you prepared for the interview in the same way you would prepare for a sales call, you win. Do your best to subtley relate the two to one another.
Sales managers and representatives call this preparation a pre call plan so if you can think of a way to work this term into your answer, it could play to your favor. Finally, use this opportunity to show that your desire to land the job is greater than any of the other interviewers. Any proof you can show of how your prepared for the interview will help to support this arguement.
I realize that if you ask five people you interview today the same question, their response will be something like, “I read every page of the XYZ Company website.” And while I did that too, more than once, I really focused my pre-interview planning and preparation in areas that I thought would provide me with some real insight as to what the interview would be like and on what questions I might have for interviewers to determine if XYZ Company will be a good fit for me. I did the easy things to determine company health. Things like reading the S&P Report on XYZ and the Hoover’s financial profile on the company. I researched and studied the company’s leadership, philosophy, values, history. And learned as much as I could in the limited time I had available about the primary care, specialty, and generic products that the company promotes.
In addition, I spoke with 2 XYZ pharmaceutical sales reps at length to learn more about training, development, field support, and advancement within the company. I was certainly pleased with what I learned in those discussions and am happy to see that the reps I spoke with have a sense of pride about their company and the products they promote. Finally, I spoke with a local physician and pharmacist about the products of XYZ company and their perception of the company’s sales representatives and business practices. I’ve kept track of my notes from this work in this folder [pulls a very thick folder from briefcase]. You’re welcome to take a look if you’d like.
If you find this site helpful, please send a link to your career services department so your fellow alumni know about PharmBoard too! I've already written the message for you. :)