How to prepare for a senior Medical Affairs interview

The importance of preparing for an interview is often over looked but we cannot emphasis the importance enough. Always prepare… make sure you know the basic 1-0-1 information, such as:

  • Where are you going?
  • When are you going?
  • How are you getting there?
  • Who are you meeting?
  • What is the format – is there anything additional you need to prepare (such as a presentation)?

Interview Tips and Preparation Advise

Look at who would be working in the team around you, what is their background? What are there roles and how do they fit with the team? Think about the structures you currently or have previously worked within and how you can relate. This will really help bring you’re story to life as well as demonstrating insight and understanding.

Know your own strengths and don’t be shy in selling them during your interview – Medical Affairs is so cross functional and having the presence and confidence in yourself and your abilities is as important in the job as it is at interview so demonstrate it.

If you’ve not done something directly before be prepared to demonstrate your input, awareness, willing ness to learn and how you would tackle the given task or situation if you were successful. For example, if you’ve not been responsible for producing the medical strategy plan, talk through your input and how you have seen it done successfully. If you’ve not had a huge amount of direct management experience, talk through your dotted line management / mentoring experience, involvement in training others (who and what) and how you have managed matrix relationships, particularly on a given project. Again this will help it be real and allow you to really engage.

Read about their products – know their therapeutic focus and research marketed products as well as those in development (what phase are they in? do they have ongoing IIT’s?).

Interviews are a two way process so you also need to ensure its right for you! Within medical there are so many variables to consider from the initial job, future progression and product pipeline to the companies compliance frameworks and risk appetite. You need to make sure the fit is mutual, so think of questions around the things important to you and that you will need to make a decision to join the organisation and accept this role.

During the interview – own the space you’re in – sounds silly but put your feet on the floor, shoulders back, make eye contact and engage! This is a senior role, an integral hire and the company are looking for someone to lead in terms of people, strategy and direction. (They have the advantage of knowing the individuals in the team who are undoubtable a mixed group – demonstrate your ability in dealing with a variety of different people and functions.)

For more advice on interview preparation read our personal SWOT article


Or take a look at our other interview advice articles here


Or find out more about the STAR interview technique click here to view our infographic


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Regional Scientific Liaison Manager – Field Based

Regional Scientific Liaison Manager / Scientific Advisor / Medical Liaison

We are recruiting for Regional Scientific Liaison Manager to join a Pharmaceutical company in Buckinghamshire in a field-based position. This is a permanent position. 

As Regional Scientific Liaison Manager, you will initiate and maintain strong relationships with opinion leaders. You will provide medical input at a regional level to enable business opportunities to be maximised and new leads created and developed within current regulatory and code requirements. Previous experience in working in a similar position is preferred, with knowledge and understanding of the clinical trials process desirable. The territory that will be covered in this position is dependant on where in England you are based.

Key responsibilities:
-Responsibility for medical input at a regional level to enable business opportunities to be maximised and new leads created and developed within current regulatory and code requirements.
– Contribution to the development and implementation of the medical – marketing strategy for key brands.
– Development and fostering of relationships with key clinical and non clinical customers as required by the regional plan.
– Contribution to the identification and evaluation of Business Development opportunities at a local, national, cluster and corporate level.
– Responsibility for the provision of medical input to relevant national, regional and local Market Access submissions.
– Responsibility for the ongoing management of relevant Investigator Initiated Trials and some company clinical trials in conjunction with internal clinical resource.
– Responsibility for the medical sign off of relevant promotional and non- promotional material in line with the company SOPs and ABPI Code of Practice.
– Develop and foster excellent relationships with KOLs in the relevant therapeutic areas and maintain regular contact with them in conjunction with other functions.

Knowledge and experience
– Life science degree, ideally to PhD level but nursing/healthcare/pharmacist qualification will be considered.
– At least 18 months experience within medical department of a pharmaceutical company.
– Knowledge and understanding of the clinical trials process desirable – especially Phase III, IV and IITs.
– Thorough knowledge of the ABPI Code of Practice, Medicines Act and MHRA Blue Book is essential – both in the field as well as implementation in approval processes for materials.
– An understanding of Market Access processes e.g. SMC, AWMSG, and formulary applications preferable.
– An understanding/exposure to/experience in Business Development would be an advantage.

Successful candidates will enjoy the benefits of working with a global Pharmaceutical company, including a COMPETITIVE SALARY, HOLIDAYS, and CAREER PROGRESSION.

About CK Clinical
Finding a new job can be a rather daunting process. At CK Clinical we pride ourselves in our honest and supportive approach. This is the reason why nearly 50% of people we help are referred to us by their colleagues and friends. CK Clinical are preferred suppliers to the top 5 global organisations within our sector as well as having agreements in place with smaller, more niche organisations too.

Apply now

If you expect more than just a great salary and benefits package and believe you can make an impact in this innovative and cutting edge business, then please contact Hendre on Tel: +44 (0)1438 743047 or email me at quoting 20000 to indicate your interest.

Alternatively, click here to apply for this Regional Scientific Liaison Manager role online now.

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Networking as a tool to help you find your next job in Clinical Research

Getting a job in Clinical research or Regulatory Affairs can be tough at the best of times. Have you ever wondered how some people seem to know everybody and they are always the first to know what is happening in the industry and what roles are available? These are the best “Networkers”. I would like to share with you some of the secrets that these great Networkers use to build up their contacts to develop their own business and to increase their potential when looking for a new job in the Pharmaceutical marketplace.

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CK Clinical Join ERBI

As part of CK Clinicals continued commitment to furthering the standards within our recruitment team we recently joined ERBI.

The aim of ERBI is to facilitate and accelerate the growth of biotech in Cambridge and the East of England through providing a Networking forum, hosting special interest groups, training, publishing relevant information and helping Promote regional and national initiatives in the Biotech sector.

“CK Clinical hope to be able to make a positive contribution to the ERBI network by giving other members the benefit of our extensive Recruitment experience. We also hope that the networking events will enable us to broaden our existing network of contacts and further enhance the service we offer our clients and candidates” said Jonathan Hart-Smith, Managing Director.

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CK Clinical Celebrates the second anniversary of online Timsheets

Today marks the second anniversary of CK Clinical implimenting their bespoke online timesheet system which has provided an enghanced service to both our clients and contractors over the last 24 months.

“I feel that this really demonstrates how CK Clinical have lead the way in the Clinical Recruitment field as an employment business that is willing to adopt new technology early to add value to the service we give to both clients and contract workers” said Jonathan Hart-Smith, Managing Director and owner of CK Clinical.

CK Clinical have adopted a system provided by specialist online timesheet developers InTime. Some of the features it has include:

128-bit SSL encryption security

All information sent to and from our server is powerfully encrypted to prevent it becoming accessible to third parties.


Workers and managers receive email and SMS text reminders when they need to complete, or authorise timesheets. This keeps them up to date helps the timesheet process run smoothly.

Multiple file formats

After approval, timesheets can be exported in a variety of formats for use in other applications. CSV spreadsheets, Sage Payroll files and Tempaid files and provided as standard and bespoke plugins can be developed for other software.

Extended Reporting

InTIME provides detailed management reports containing additional information such as missing timesheet amounts and placement expiry dates.

Automated Holiday Tracking

When employee holiday hours are logged, InTIME also tracks holiday usage and remaining allowance.

SMS Timesheet Entry

Workers do not need access to a PC in order to submit their hours. They can text the information to a dedicated SMS centre.

Bespoke Payroll System Plugin

InTIME features full support for Sage Payroll and Tempaid – other payroll software can be accommodated easily using bespoke plug-ins.

Bespoke Reporting

Generate custom business reports to ensure you get the information you need, when you need it.

FaxBack Timesheet Approval

A time saving innovation where a worker prints out a special Fax Back Form for their manager to sign. The form is then sent to a dedicated number that automatically collects the data and attaches the manager’s signature to the timesheet. This means InTIME can work just as effectively in sites with limited or no internet access.

In 2009 CK Clinical plans to integrate even more innovative technologies to our recruitment service and look forward to announcing these developments later in the year.

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Job seekers within the Pharmaceutical industry maintain a positive outlook for 2009

Following a recent survey by CK Clinical at the beginning of 2009 Job seekers within the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries have a very positive outlook for 2009. The respondents of the survey were from the fields of Clinical Research, Pharmacovigilance, Data Management, Medicine, Medical Affairs and Medical information. There positivity is a breath of fresh air in stark contract to the general mood for the UK economy.

CK Clinical surveyed people that had been looking for a job at some point in the last 5 years. The results showed that 62% of respondents planned to change jobs at some point in 2009 and that the majority of respondents had a very positive outlook on the pharmaceutical jobs market despite viewing the wider economic climate with scepticism.

In the current financial climate it was expected that the survey would show job seekers in the Pharma and Biotech sector were going to be more motivated by making sure they were in a stronger financial position. However, moving for more money actually featured further down the list in 3rdplace with only 12% of the vote.

An overwhelming 42% of respondents that were planning to move on were going to do so for career progression reasons. Further illustrating that candidates seeking jobs in the Pharmaceutical Industry are very committed to continued personal development. This was followed by 17% of respondents seeking new roles because they sought a better work life balance.

Asked about how positive they felt about their current employers, 47% felt that their employers were in the same position that they were this time last year and 29% felt that they were in a stronger position. Further contrasting with the trends seen in the wider economic environment.

There was a clear divide on opinions about the state of the jobs market with only 9.6% of respondents feeling that there were lots of opportunities, 47.1% feeling that there were just enough opportunities and 43.3% feeling that there were not enough opportunities. Although the majority felt that the jobs market was in good shape overall a very significant number of people taking part in the survey disagreed.

The one thing that stood out from the survey in stark contrast to the otherwise very positive outlook from respondents looking for jobs in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology sector was that the majority or respondents did not expect to receive a significant pay rise with the majority expecting nothing at all. The largest group (29.8%) of respondents expected to receive no pay rise what so ever.

When consulted about the wider economy the responses were not quiet as positive as their feelings about the Pharmaceutical / Biotech sector. Asked about how long left we have to go before the Credit Crunch starts to lift, the outlook was predicted to be bleak. 47.1% of respondents feel that we have at least 18 months to go before things start to get better and 43.9% believe that it was going to be between 12 and 18 months.

CK Clinical also asked respondents for there general thoughts about the state of the jobs market and opinions varied greatly from those that generally felt that the Pharmaceutical market was in a very strong position to those that felt that the exact opposite. Anecdotal evidence and comments also give the impression that the contract market is in a stronger position than the permanent jobs market. However no quantitative data has been gathered to support this.


The fact that such a large number of people within the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology sector plan to move for career progression and that employees feel that their current employers have not been negatively effected by the economic downturn lead us to believe that job seekers in these industries are genuinely positive about the career prospects available.

At first review this may lead us all to believe that people working within the field of Research and Development are just very optimistic. However, they do have an eye on the wider market and the optimism does not stretch as far as the rest of the economy. To me this proves that they arena t just optimists they genuinely do believe that the Pharmaceutical marketplace is still very strong. Despite recent announcements of cut backs most people from our survey are patting themselves on the back for choosing a career in Pharmaceuticals or Biotechnology rather than finance after all.

CK Clinical

CK Clinical is a specialist recruitment company working within the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical devices sector. CK Clinical recruit for Data Managers, Clinical Research Associates, Clinical Project Managers, Drug Safety Associates, Medical Information officers, Clinical Research Physicians, Medics, Regulatory Affairs Executives and Regulatory Consultants from 2nd role in industry up to board level. If you are seeking career advice or are looking for a new position in 2009, please email CK Clinical at, call on 01438743047 or visit our website

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CK Clinical now active in the Australian Market

CK Clinical are very pleased to announce the launch of our Australian affiliate office. This means that we are now able to offer opportunities to candidates throughout Europe and Australia. Â Managing Director, Jonathan Hart Smith said “We are really excited that we can now offer our high quality recruitment services on a more Global scale through our Australian affiliate office. Â This really sets us apart and shows our commitment to giving candidates real choice”. Â This is a really exciting opportunity for peopel looking to emmigrate or travela nd work to enjoy what Australia has to offer with a helping hand from CK Clinical before they even leave the country.

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