A BRAND NEW Chase for 2013!


At Chase we are rightly proud of our position as a leading provider of Contract and Permanent People Solutions to the UK Pharmaceutical and Life Science sectors.

However we are also keenly aware that our online and offline marketing and branding plays an important part in showing to the wider world who we are and what we do.

To that end we are proud to be heading into 2013 with new corporate branding, candidate and client advertisements and website.

We are also delighted with our new domain name – www.chasepeople.com – as we are all about “Connecting Smarter People”!


As the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences work through these challenging times, we at Chase are more determined than ever to provide our clients and candidates with the best in class Contract and Permanent People Solutions.

We hope that you, as a valued customer and consumer of the Chase offering, like the new branding, advertisements and website.

We would welcome your comments and thoughts on the new look so please call Graham Hawthorn or Simon Couldstone on 0131 553 6644 or email connect@chasepeople.com


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A day in the life of a Medical Sales Representative

A medical representative’s role is to sell products in order to increase their company’s sales

This is achieved by changing the prescribing habits of GP’s, selling on the benefits of the product for the relevant patient group.

Medical representatives are assigned to work in “territories”; the territory is broken down by post codes known as ‘Bricks’. Targeted GP’s are selected based upon prescribing habits and specialist clinical interest. Your job is to sell to this selected group of healthcare professionals.


Medical representatives need to be resilient and persistent, as a great deal of effort is required to see a GP if a relationship has not already been established. Being effective in this role means standing out from other representatives and giving the receptionist reason to let you come back to see a GP.


Each Medical Centre may have a policy as to when medical representatives have access to their Clinicians and Nurses, it is important to discover this information and take appropriate action. This may be before, during or after surgery either via appointment, on spec or lunchtime / breakfast meetings. Often decisions must be made as to whether to wait to see one GP in a certain surgery or to go on to see another GP and then come back. In such cases, having a back up plan and structure to your day is a way of utilising your time effectively.


Other surgeries see on an appointment basis. Although appointments are generally kept, some can be booked up to a year in advance and so it is wise to always check that appointments are still okay before arriving at a surgery. GP’s are extremely busy people and it is necessary to respect this.


It is good to understand that the receptionists, also known as “gatekeepers”, are a vital part of relationship building. The receptionist manage a Doctors time so developing an empathetic relationship is essential; otherwise you may create an unnecessary barrier to the GP’s in that surgery.

The representative needs to set an agenda for the call before going in to see a GP. Then by asking open/probing questions, the needs of the GP can be uncovered in relation to how best the particular product can benefit the patient. Thereby selling the product effectively. At this stage promotional literature will be left with the GP. The full sales story is a concept sell and as such the role of a medical representative is to change prescribing habits and behaviours of the prescribing GP and support team. It is always vital at this stage to seek a follow up call, to ascertain how the product is working on the patients. Having agreed an appointment with the Doctor, confirm this with reception and put it in the surgery diary. In order to see a GP you may be required to wait in the surgery until he or she is free. You will need to make a judgement call as to whether waiting or coming back would be the most effective use of your time. A representative must be extremely well organised and competent in their role, by maximising usage of your time you will also maximise business potential. Communication plays a major part for a medical representative not only in terms of their customers but also in communication (verbal or written) with other members of their team, in order to work effectively together.

The role of a medical representative may often incorporate promoting products to hospital doctors, and may also call on nurses and pharmacists in order to promote business and to gain a good understanding of whether their products are actually being used. Collaboration with Pharmacists is vital to medical representatives, as they are a source of important information.


A proportion of a representative’s time is spent performing administration tasks such as planning pre call objectives and writing up post call notes or planning and organising speaker meetings. This is an important part of the role, as the job does not simply involve calling on customers, it is also necessary to relay information to other members of a team and to head office so activity is not duplicated and can be monitored.


Organising a territory effectively is the key to gaining success in all aspects of the position, and teamwork is vitally important to this process. About every 4 to 6 weeks you will have a meeting with your regional manager and the team. These meetings generally review the performance of the team on territory and an overview of the latest regional sales analysis data (RSA). Your Manager will also conduct field visits on a regular basis where your personal development needs are identified. Goals and objectives are set for you to work towards achieving.


The role of a medical representative is challenging, exciting and competitive. A tenacious approach coupled with the ability to adapt to different situations are key attributes to a successful career within the Pharmaceutical Industry as a Medical Sales Representative.

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What is an Assessment Centre?

Assessment Centres are designed to see how a candidate performs under pressure. The tasks are to evaluate, compare and contrast you to other candidates. The result for the organisation is to find the best candidate for the job. The opportunity for the candidate is to demonstrate a range of skills and developed competencies that may not be identified purely through interview.



What does an assessment involve?


An assessment will consist of all or some of the following tasks


  • Role play – persuasion, communication, business and customer focus


  • Group Exercise – impact and influence, interpersonal skills, team work and business focus


  • Competency based interview – Self awareness, communication, impact and interpersonal skills


  • Verbal & numerical testing – basic ability for verbal and numerical literacy under timed scenario


  • Psychometric testing – personality test, looking for traits (positive and negative indicators) relevant to the role


  • Presentation – Impact, planning and organising, customer and business focus, communication skills



You may have been given advance notice of the assessment content and a presentation title for you to bring along. However most organisations will just ask you to turn up on the day, this way they can see your raw potential and how you react in unfamiliar surroundings.


All the tasks will be timed and it is your responsibility to keep within the allotted time. This will contribute your over all performance.

Graduate Manager,

Catherine Fitch.

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What is a competency based interview?

  • What is a competency based interview?

Competency based interviews are based on the premise that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.

Interviewers seek to obtain information about candidates past behaviour in certain situations. Competency based interviews are structured, with questions that relate directly to the essential criteria/ competencies required for the post.

  • What examples should I use?

Ideally choose examples within the last 12 to 18mths to keep them relevant. If you feel there is a better example from previous experience then explain to your interviewer you would prefer to use that example.

  • What questions will I be asked?

It is likely that the question will start with something like

  • Describe a situation when you ……
  • Give an example of a time when you …..

It is impossible to guess exact questions, the best way is to fully prepare yourself by knowing the competencies for the role you are going for and have two or three examples for each one.

Using a S.T.A.R.L format for each example

Situation – paint a picture of the event – enough information so the interviewer understands what you are describing – not so much the interviewer’s eyes glaze over with boredom

Task – What you identified needed to be done about the situation, the thought process and what decision you came to about how to manage the situation.

Action – What you did about it – if it is a team work example – explain what part you played within the team. If it was an initiative you took to your manager to be implemented, talk around how you persuaded your manager to drive the idea forward.

Result – The outcome of your actions / what happened

Learnt – What you learnt from this experience (what you liked about your decision / what you might do differently)

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The Ryder Cup Miracle?

For those of you who are golf or sports fans you will know that the European team recorded a tremendous victory over the USA in the Ryder Cup last weekend.

Even if you are not a sports or golf fan you may have seen the news coverage.

Either way there are useful lessons to be learned from this performance that we can apply to our job hunting and own work performance.

What was so impressive about it was not the fact that the Europeans won, but the way in which they won.

They came back from a seemingly impossible position to win in the last moments.

As a result many media sources have talked about it being a “miracle”!

I would suggest a different explanation centred on determination, drive, resilience and a will to win/ never say die attitude.

It was those qualities, more than their golfing talents or indeed a miracle that led to the victory.

What are the lessons for job seekers?

Keep going! You will need, particularly in the current economy, to show more determination, drive, resilience than the other job applicants out there.

That never say die attitude is a pre-requisite for those seeking to win.

The fantastic summer of sport that we have enjoyed has demonstrated this beyond doubt.

As touched on in an earlier blog, the only certainty is that if you stop trying and stop believing you won’t achieve that goal.

Until next time good luck in your job search.

Graham Hawthorn,

Chase Director.

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Creating a Chase Worthy CV

There is an abundance of information available on the internet on how to create ‘the perfect CV’. However, there is no such thing as ‘the perfect CV’, every CV that a recruiter or recruitment agency receives is different, and this is a good thing, as it allows you to stand out from the competition!


Whilst saying that, here are a few pointers from the experts at Chase, which can give you a starting point.

  •  A CV is a factual document giving highlights of your current or transferable skills
  •  Your CV should be tailored specifically to each job applied for, even if it is just minor tweaks
  •  Your CV should be written by you in your own words and language, but it is wise to get a third party to check it for spelling & grammar
  •  It is important that your CV is clear, simple and easy to read
  •  Keep your CV concise but thorough enough to really show you have transferable skills
  •  It is better to have three or four robust examples of transferable skills that show real value of what you have achieved in your previous job roles than a list of one liners from a job description which do not show what you have actually done.
  •  References should be on request
  •  Have a great LINKEDIN page as another opportunity to “sell” yourself in a business like way. You can have recommendations and activities you have been involved in which show you like to get involved and other skills
  •  Include any extra curricular activities like sports, charity work, travelling or similar as these can show skills and capabilities out side job roles.

We hope this helps, and good luck!
You can find out a variety of helpful content for finding the right job on both our other blogs, and the Chase website.

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What can Graduates learn from the Olympics?

Many of us have spent the last 2 weeks getting excited by sports that we have rarely, if ever, watched in the past.

We have seen to date 70 countries win over 700 gold, silver and bronze medals.

What do these medallists have in common?

Probably many things but they all certainly have grit, determination and a never say die spirit.

Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis & Bradley Wiggins – all gold medallists and all said immediately after winning how they had endured good times and bad times in their 4 years of preparation but, regardless of how tough it got, they stuck at it.

What does this tell us?

That to achieve anything worthwhile, anything that you really want, you have to be mentally tough.

Nothing comes easy.

That includes job hunting.

However it also tells us that the only certainty is that if you stop trying and stop believing you won’t achieve that goal – you must keep going.

When job hunting it can be tough to keep going.

Does this sound familiar? Countless applications that no one has the decency to even acknowledge; many more who you hear from only once; your peers are getting jobs and you’re not; the summer means there are fewer jobs to go for; you get rejected at first interview….again and again…..but then, one day, you get offered a job that you really want.

A victory for grit, determination and not giving up.

What’s more these are exactly the qualities you’ll need to be successful in that job so good thing you’ve had so much practice!

Until next time good luck in your job search.

Graham Hawthorn, Director at CHASE.

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