MSL Assessment Preparation

In this Article we will go through the interview phases and try to demonstrate tools needed to be ready for the assessment.

Article by Adham El Said

Medical Affairs trainer 

MSL Assessment Preparation

To break into a Medical Affairs role, you need to pass MSL assessment process. The process is different according to company however it usually includes Interview, Case presentation then Final interview.

In this Article we will go through these phases and try to demonstrate tools needed to be ready for the assessment.

Before we start you can check out our free introduction session on clinical trial and MSL Role in pharma companies in this link:


First Interview:

This interview this generally about you, Your competencies and readiness for the role.

During this interview you should expect questions like:

  1. Introduce yourself?
  2. Why you need to join medical affairs department?
  3. What is your understanding of MSL role?
  4. What is the difference between MSL and Medical representative?
  5. What is your strength and weakness?

To pass MSL interview you should be prepared with knowledge on MSL job description, this knowledge will help you answer the above questions.

You should have a good understanding of:

  1. Clinical trial terminologies.
  2. How to appraise a clinical trial paper.
  3. Role of MSL with KOLs.
  4. MSL common activities during different product lifecycle phases.
  5. You must be ready to demonstrate how you worked on your personal development to improve your understanding of MSL technical skills.
  6. You must also be ready to demonstrate examples of KOL engagements and type of activities done.
  7. Finally, your strengths, must match MSL job requirement. Soft skills are essential to succeed in MSL role includes Presentation skills, Communication Skills, Leadership and Emotional intelligence.

Second Interview:

The second interview is usually a case presentation either on Clinical trial or Medical Strategy or both.

To pass this interview you need to know how to present each section of clinical trial these sections are:

  1. Unmet medical need.
  2. Study design.
  3. Inclusion and Exclusion criteria
  4. Endpoints
  5. Results
  6. Study outcomes
  7. Limitations

Incase you are requested to present a medical strategy; you will need to have a good understanding of the below points: (information for first 4 points are not usually available for assessment purpose)

  1. Conduct situational analysis.
  2. Product development life cycle.
  3. Understand unmet medical needs.
  4. Barriers for the product launch.
  5. Proposed activities per launching phase (Pre, launch and post-launch)
    1. Medical insights gathering.
    2. Evidence generation.
    3. KOL mapping and Engagement.
    4. Medical communication plan.
    5. Training materials development.
    6. Data dissemination strategy.
    7. Medical Advisory boards.
    8. Medical Education Plan.
    9. Insights dissemination to brand team.
    10. Medical information.

Final interview

This interview usually assesses your key strengths to be differentiated from other candidates. It usually includes discussions on your understanding of medical affairs role and how you are planning to create a positive impact to medical team in the company.

Finally, always remember that luck is when opportunity comes when you are prepared.