How do you like preparing for interviews? What worked for you?

aznsensazn3

Pharmacist
7+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2010
194
15
151
Chicago, IL
Status
Pharmacist
I've been on three interviews so far, one was a group interview, one was a closed file 3 person panel interview, and the other was 3 consecutive one-on-one interviews. For the first two I practiced with questions from the interview feedback. I got a full nights sleep and went for my interviews. I was nervous as heck and couldn't say all the stuff I wanted. My third interview, I woke up at 3 am and couldn't fall back asleep. I googled my interviewers names and found out about their backgrounds (ie their research and where they got their degrees), but didn't practice interview questions. The rest of the night I spent fooling around the internet. I slept about 3 hours that night, and stayed up till my interview at 11 am. I was tired as heck, but the interviews went really well and I said exactly what I wanted. I think the big thing that helped me was the sleep deprivation. For some reason, when I don't get sleep, I think a lot less and therefore feel less nervous when I speak. Same thing happens when I play tennis. I pulled an all-nighter back when I was in school for finals and then played tennis afterwords, I played the best tennis of my life. I don't second guess myself as much when I don't get sleep. It also could have been I felt more comfortable with the interviewers knowing what to talk about with them. What works for you guys?
 

Xantoril

Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 23, 2010
16
0
91
Seattle, WA
Status
Pharmacy Student
I spent the last year preparing myself for the interviews. First off, I was a very introverted person and had a hard time talking to people. I guess you could say I was socially awkward. In the course of a year, I learned how to start conversations and continue to carry a conversation with people. During this time, I also learned how to read body language and how to adjust mine as needed. Sometimes, how you answer a question is just as important as what your answer is.

Next I read over the interview feedback section of the SDN forums. I didn't practice interviewing per se, but I did try to come up with an answer to all those questions. I didn't memorize my answers verbatim, but I did know the general ideas I wanted to get across for each question. Again, interviews should flow like conversations. Remember that the interviewers are people too, and not this big scary admissions robot.

On the day of the interview, I would arrive half an hour early and talk to other interviewees. Talking to them helped calm my nerves down.
 
Last edited:

rxlea

Almost a unicorn
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Aug 9, 2009
13,248
198
181
Status
Pharmacist
I wrote out my answers to the questions in the feedback forum. I didn't rehearse them but it gave me an idea of what I wanted to say. The night before my first interview, I went to a pub with my gf and we had root beers and burgers. I took a warm bubble bath and relaxed and fell asleep early so that I would have ample time to get ready in the morning without feeling rushed. In the morning, we stopped by a coffee shop and ate breakfast and talked. At the interview, I chatted with the other interviewees and it definitely calmed my nerves.

My second interview experience was horrible only because my grandfather passed away the day before. My eyes were probably puffy from crying and I was not as friendly as I wanted to be. Ironically, I performed better in that interview than I did with the first. For one thing, I knew what to expect but I think I was also so worn out from the day before that I didn't really experience the nervousness. I am not sure what it was but I got waitlisted at the first and I got accepted at the second.
 

pharm B

Phar Noir
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2008
8,759
578
481
Out to Pasture
Status
Pharmacist
Honestly, I think practice interviews are the best way to make yourself feel comfortable. Hand a friend, peer, etc a list of the "standard" questions and then tell him or her to ask follow-on questions.

It's the best way to get yourself ready for the flow of the interview. It seems like they'll occasionally use those general questions whenever the conversation slows down, but the meat of the interview is the questions raised by your initial responses.
 
Aug 4, 2009
75
0
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
I did a lot of mock interviews. I would put my suite on and everything and made the person interviewing me really pretend like they didn't know me to try and make the situation as similar to the real interview as I could. I also researched the school the interview was with, so I'd have a good answer when they asked why I wanted to go there. And I also spent about 4 months prior to the interviews just making myself be more social in general.