TNPharmBoy

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Hello, everybody. I've got a question about interviews. How much weight do they carry when compared to other factors like LOR, GPA, Extracurriculars? Thanks!
 

blueclassring

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An interview will make or break you. The GPA, PCAT, ECs, LOR, and essays will get you into the interview room. If you can't articulate why you would make a great pharmacist, or if you can't articulate yourself very well at all the chances are that you will not be accepted. There are many smart people out there with killer GPAs(just look at the pre-allo and pre-osteo forms), and ECs but since a few seats are out there for these schools adcoms can afford to be very selective. I assume it's the same way at state schools like UCSF, UCSD, and Midwestern Glendale.

It's the same in the job industry. The minimum cutoff for gpas is typically 3.0. Then you have to perform well in an interview to get the job.

If you need help with interviewing, I suggest that you take out some books from the library or contact your local career center to give you a mock interview.

TNPharmBoy said:
Hello, everybody. I've got a question about interviews. How much weight do they carry when compared to other factors like LOR, GPA, Extracurriculars? Thanks!
 

Laferno

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I disagree with Blueclassring. I think that although the interview is important, it gets more hype than it deserves because alot of students fear it so much. Pharmacy Schools will look at your GPA, PCAT, extracurriculars, volunteer work, related experience, and essays just as much as the interview. This makes the interveiw roughly 1/8th of your admissions criteria.

However, I also feel that a golden interview can more than make up for alot of deficiencies in the rest of the application. Likewise, a disasterous interview can destroy you despite having an otherwise great application.

Example: When I interviewed at MCV/VCU my tour guide told me that she was an interviewer for a different group earlier in the year. After the interview was over she wrote "Do not accept this applicant" in her comments box. The applicant had explicitly stated he only wanted to get into pharmacy school because he wanted the money and did not really care about the patients.

On another note, I am not on any admissions committee and therefore can not say with any certainty whether or not my opinions are true. However, I would bet that the interview carries different weight at different schools.
 

Jonno1288

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Wow. thanks Laferno. That makes me feel better, i was going with the life or death mentality.
 

blueclassring

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If the interview is a disaster, chances are you will not get into the school. The key is practice, practice, and more practice. Definitely take some time to know the program, its faculty, and the school itself. That will go a long way.
 

blueclassring

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The Miss America pageant has an impromptu speech in it. I wonder how much that really counts....hmmmm....... or is it really about looks?
 

Laferno

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Absolutely blueclassring. It would be infinitely unwise to not prepare for the interview. Practice, practice, practice. Have prepared answers for the obvious questions (but don’t make them sound prepared) and read the interview feedback from whichever school you are about to interview at.

I bet the impromptu speech will be weighted as much as the talent section, but they will be judged on how good they look while giving an impromptu speech.
 

DrSassyPants

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Read over the interview experiences a little bit, but don't make anything sound memorized. I just read those questions and thought about how I would answer them. Also think of a few good questions to ask the interviewer (if they teach, ask something like "what led you to the educational side of pharmacy?", ask about their honest opinion of the school, etc.). Be yourself, and you'll do fine. I took that mindset into my interview and thought it went real well.
 

Tuck

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Hmm,

I would have to say that the interview is crucial. Your grades, essays, EC activities are essentially just steps designed to get you an interview. If you have been selected for an interview, it is the time you have to make a good impression. The best way to gauge the weight put on an interview is to see how many applicants apply to the school, see how many of those are interviewed, and then from there see how many are selected for a spot in the class. My school only selected about 30% of the those interviewed for a spot in the class, but each school is different. For example, if in previous years they interview 95 people for 80 slots, then obviously your chances of being accepted are much higher. Anyways, hope that helps :)
 

Laferno

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I might have misspoke when I only said that the interview was 1/8th or so of your total acceptance. I should have also considered that of the people being interviewed, almost all have high enough GPAs, PCAT scores and extras that no one person will have too much of an advantage over any others. So the deciding factor between the individuals who are accepted to the interview may solely be limited to the interview. Thus, the interview may be 100% of whether or not you get accepted once you are invited for one. That is a scary thought.

Or to simplify....pharmacy schools invite for interviews those that prove they can hack it (i.e. have the grades, PCAT, experience). So, they may be using the interview and essay as a final measure of who to cut.


I personally do not believe this theory. I think that the interview is considered just like everything else. If you have great grades, pcat, extras, experience, then you can probably get away with a mediocre interview. If you do not have those, then you may be fighting for your life in the interview room. Once again, I am not on any admissions committee so I do not know for certain which way it is.
 

Tuck

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Just to make a point, I know several people with GPA's above 3.8 with high PCAT scores and lots of EC's that did not make the cut when it came to interviews. They simply did not have the best personal and interviewing skills. On the flip side, there are a couple people in my class that interviewed really well and got in with a 3.0 GPA. Just getting an interview is an accomplishment. If you don't have amazing grades, the most important thing you can do is write a stellar personal statement. This can get you an interview, and if you present yourself well it is a ticket to pharmacy school.
 

blueclassring

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Tuck,

I have to agree with Tuck's position. There are some on this board that think they can get into pharmacy school with just good grades and a great pcat score. That could be further from the truth. If that were the case, everyone with great mcat scores and stellar gpas would get into med school.

It works the same way in industry. Most cutoff gpas to get an interview is 3.0. There the interview grills you and sees if you can think on your feet and handle the pressure. they want to see how you work in stressful environments. the hardest interview i've been too was 5 interviews back to back. one with the engineering manager, one with the big boss, two with coworkers, and one final interview with the big big boss. it was grueling and the acceptance rate into the company is very small. I didn't have the best grades, but my leadership and ec activities made up for it.

I think pharmacy and med school is much the same way. A small percentage cannot interview well. MOst can interview at a mediocre level. A very small minority can have stellar interviews. Those are the ones who get accepted(i.e. UCSD/UCSF)
 

Laferno

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blueclassring said:
Tuck,

I think pharmacy and med school is much the same way. A small percentage cannot interview well. MOst can interview at a mediocre level. A very small minority can have stellar interviews. Those are the ones who get accepted(i.e. UCSD/UCSF)

Maybe this is where out opinions were differing. UCSD and UCSF have about a 20:1 application to admission rate. They probably interview 400 people for about 100 spots and since everyone they interview has top-rate marks and extras it would come down solely to interview skill. I was thinking more along the lines of medium-ranked schools that have 3:1 or 4:1 application to admission rates. They would then interview 200 or so people for 100 or so spots. If those 200 people fall along a nice bell shaped curve of interview ability then you really just have to be around average as long as you have other standout aspects to separate yourself from the pack.
 

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Laferno said:
I was thinking more along the lines of medium-ranked schools that have 3:1 or 4:1 application to admission rates.
The days of those ratios are long gone. The PharmCAS schools have astronomically high applicant to accepted ratios, and I'll bet the non-PharmCAS schools have large ratios as well.
 

eslboy2005

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I think Interview is very important. Some pharmacy schools ask you "what do you know about medicine" Hey baby! i am a pharmacy techician. If they ask me that question, it's like a piece of cake. Even if your GPA is good and you don't know how to answer that question...uh ohh spe` ga ti oooo :scared: :scared:
 

WVURxGal

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http://www.ajpe.org/view.asp?art=aj680121&pdf=yes

If this doesn't work, go to aacp.org --> "for deans" --> "student affairs" --> "professionalism" --> "...structured interview..." article.

I don't know how everyone else's schools are, but I'm currently printing copies of this article to distribute to people on the admissions committee (I work at WVUSoP Clinical Pharmacy office -- we've got faculty that do admissions along with teaching/research.) Seems to me that the article is stressing the importance of the interview, and not just how much a person knows about the profession but their "emotional intelligence." I'm assuming that the faculty want copies of the article because they want to impliment such a plan to a greater extent.
 

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Laferno said:
I was using info from USPharmD.com. Maybe it is outdated, but here is the link if you are interested.

http://www.uspharmd.com/student/pharmd2003.cgi
http://www.uspharmd.com/student/usc_acceptance_criteria.htm

It is 2003 and 2001 info, respectively.
i would check out pharmcas's numbers as well...

we are at 5.6:1 ratio according to your 03 site... which comparitively is not all that high.....

pharm cas has last year at over 1395 applicants and they accepted 114 (at my school again remember... i don't go to a "top" school.....")

that's just in 1 year and i doubt it made THAT big of a jump....

looking at my year... they are off according to the number we got during orentation

HAHAHA it also tell me how old that guy in my class really is......
 

Dr.bird

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what you do is get all liquored up the day of maybe even let a bender bleed over from the night before then at whatever time the interveiw is you come crashing throuth the door 20 min. late and you tell those ass holes and S.O.B.'s what yo really think of them and thier fancy smancy degree. if one of your prospective prof. gets smart with you then give a good pop to the nose, that shoul shut him up good and anyone else that was gettin' any bright ideas. always remember honesty, confidence, and profesional integrity.
if you think someone in that room is ugly you need to tell them, they love honesty, if nature is calling after a fifth of wild turkey have the confidence to let it go on the spot (really who is any one to judge you? it's not like they' re jesus.) or you could do the entire opposite of what this paragraph has taught you, and cop out like anyone else in this demanding field. either way try your best to make a lasting impression.
 

Laferno

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bbmuffin said:
we are at 5.6:1 ratio according to your 03 site... which comparitively is not all that high.....

pharm cas has last year at over 1395 applicants and they accepted 114 (at my school again remember... i don't go to a "top" school.....")
You also have to consider that not everyone who sends in a PharmCAS application will send in the supplimentals and other required paperwrok. However, I will conceed that the numbers of applicants has to be much higher than my sources had said.