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Retail interview advice

Ladyg228

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Hi Everyone,

I just received my first interview offer after filling out 50+ applications. It's a retail position at the corner of happy & healthy. As a new 2020 grad, any advice would be much appreciated!!!

Finger crossed for a successful entry into the work force :)
 
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Hi Everyone,

I just received my first interview offer after filling out 50+ applications. It's a retail position at the corner of happy & healthy. As a new 2020 grad, any advice would be much appreciated!!!

A little background on me, I worked as a tech during undergrad for 3 years at said company. Left the company when I got into pharmacy school in a different state. Started an inpatient intern position during pharmacy school. I did my community APPE rotation with said company as well. Residency had been my original plan but sadly didn't match. Finger crossed for a successful entry into the work force :)
Are you floating or staff?
 
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Rxgal1019

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Not sure about The Corner, but I work in a grocery retail chain and know our DM focuses a lot on “numbers” during his interviews (ie, what would you do to increase sales, ways to bring in new customers, etc) along with typical questions about handling work flow, multitasking. I think a lot of it really depends on who is doing the interviewing. Good luck!
 

Xenophylia

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Do they make you accept the offer by signing in your own blood on a parchment made of human flesh? I thought that was standard practice in hell....


"phuck pharmacy!"
 

JustFillIt

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Just be prepared to be disappointed in a way that you never imagined. I feel like that is the best way to put it to a new grad that is breaking into Walgreens.

It’s like the worlds sickest joke after everything you went through.
 
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Marzapan

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It’s like the worlds sickest joke after everything you went through.
Technically she hasn't gone through anything yet. Getting into pharmacy school is a joke, passing classes in pharmacy school is a joke, rotations are a joke (and especially so this year as most have been virtual), and the NAPLEX is a joke.

It's not like she's finishing up residency and interviewing for a job, or is a currently employed pharmacist looking for another job. Now THAT (going through 1 year of slave labor or having worked as a real pharmacist who has been graded against metrics) I can see as earning you a real red badge of courage.
 
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PromisedNeverland

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Technically she hasn't gone through anything yet. Getting into pharmacy school is a joke, passing classes in pharmacy school is a joke, rotations are a joke (and especially so this year as most have been virtual), and the NAPLEX is a joke.

It's not like she's finishing up residency and interviewing for a job, or is a currently employed pharmacist looking for another job. Now THAT (going through 1 year of slave labor or having worked as a real pharmacist who has been graded against metrics) I can see as earning you a real red badge of courage.

technically (pharmacy) residency is a joke..
 
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Ladyg228

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Greetings, sorry for the late reply. It's been a crazy week.
I can't thank you enough to everyone who replied to this post.

So? How did it go?!?!

I didn't get the position. The CA-BOP moves at the rate of molasses and my California licensure wouldn't meet their timeline. They need a pharmacist within 2-3 weeks.

I hope it went well!! We would all love to know how it went and hear the good news. Sending positive vibes your way @Ladyg228 :)
Thank you!! Truly, that is so kind of you :)

It's a tough market out there for a new grad, I have been filling any application that doesn't require a residency or xx amount of experience. Sadly, we all have to start somewhere. I'm hopeful that my pharmacy experience and personal attributes will help me land something.
For those curious about starting wages, its low, can't even get into 50's range in CALIFORNIA! I reached out to a friend of mine who is a pharmacist at the company and she said even returning pharmacist with years of experience are being rehired at significant pay cuts. Just an FYI for anyone who might be considering switch companies and ever wanted to return to the corner.

I hope everyone stay safe and well during these crazy times.
 
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casprph

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Greetings, sorry for the late reply. It's been a crazy week.
I can't thank you enough to everyone who replied to this post.



I didn't get the position. The CA-BOP moves at the rate of molasses and my California licensure wouldn't meet their timeline. They need a pharmacist within 2-3 weeks.


Thank you!! Truly, that is so kind of you :)

It's a tough market out there for a new grad, I have been filling any application that doesn't require a residency or xx amount of experience. Sadly, we all have to start somewhere. I'm hopeful that my pharmacy experience and personal attributes will help me land something.
For those curious about starting wages, its low, can't even get into 50's range in CALIFORNIA! I reached out to a friend of mine who is a pharmacist at the company and she said even returning pharmacist with years of experience are being rehired at significant pay cuts. Just an FYI for anyone who might be considering switch companies and ever wanted to return to the corner.

I hope everyone stay safe and well during these crazy times.
Oh no! Sorry to hear that but did they say that they would have hired you if you did have your license? Are you still waiting on your CPJE score or license to post online?
 

Farmgurl20

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Greetings, sorry for the late reply. It's been a crazy week.
I can't thank you enough to everyone who replied to this post.



I didn't get the position. The CA-BOP moves at the rate of molasses and my California licensure wouldn't meet their timeline. They need a pharmacist within 2-3 weeks.


Thank you!! Truly, that is so kind of you :)

It's a tough market out there for a new grad, I have been filling any application that doesn't require a residency or xx amount of experience. Sadly, we all have to start somewhere. I'm hopeful that my pharmacy experience and personal attributes will help me land something.
For those curious about starting wages, its low, can't even get into 50's range in CALIFORNIA! I reached out to a friend of mine who is a pharmacist at the company and she said even returning pharmacist with years of experience are being rehired at significant pay cuts. Just an FYI for anyone who might be considering switch companies and ever wanted to return to the corner.

I hope everyone stay safe and well during these crazy times.

yep BOP is taking month to process applications, and yes starting rates have dropped dramatically for California.
 
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Ladyg228

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Good luck with the CBOP. All board of pharmacy seem to operate like it's still the Middle Ages...
Thank you! I would agree with this statement for the CA-BOP. They finally took my payment so hopefully some type of communication within the coming week.

A very different story for the BOP at my primary state, some of my classmates got their ATT within 5 minutes of submitting their application. My pharmacist licensure was active within 3 days of taking NAPLEX. CA-BOP really need to take some notes >.<
 

Hels2007

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The only BOP I have ever dealt with is New Jersey. The ATT was not an issue, but the license was. They took two months (the second month I was calling them twice a week to check) to tell me they could not read my fingerprints.

Also, as of four years ago, there was no way to change your address online. Only by sending a special form fax. Now that I have once again moved, I am curious if finally in the year 2020 I would be able to update my contact information online!
 

Amomentintime

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Thank you! I would agree with this statement for the CA-BOP. They finally took my payment so hopefully some type of communication within the coming week.

A very different story for the BOP at my primary state, some of my classmates got their ATT within 5 minutes of submitting their application. My pharmacist licensure was active within 3 days of taking NAPLEX. CA-BOP really need to take some notes >.<
If you don't mind me asking, what is your primary state?
 

hieun20

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Greetings, sorry for the late reply. It's been a crazy week.
I can't thank you enough to everyone who replied to this post.



I didn't get the position. The CA-BOP moves at the rate of molasses and my California licensure wouldn't meet their timeline. They need a pharmacist within 2-3 weeks.


Thank you!! Truly, that is so kind of you :)

It's a tough market out there for a new grad, I have been filling any application that doesn't require a residency or xx amount of experience. Sadly, we all have to start somewhere. I'm hopeful that my pharmacy experience and personal attributes will help me land something.
For those curious about starting wages, its low, can't even get into 50's range in CALIFORNIA! I reached out to a friend of mine who is a pharmacist at the company and she said even returning pharmacist with years of experience are being rehired at significant pay cuts. Just an FYI for anyone who might be considering switch companies and ever wanted to return to the corner.

I hope everyone stay safe and well during these crazy times.
I am sorry to hear that! I hope you get the job on the next interview you get! Stay positive and good luck with everything!
 
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Hels2007

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I am all for small state schools. My pharmacy school class was 60, so it was nice to know everyone, to really get to know professors... I have since met people from many different pharmacy schools, and I think that the quality of education I got was also better than many other schools, even if we did not have as many elective options as bigger schools. Instead of offering lots of stuff to us, school was very supportive if we wanted to set up our own projects or rotations, find other opportunities, take classes at the other campuses or even other area colleges. That actually gave me some great things to talk about during my interviews, that I didn't just go with what school offered but set up my own opportunities...
 

Ladyg228

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I am all for small state schools. My pharmacy school class was 60, so it was nice to know everyone, to really get to know professors... I have since met people from many different pharmacy schools, and I think that the quality of education I got was also better than many other schools, even if we did not have as many elective options as bigger schools. Instead of offering lots of stuff to us, school was very supportive if we wanted to set up our own projects or rotations, find other opportunities, take classes at the other campuses or even other area colleges. That actually gave me some great things to talk about during my interviews, that I didn't just go with what school offered but set up my own opportunities...

I couldn't agree more, my COP offered a pretty diverse elective rotations (nuclear pharmacy, mental health, oncology, etc) and still allowed students to set up their own. Prior to my year, students had been allotted to set up international ones also. I was fortunate enough to set up a mental health rotation in Honolulu and due to a change in program coordinator, had to cancel my Australia rotation plans (a plan that had been set in motion starting P1 year T_T). All in all, based on shared experiences from friends who went to bigger schools and in bigger cities, I would say my p4 rotations were exceptional, hands down best part of pharmacy school :)
 
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Amomentintime

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Idaho, I know its a big difference in number of students but there are a growing number of people getting their ID license for federal government positions to bypass taking a MPJE.

Thank you for your response! I'm actually looking into the Idaho market for a job...is the competition still fierce out there? Are there jobs even in rural areas?
 

PromisedNeverland

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Thank you for your response! I'm actually looking into the Idaho market for a job...is the competition still fierce out there? Are there jobs even in rural areas?
probably a lot of job for potato farms in the rural areas, I still remember that interesting tid bit bout Idaho when I did an elementary school project on it hahaa
 

Ladyg228

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Thank you for your response! I'm actually looking into the Idaho market for a job...is the competition still fierce out there? Are there jobs even in rural areas?

It's a competitive market in the boise area and will require residency for most, if not all, inpatient positions. Northern Idaho and Southeast Idaho has hospitals job but from what I've seen it also require residency. It's mainly due to the fact that the larger hospitals (VA, St. Luke's, St. Al's, EIRMC, Kootenai) all have their own residency programs. Most residents are usually hired on after completing PGY1. In the boise area and most of the inpatient pharmacists were residency trained, a few old timers from pre-residency hype but their a dying breed. Most of the new hires I met while in rotations had PGY2 training. Sadly, even some of the smaller medical centers (FMRI, Terry Reilly) and retail (Albertsons) have residency programs as well.

I will say the QOL in Idaho is much higher than anywhere else and your pharmacist income goes much further. In the boise area, you get urban living and a variety of nature is only a 1-2 hour drive away. The housing market has gone up significantly but compared to nearby states (except Montana), it's relatively low; still possible to buy a home in the ~300's in the treasure valley area.

I hope that's helpful, feel free to reach out if you have additional questions :)
 
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Amomentintime

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It's a competitive market in the boise area and will require residency for most, if not all, inpatient positions. Northern Idaho and Southeast Idaho has hospitals job but from what I've seen it also require residency. It's mainly due to the fact that the larger hospitals (VA, St. Luke's, St. Al's, EIRMC, Kootenai) all have their own residency programs. Most residents are usually hired on after completing PGY1. In the boise area and most of the inpatient pharmacists were residency trained, a few old timers from pre-residency hype but their a dying breed. Most of the new hires I met while in rotations had PGY2 training. Sadly, even some of the smaller medical centers (FMRI, Terry Reilly) and retail (Albertsons) have residency programs as well.

I will say the QOL in Idaho is much higher than anywhere else and your pharmacist income goes much further. In the boise area, you get urban living and a variety of nature is only a 1-2 hour drive away. The housing market has gone up significantly but compared to nearby states (except Montana), it's relatively low; still possible to buy a home in the ~300's in the treasure valley area.

I hope that's helpful, feel free to reach out if you have additional questions :)
Thank you!--I had just sent you a PM :)
 

Ladyg228

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Anywhere that has mountains is automatically better than any place without them. I haven't been to Idaho specifically yet, but it's definitely on my list. :)
Highly recommend. The mountains aren't the most impressive in comparison to the nearby states but the states distinct 4 seasons has something to offer for every weather. Plenty of lakes and rivers, hot springs, fishing spots, hiking trails, outdoor/indoor shooting ranges, hunting, etc.
 
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Ladyg228

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Hi everyone, HAPPY Friday!

Not sure if anyone would like an update but I accepted a floating position at the corner. It's $5/hour less than Walmart but beggars can't be choosers T_T Hopeful to pay off my loans ASAP.

Have been licensed for exactly a month as of today and that's how long it's taken to secure a position after a mountain of applications. Best of luck to anyone else still in the job hunt process. Thank you again to everyone who responded to this thread <3
 
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Hels2007

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Congratulations! Start as a floater to get some experience, but keep your eyes and ears peeled for other open positions so you can find something better (if something better comes along, with the salaries being on the downward trajectory, the offer today might be better than the offer next year)... Hope you have a decent DM, they make a huge difference when working retail...
 
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Ladyg228

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Congratulations! Start as a floater to get some experience, but keep your eyes and ears peeled for other open positions so you can find something better (if something better comes along, with the salaries being on the downward trajectory, the offer today might be better than the offer next year)... Hope you have a decent DM, they make a huge difference when working retail...

Thank you, truly!!! :soexcited: It's a huge relief considering how many unemployed new grads are in the current market. The hiring manager said they removed the posting after 2 days since they had 30+ applicants already.

Hungry and eager to make the most of this opportunity as a stepping stone towards a better future.
 

hieun20

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Thank you, truly!!! :soexcited: It's a huge relief considering how many unemployed new grads are in the current market. The hiring manager said they removed the posting after 2 days since they had 30+ applicants already.

Hungry and eager to make the most of this opportunity as a stepping stone towards a better future.
Congratulations boss!!!!!
 
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hieun20

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Thank you, truly!!! :soexcited: It's a huge relief considering how many unemployed new grads are in the current market. The hiring manager said they removed the posting after 2 days since they had 30+ applicants already.

Hungry and eager to make the most of this opportunity as a stepping stone towards a better future.
How is training going so far at the corner?!
 

Ladyg228

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How is training going so far at the corner?!

Thank you so much!! it's been going fantastically well. My pharmacy manager and DM are both incredibly supportive and has been great resources. I'm quite nervous training is over in 5 days but luckily my DM scheduled me for mid-day shifts for the following week to better prepare me for shifts where I am alone. It's a scary thought because in 2 weekends from now, I will be the lone pharmacist at some stores :(
:nailbiting:**please pray for me**:nailbiting:

on another note, it seems a lot of stores in my area have gotten rid of pharmacist overlap, is anyone experiencing this?
 

JustFillIt

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Thank you so much!! it's been going fantastically well. My pharmacy manager and DM are both incredibly supportive and has been great resources. I'm quite nervous training is over in 5 days but luckily my DM scheduled me for mid-day shifts for the following week to better prepare me for shifts where I am alone. It's a scary thought because in 2 weekends from now, I will be the lone pharmacist at some stores :(
:nailbiting:**please pray for me**:nailbiting:

on another note, it seems a lot of stores in my area have gotten rid of pharmacist overlap, is anyone experiencing this?


Well you must have missed the memo that pharmacist overlap is a thing of the past. Right now you are being eased in and you can expect that overlap to disappear very soon. In fact once you have been shown the basics you will simply be thrown in without much slack at all.

All of the niceties that you are experiencing now will vanish once human nature takes over and you leave the next team left over work because you were not able to complete it all.

Something that needs to be addressed, in retail, is the fact that it takes years to become proficient with pharmacy software. Being left to manage a pharmacy that is confusing and unintuitive is a terrible thing.
 
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sfachine

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You will be at first ,as I was unprepared.I would recommend avoiding shifts when you are completely alone, not even a tech, at the beginning.You will not know the software plus floating is like many time cooking a meal in somebody else's kitchen.Accept that you will be slower.
Make sure you learn when you train.Many times an unscrupulous manager will treat you as just a extra helper to make their life easier.
I liked floating.It has its headaches but a lot less BS.
Show up early.Sometimes even getting a key and alarm code could be an adventure.
Good luck.
 
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