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What to expect at Interviews

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by bsmspharmd, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. bsmspharmd

    bsmspharmd Senior Member
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    This may be a newbie question, but I'm sort of a newb around here, so I'll post it anyway:

    What can I expect at an interview? Will there be more than one interviewer at a time? What questions should I most prepare for: ones related to my application essay, life experiences, difficulties?

    Is it a better idea to fess up to the fact that at least some of the reason that you're interested in the field is becasue of the high pay, or is that a situation that is best avoided (i.e. claim that every decision that you've ever made has been strictly altruistic :) )?

    Has anyone ever been asked to name their own weaknesses and if so, how have you answered while still painting yourself in a positive light?

    Sorry-lots of questions, i know....
     
  2. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    Much like with a job interview, I stayed away from discussions of money beyond how expensive pharmacy school is (one of the interviewers brought it up). The interviewers know that the potential salary is a draw, in varying degrees, for everyone.

    I had interviews at two schools. Both had multiple interviewers in a panel-type situation, but one was MUCH more formal than the other. One interview called on me to defend statements I'd made in essays, the other didn't. All asked for my motivation for pharmacy and how I felt that I could contribute to the program and the profession. They both wanted to know how familiar I was with pharmacy in particular and the healthcare system in general.

    The interview is also an opportunity for you to find out about whether or not the school is a good fit for you. I found out some things about one of the schools that I interviewed with that moved it from first choice to my backup school. So don't focus exclusively on what they'll ask you and think about what you need to know about the school.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. Julianne

    Julianne War Eagle!!
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    I don't have a whole lot of time so I can't go into specifics about my interviews right now... I just wanted to suggest that you check out the interview feedback section of this site (if you haven't done so already), especially if you have some idea of what schools you'll be applying to. I think it's a great resource that can really help you to prepare for the process.
     
  4. piyi

    5+ Year Member

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    I agree with twester--don't mention that its all about more money. I knew someone who actually said that that's the reason for why they're going into pharmacy, and that was the main reason why they were rejected; so, yeah, even if you have to lie about it, don't say that the reason you're going into pharmacy is because of the higher pay.

    I'd say that you're probably going to run into a lot of questions about why pharmacy, why do you want to go to that particular school. I know at my interview they were very interested in your abilities, like how you would handle a situation, leadership attributes, stuff like that. I've heard some schools ask students about their weaknesses; again, don't ever give something completely negative, like, oh yeah, I'm a little lazy, or I don't get along well with people. You want to find something that has some sort of positive aspect to it, like perfectionism, although I think that just about everyone's used that one by now, so they might say something like, besides perfectionism, what else are you weak at.

    Especially if you've worked in a pharmacy, they'll usually give you a scenerio question, like what would you do if this and this happens, at least they did that at my interview. They just want to find out how you handle situations, and the main thing at the interview is they want to know what the person is like behind the paper. Just show them a postivie attitude, and at least be able to come up with an answer to their questions, have something to say to them about it. And if you've really never experienced what they're asking, just say so, its better to be honest in that regard instead of making up something that may not look so great. They'll usually tweek the question to something that you are more familiar with, or even tell them, well I've had no experience with that particularly, but this is something that is related to what you're asking me about which I am familiar with.

    And I think they expect most people to be a little nervous; I mean, most people aren't 100% perfect at interviewing, especially with the artificial environment, its easy to get a little unstrung (How often do you sit at a table in front of a few people in a closed room and have them ask you questions about your abilities and what not). Plus, I think being just a little nervous shows that you actually care about what's going to happen; if you just go in there and are like, ok, yeah, what do you want to know and give like a "whatever" attitude, then that will not look good either. Of course it's best to be calm, confident, and enthusiastic, but not everyone has that kind of skill at interviewing. Anyway, I hope that helps.
    -Anne
     
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  5. PCATtaker

    PCATtaker Class of 2011
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    The best thing to do at interviews is to not overthink what you are going to say and the questions that are going to be asked. Before you ever walk into that room you have to believe you already are a pharmacist. Afterall this is what you want to become.

    They want to see confident people who believe in themselves and know what they want in life. As soon as they see this it would be rare for them to turn a student like this away. Just one thing, have the grades and scores to back up your talk.
     
  6. lvp0021

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    Please show at least some compassion in your answers such as refering to exepriences when you demonstrate compassion and the love to help people. All the interviewers I've interviewed with seemed to like that a lot. Eventually, you will become someone who contributes to the treatment-decision making process that can save or kill people.
    If you have experiences in the pharmacy workplace, try to steer your answers to those experiences. For example, if they ask about one of your emergency stressful situations, find something that you've encountered in the pharmacy workplace (if you have one).
    Also, don't be overprepared as you will lose the natural and spontaneous flow of your speech. Don't be afraid to laugh, smile and just a little very little causal when appropriate. Don't be to uptight. In one word: try to be yourself and show them that you have "it" to be a pharmd! Good luck!
     

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