For those of you who are going through the interviewing process for pharmacy school, I have a few tidbits of advice to help you along the way. I understand firsthand the stress and struggle of preparing for pharmacy school, but hopefully these tips & tricks will help to alleviate some of this pressure. Here are some tips:
1. Prepare for interview questions
When I was going through the interview process, I searched commonly asked interview questions and practiced answering them with others. By doing this role-playing exercise, I was able to become more confident with answering these questions, and it helped to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety I was experiencing. I even went to the extent of searching some scenario-based questions as well to practice thinking critically on the spot.
2. Be on time and be professional
Punctuality is very important on interview days. You should always aim to arrive at your interview location early to reduce the risk of being late. Also, showing up early will make you look good to interviewers. Professionalism is another big thing when it comes to interviews. This includes making sure that you are wearing the correct attire and presenting yourself in a professional manner. The interview process starts when you arrive at the location and it does not end until you leave. Therefore, you should always be mindful of how you are acting and treating people.
3. Smile & have a positive attitude
When you go into an interview, you have to be happy and optimistic. Smiling and being nice to those around you can only help you, and having an overall positive attitude will show your interviewers that you are confident. Don’t ever doubt yourself in the interview process. Just remember that if you received an interview, you are already more than halfway there! If they weren’t interested, they wouldn’t have asked you to come for an interview!
4. Find ways to turn your negatives into positives
A common question among interviewers is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” The best way to answer this question is by giving a strength and giving a weakness that can also be turned into a strength. For example, one of my weaknesses is that it takes me a long time to do things, but it’s also a strength because it shows that I am very thorough and meticulous when it comes to completing tasks. So, next time you get that question, find a way to turn your weakness into something good!
5. Research the school you’re interviewing at
It is always a good idea to research the program that you are interviewing for. You should be aware of some of the key aspects and features of the schools you are interviewing for. Also, it is good to be aware of some of the things that make the pharmacy program(s) unique. Before interviewing at Campbell, I actually did a lot of research about the school, the program, and the unique aspects as well. Although they may not ask you specific questions regarding your knowledge of these things, it is good to be aware.
6. Ask questions
Interviewers love to see you ask questions because it shows that you are truly interested in their pharmacy program. Before going to interviews, I would suggest brainstorming and writing down some questions that you could possibly ask during the interview process. Sometimes it is hard to think of questions to ask on the spot, so make a list beforehand and have them in mind!
7. Be authentic and genuine
This is the most important piece of advice that I can give to you: BE YOURSELF! You should stay true to who you are at all times, including interviews. You should never have to change who you are in any circumstance. Besides, interviewers like it more when their interviewees are sincere. Also, it takes too much effort to be someone that you’re not!
Hopefully, I have helped in some way! Although it can be nerve wracking, you must remember to take a step back, take a deep breath, and relax. If you utilize the tips that I have given you, you will surely come out on top!
Amber Hill, P2