Pharmacy Residency Interviews: Preparation Overview

Pharmacy Residency Preparation Specialists

Interviews are a vital stage of the assessment process for residencies in Pharmacy. They allow both the program director and faculty to gauge you as a potential resident, and allow you to ask pertinent questions about the program itself – which means both that you can then rank programs more accurately, and of course that you can stand out to those interviewing you as someone with real, genuine curiosity about the program. Here, we will consider some core steps for your preparation.

Understand the Program

This is vital – before interviewing anywhere, you must know about where you are going to be interviewing. Therefore, research the program in as much detail as you can. Try to visit them if possible, and ensure to spend a significant amount of time on their website. Additionally, try to speak to current residents or others at the program, to better understand it. This ensures that you will be able to explain why you are a good fit for them, and why you are so interested in taking on a residency there. You will also be able to begin to understand whether you do truly want to work there, in advance of asking questions of the interviewers. In particular, look into the particular mission statement of the program, whether they have an ethos or slogan that you can pick up on and that clearly informs their practice, and ensure that you are aware of any standout faculty and research. The latter is of particular importance if you are looking to stand out through your previous research, and are eager to continue research during your residency – you must be able to discuss the current work done at the program and the institutions of which it plays part.

You should consider the goals of the broader institution, and also the typical roles and responsibilities of a resident there. This might be something that you can find online, or it might be something that you will need to ask about at the interview. You should also consider whether there will be chances for you to grow and develop, and how these might present themselves.

Additionally, you should try to find out who you are going to interview with, and then look them up. What are their particular research interests? What might they be particularly likely to ask you about? Is there any shared area of interest? Through this, you can make the process a little less of a question mark, and boost your confidence before you go into the interview.

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Prepare for Questions on Your Personal Attributes and Experiences

You must begin preparing for these types of questions well in advance. Failure to prepare across a broad range of different question types will be immediately obvious to those who are assessing you. Some applicants will simply take to these types of questions much more readily than others – describing yourself and your achievements in a manner that sells yourself, but avoids coming across as boastful or unnecessary, is a difficult skill, and one that often requires a significant amount of practice. The best way to prepare is to work through as many questions as you can, and ensure that the answers that you give are of a high-enough quality – which means having access to model answers. You might find it useful to consult an application specialist, who will be able to work through your answers with you and provide constructive feedback on how to develop them.

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Prepare for Questions on the Field

You should be ready for questions on the broader field of Pharmacy, on recent trends in healthcare, on ethics, on common situations that could arise during your residency, and to some extent for questions on your knowledge of the subject. If you are ready for this array of questions, then you will be able to enter the interview feeling confident, and ready to approach whatever is presented to you.

Plan your schedule

You should try to interview at the program that you consider your number one later during the interview schedule, as this ensures that you are able to interview elsewhere beforehand, and thus have iterated your answers and become more confident by the time that you get to this most important interview.

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