Pharmacy School Interview Circuit 7

The following stations represent past pharmacy school interview stations, with model answers written by pharmacy school interviewers and interview specialists.

Pharmacy School Interview: Station 1

Station 1 Excellent Candidate Approach

What has been the most important medical advancement in the last 200 years?

  • Whilst antibiotics and vaccinations have been vital in improving health, advances in sanitation over the last 150 years have been invaluable in reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as cholera which previously destroyed large populations and were a significant cause of childhood mortality. In addition to reducing mortality, sanitation developments have allowed for more efficient recycling of water and thus reduced wastage.
  • As a result of the development of anaesthesia, a number of surgeries have been developed which were previously not possible ranging from bowel resection (for colon cancer) to open heart surgeries.

Pharmacy School Interview: Station 2

Station 2 Excellent Candidate Approach

​You are a third-year pharmacy student and you have just seen one of the doctors come out of the store room and put three syringes and needles in his pocket.

Explain what actions you would take in this scenario.

There are many reasons for why a doctor may put syringes and needles in his pocket. He may need to pick up other equipment or resources to tend to a patient. Another reason may be because he may need it for a patient he is seeing later on, where he will not have access to these resources. Since this situation does sound quite unusual, and as a pharmacy student who has less authority and knowledge than a doctor, it would be appropriate to politely ask the doctor for which patient this equipment is for and for what condition it will be used to treat or manage. Asking with an interest may make it seem less so an accusation, as one may not be certain that the doctor is performing unlawful actions.

If the doctor fails to provide a satisfactory answer, it would be important to escalate this matter to a different doctor or consultant to ensure that preventable patient or employee harm does not occur. In future, it may be appropriate to review access to store rooms, to further prevent misuse of limited NHS resources.

Pharmacy School Interview: Station 3

Station 3 Excellent Candidate Approach

I can see from your personal statement that you have a number of non-academic interests; which one do you feel will most help you to succeed as a pharmacist?

I believe that my passion for a range of sports will aid me in the field for a number of reasons. Firstly, playing a range of team based sports, I understand the importance of working collaboratively to achieve a united goal and recognising that each of us have our own respective strengths and weaknesses. Similarly in the pharmaceutical field, we work as an MDT with the strengths of one specialist complimented by the expertise of another. 

Also, I recognise that in order to have a sustained career in pharmacy, it is important to have a balanced, healthy life and I believe that my sporting commitments will enable me to have this balance and better manage the stressors and challenges of being a medical professional.

Pharmacy School Interview: Station 4

​Station 4 Excellent Candidate Approach

You are an A-Level student applying to study Pharmacy; outline the order in which you would prioritise the following five tasks:

 

  1. Your A-Level examinations commence in 3 months, and you have yet to commence your revision.
  2. Your friend has requested your assistance to re-paint the outside of their new house.
  3. Your younger sister has asked you to help her with GCSE Maths homework.
  4. You have your first Pharmacy interview in 2 weeks, and you have little idea what to expect.
  5. Your form tutor has asked you to assist with the school workshop programme, which runs every day after school from 15:30 – 18:30.​​


​‘BlackStone Tutors 5 Step Approach to Prioritisation Tasks’

  1. Review the options available
  2. Identify your 5 preferred items/the ideal order to complete the tasks
  3. Explain why you have chosen these options/this order (making your explanations as specific as possible to the task, eg. Why some tasks are ranked highly)
  4. Explain why you did not choose the other options/why they are ranked lower
  5. Possible further mentions:

                If additional item/options were permitted, I would also consider taking….
                Alternatively, if the task were based in ………….I would prioritise taking……….

My immediate priority would be preparing for my upcoming Pharmacy interview, as I have worked very hard to reach this position and pursuing a career as a pharmacist is a long term objective of mine. Additionally, this is the most time specific and pressing task with the interview two weeks away, and preparation is likely to take at least this period of time.

My next priority would be to assist my younger sister with her GCSE Maths homework. Given that I was recently in this position, I can relate to the challenges and pressures that she may be facing and am sure that she would appreciate my assistance. Furthermore, having covered these topics relatively recently, this task would not be overly time consuming and would subsequently allow me to address alternative priorities.

With my A Level examinations three months away, now would be an appropriate time to commence my preparation for these vitally important exams. Given my interview in two weeks, initially this would be a secondary focus, however thereafter my examination preparation would be the primary objective. Initially, during periods of break from interview preparation, ensuring that my notes and preparation materials are in order would be an appropriate use of time.

Whilst I would want to assist daily in workshop classes, I recognise that this may not be practical as interviews and examinations approach. Rather than committing to this task and later dropping out, I think it would be more appropriate to establish if it is possible to assist with this important programme once per week, in order to ensure that I can provide a realistic long term commitment.

Finally, I recognise that it is important to support friends and family, however equally it is likely that my friend is also conducting his/her A Level examinations this year. Thus, I would explore the possibility of postponing the painting of his new house until the summer holidays, when we will both likely have far more time and will be able to complete this task to a better standard.

Pharmacy School Interview: Station 5

​Station 5 Excellent Candidate Approach

Without making any hand gestures, explain to the examiner how to tie a shoelace. Assume the examiner has no pre-existing knowledge

  1. Introduction
  2. State the end objective(s)
  3. Empower the examiner/patient to ask questions (eg. Do you have any questions at the moment? If you have any questions at any time, feel free to interrupt me)
  4. Identify any relevant materials/terms
  5. Provide clear, specific instructions
  6. Summary (if appropriate)
 
Hello, my name is……………and today we are going to work together to tie a shoelace. On the table in front of us is a shoe with two flexible straw like projections which are known as laces, and we will use these laces in order to ‘tie a shoelace’. Do you have any questions before we start? If you think of any questions at any time, feel free to interrupt me, and I would be happy to answer your questions wherever possible.
 
To start with, if you grasp the shoelace on your left, two-thirds of the way towards the end tip, between the thumb and index finger of your right hand, using your middle finger to support the lace. Similarly, if you now grasp the shoelace on your right, two-thirds of the way towards the tip between the thumb and index finger of your left hand, with your middle finger providing additional support.

Next, if you bring over the lace from your right hand towards your left hand, anchoring the lace between the index and middle finger of your left hand. With your right middles finger lower the tip of the lace initially held by your left hand below the lace currently held by your right hand. Release the lace grasped between your right thumb and index finger and instead grasp and pull the tip of the lace which had been lowered by your right middle finger. This completes the first part of tying a shoelace. The next step involves……
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