So….you got an interview!
Are you stuck with what to do next?
Well, don’t worry because we’re going to help you with that. You’ll become more confident in no time if you follow these 4 simple steps to prepare for interview day!
1st Step: Research the School
Now I know this may seem self-explanatory, and it’s most likely a step you’ve already completed, but this time around, I want you to research the professors.
There’s a good chance you will come across your interviewer during your search. If you know a little more about them, think of how impressed he/she will be if you are able to ask a question about his/her specific research or student organization!
It’s important for you to know what’s going on in the schools because this should influence your ranking decisions.
Doing this will also supply you with a slew of questions to ask – never say that you don’t have any questions for the interviewers! Knowing what’s going on in the school will be helpful in figuring out questions you want to ask!
2nd Step: Practice Interview Questions
Do you know what kinds of questions you will be asked? No? Well, just Google it!
Practice what you will say if you are asked a similar question. You don’t want to be sitting in the interview while you search your nervous mind for an answer!
I won’t lie…..your first interview will probably not be your most successful (unless you’re really awesome at being social and talking about your accomplishments and experiences!), but the best thing about it is that you will improve.
More interviews = more experience = professional interaction improvement. Being in my second year of graduate school, I can assure you that your interactions with patients and other health professionals will only improve over time as you gain more experience in a professional setting. It sucks waiting, but it really is worth it once you look back at how far you’ve come!
Check out our Interview Mastery course on the website for some more tips and tricks to rock your interview.
3rd Step: Be Physically Prepared
Dress the part. Do your clothes need to be top of the line, brand name? No – these schools know you are students! Just be sure to use an iron (yes, an iron!) and look sharp and presentable.
Tip for the ladies: get dress slacks. If you didn’t apply early decision, you will most likely be going on interviews in the winter when it’s cold out! (Depending on your geographical location, of course). If you have cold weather, you will want to wear slacks and not a skirt or dress. Just trust me on this one, ladies!
Now… in addition…….you want to make sure you are mentally and physically prepared.
Do you get nervous in high stress situations?
Get headaches easily?
Feel like you’re going to pass out?
Well, be prepared for these things to happen! Carry some Ibuprofen with you, maybe a candy bar if your sugar gets low, and always have a water bottle (yes, you can have it with you. Trust me, you’ll be talking a lot!).
You will be at the school for a few hours, so it’s best to be prepared rather than wishing you never got that pounding headache right before your interview because of how stressed you were…
4th Step: Inhale, Exhale
Relax!! Try and think of your interview as a conversation rather than an interview.
You want to be able to converse with other health professionals about pharmacy, your goals in life, your qualifications that you have so far, and how you want to provide care to the surrounding community (or things you’ve already done if you’ve had experience with this).
What do all of these talking points have in common? YOU. It’s you that the college wants to learn about. Yes, you will be asked about certain situations, how you’ve handled them, or how you would handle them if you were never put in that situation before. Again, it’s about YOU.
This is your chance to show the college (in person) why pharmacy is your passion. I completely understand if you hate talking about yourself (I do, too!).
Think of the interviewers as your peers (no, not like the ones you hang out with on the weekends!) — they are the peers you will interact professionally with while in pharmacy school (like in group projects)
Why?? Well, guess what?
When you graduate, these health professionals that are interviewing you will be your peers! Pretty cool when you think about it, right?
I know, I know, this last step takes some mental strength in order to change the way you’re thinking about the whole interview process, but I can assure you that once this was previously explained to me, my nerves lightened up massively. It was 100% worth pondering over!
Well, that was #4 – we’re done! At this point, guess what the only thing left for you to do is?? …..rock your interview!! ….And I know you will 🙂
Kimberly A. Hill, Student Pharmacist Class of 2020
“I am a student pharmacist who is passionate for patient care, an advocate for interprofessional collaboration, an aspiring clinician, a promoter of the legislation to recognize pharmacists as providers, and I will faithfully and passionately serve my community and future generations of pharmacists in all ways possible.”