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My experiences of pre-registration interviews

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As a current 4th year pharmacy student with a pre-registration place secured I would like to share my experiences with fellow pharmacy students.

Having completed all the necessary application forms I eagerly awaited responses from potential employers, whilst inthe meantime researching current hot topics in pharmacy and preparing answersfor anticipated questions . I had already completed my research on the employers previous to my application.

The NHS hospital interview

It began with a drug kardex and 5 precious minutes with the BNF to look up potential interactions, antibioticscourse length, steroid side effects, appropriate doses and importantly blackdot interactions.

Next came the situational questions“what would you do if….” Now its important not to panic with this type ofquestion and just think of all the possible options.  To give you an example, you are on a ward anda patient asks you about their medication – what do you do?

· Talk to them about their medicine

· Ask the patient to hold onwhilst you ask a qualified pharmacist

· Mumble and run away in a panic

· Explain you are a student andcant answer the questions, let the pharmacist know the patient would like tospeak to them

As long as you can demonstrate that youare aware of your limitations and would always ask someone for advice.

The character question: “ A doctor isnot listening to your advice on drug interactions, what would you do?”

As pharmacists we are the experts inmedicines, we are aware of interactions and the consequences, it is our professional responsibility to ensure our patients are safe and we do no harm.

I was also asked the general questions,why pharmacy? Why this hospital?

Community pharmacy interview

After an introduction to the interviewers and the company, the questioning went straight into my academic grades – what Iwas expected to achieve.

Next followed 5 clinical questions based around spotting side effects of common medications and dietary and lifestyleadvice.

In total I was asked around 15-20 questions, why pharmacy? Why Manchester? What extracurricular activities and hobbies I liked?

I felt the interview went well as thepre-registration manager was engaging and her body language was open andfriendly. I maintained eye contact and spoke clearly and tried not to say “erm”too much.

Faced with 2 choices, I decided to accept a pre-registration inhospital as I felt that I would have more chance to apply the pharmacology andphysiology I have learnt at University. Plus being able to share experiences and ask questions to a larger pharmacy network in the workplace, as opposed toa retail pharmacy with perhaps one other pharmacist.

Oh yes, I am still waiting to hear back from 3 major chains too, after applying as early as May and not a peep from them! 

If anyone would like to ask any questionsabout my interview experiences please feel free to get in touch.

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