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Pre-reg interviews: Who are you?

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My first blog (see Awaiting Exam Results ) was all about the Kubler-Ross model, or better known as the Five Stages of Grief. It explained how an individual goes through a five step phase regarding a certain situation. I feel that this is certainly applicable to the next 24 hours, as I have an interview for a pre-reg in a London Hospital tomorrow. At the moment, I am in stage 3 (Bargaining) and I really want to skip stage 4 (Depression) because it tends to be the stage that elongates a bit too much for me.

I found out last week that I was shortlisted for an interview, after the gruelling application process and I was rather elated to say the least. The bittersweet thought process of ‘Oh my god I can’t believe I got an interview’ mixed with ‘What happens if I completely screw up the interview?’ lasted for a few hours, before I decided I would get down to preparation and try to control my own fate.

Now I know many fellow pharmacy students are going through that process of anticipation, fear, anxiety….call it what you must but facing the inevitable interview is a wall that has to be broken down bit by bit. Preparation is similar to an exam and you never know what could be asked. There are a few tips I thought I would share with everyone and it would be really fascinating to hear other people’s thoughts on interview preparation. My strategy is always on one thing: honesty. But not too honest that you start making a fool of yourself.

I have prepared by reading my answers to my application and my CV, and reading up a couple of journals. I have read up on the place I want to undertake my pre-registration year and noted down one thing that was unique to the hospital. It didn’t hurt to look up a couple of medicines (what is your favourite drug and how does it work?) and know indications, side effects and mechanisms of action.

I think one of the biggest current issues surrounding Pharmacy is the removal of Andrew Lansley as the health secretary, replaced by Jeremy Hunt. There are also interesting NICE guidelines and certain studies that can be mentioned in the interview. Just this morning I read about how Pharmacists could be involved further in dementia and in palliative care. Another study focused on anti-hypertensive medication not being as effective in treating patients with mild hypertension. Food for thought?

I want to stress one thing to all students. It’s not necessarily WHAT you say in the interview to each question, its HOW you answer the question. Remember the panel will have gone through quite a number of students before they come to you, and will most likely be bored if you dont sound enthusiastic. Albert Mehrabian’s communication study states that 55% of communication is detected through body language, 38% tone and 7% verbal. Even without speaking the panel will know how enthusiastic you really are for the job! This is what I take into consideration when I step into the ‘boardroom’.  

I wish you all the best of luck in the forthcoming interviews and I hope you all get the places that you want. Also take the moment to thrive on a hugely successful sporting year for Great Britain (congratulations to Andy Murray on winning the US Open!) 

 

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