Posted by: Benedict Lam14 APR 2011
Cue image of the Mastermind chair; that’s as close to avoluntary interview as ever I’ve seen. As a third year, I frantically appliedto all the standard pharmacy chains for a summer placement this year andeventually received an invite for an interview from one after countlessrejections. I consider myself lucky to have even received one invitationbecause unbeknownst to me until I had asked, many of my friends were in thesame situation, some having received no interviews at all (what happened tothird years being prioritised?). However, I am notoriously known by my coursemates for my nerves. Even though I thought I was as prepared as I could be,once I faced the interviewer I had an instant brain freeze.
For people like me, interviews are worse than anchovies onpizza…can you get worse than close to the worst thing in the world on close to the best thing inthe world? I know that I’m capable of working under pressure, in a pharmacy orelsewhere, as I’ve done so before when I worked in a community pharmacy. My then boss didn’tinterview me before taking me on, and I believe that I proved to her and theother members of staff that I was capable of working under pressure throughworking there, for example when working to deadlines. Would an interview really demonstrate this adequately if the interviewee was nervous?
I know it’s a part of life that I’m going to have to getused to, but being asked questions under pressure doesn’t bode well for me. Igenuinely believe that I let myself down in the one interview I obtained…andonly because of my nerves. I was annoyed with myself because I know thatconfidence speaks volumes and that someone could literally talk through aninterview successfully. Frankly, it’s just the word “interview” that scares me.It’s a strange thing; I’ve yet to understand how the weird neurochemistry of mybrain works.
Although I know the world doesn’t revolve aroundme, my question is this: do interviews really reflect the student’scapabilities and enthusiasm accurately? If not, what other methods of assessingthousands of potential placement candidates could possibly replace the traditionalinterview?