The pharmacy school interview is a critical component of the pharmacy school admission process. How do you prepare for a pharmacy school interview? It is a question every prospective student should consider. By researching more about the school and preparing yourself mentally, you will be confident and ready when the big day comes. Below you’ll find some tips and honest advice about how to prepare for your interview.
The pharmacy school admission process has many steps, but few are as important as the interview day. Being prepared for the interview is just as important as preparing for the PCAT or a final exam. The more you prepare, the less anxious you’ll be and the better you’ll perform. Lack of preparation will show in your interview and can oftentimes lead to an unfavorable admission decision. To avoid being unprepared or uncomfortable, it is worth it to prepare by researching the school and thinking deeply about what is driving your desire to become a pharmacist.
Prepare for questions you may be asked.
You won’t know exactly what questions you’ll be asked, but you can still think about general questions any interview team would like to know. As with a job interview, the team interviewing you wants to know more about you. For example, they want to know what you know about pharmacy, why you want to be a part of the community, what makes you tick, and why you have a passion for pharmacy. Here are a few questions you might be asked:
- What are the pharmacists’ roles as a member of the healthcare team?
- Why do you want to become a pharmacist?
- Why do you want to attend Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy?
- How have you been involved in community service, volunteer, and leadership activities; and how does this relate to the role of a pharmacist?
Be you and answer honestly.
The interview is your opportunity to show how you are uniquely qualified for admission. As you prepare for your interview, think about your “story.” How did you decide that you want to be a pharmacist? Did you have a defining moment that solidified your career path? If so, what was it? Chances are, no one else will have that same story – that’s what makes you unique!
You should be open and honest about any shortcomings that may appear on your PharmCAS application, such as a bad semester/year, a failed class, repeated classes, lack of community service or pharmacy experience, etc. Being open and honest regarding your record demonstrates the trust necessary in the profession of pharmacy, and is viewed positively in the interview.
It’s a good idea to present yourself in a professional manner. A good way to do this is to wear professional business attire and show up with a polished, clean look you feel confident in. Always arrive on time with a few minutes to spare so you are relaxed and composed before your interview day begins. Just knowing where to go and what time to arrive are two easy ways to feel more confident as you prepare for your pharmacy school interview. First impressions matter!
Practice your communications skills.
During your interview, your communication skills are important. Pharmacists need to be able to communicate important medication information to patients, and the interview team will want to see that you can communicate clearly. Communication can be both verbal and nonverbal. Be sure to practice both by using appropriate language, making good eye contact, listening, and answering questions thoroughly but concisely. Provide specific examples as much as possible but avoid rambling off on a tangent.
Finally, ask questions! The interview team wants to know that you are genuinely interested in Concordia University Wisconsin. When you are doing your research about the school, some questions should naturally come up. What would you like to know about classes, professors, research opportunities, or campus culture?
The interview is as much about you interviewing the school as it is about the school interviewing you! Be prepared with your own set of questions, and be observant of your surroundings. Do students and faculty seem happy and supportive? Are scholarships available? Are there research opportunities? Does the school offer dual degrees? Are there leadership opportunities? At the end of the interview day, ask yourself if this is a school you can see yourself at for the next four years. Ask away!
Here are a few other tips:
- Be a few minutes early! It takes many faculty and staff to put on an interview day. Being late or not showing up at all will leave a negative impression.
- Look up the address and meeting location the day before. Knowing where you are going and how long it will take to get there in traffic is always a good move.
- Applicants who decide to cancel an interview must do so two business days prior to the scheduled interview to avoid an unprofessional behavior notation (which is viewable by all programs) on their PharmCAS application.
- Practice mock interviews with someone who can give you objective feedback.
- Follow up. It never hurts to send a thank you note or email to faculty or staff you interviewed with. Ask for their business card or email address at the conclusion of the interview. If you forget to ask, this information is usually available on the school website.
With these practical tips, you’ve gained a little more insight on how to prepare for a pharmacy school interview. For more information about Concordia University School of Wisconsin’s School of Pharmacy, visit: www.cuw.edu/pharmacy
This blog was originally published on January 17, 2020. It has been updated to reflect current information.