Student Pharmacist

Written by student pharmacists for student pharmacists, Student Pharmacist magazine provides the latest on career preparation, leadership, legislative activities and advocacy efforts, patient care projects, APhA–ASP Chapter innovations, life on rotation, tips from new practitioners, and more.

Lessons learned from interview fails
Tom English

Lessons learned from interview fails

Lauren Bode, PharmD

Most awkward interview moment: Actually before pharmacy school when I was interviewing for a restaurant job. I didn’t have an answer to: “So, tell me about yourself.” 
Lesson learned: I had a good answer to this question before residency interviews that was informative but more importantly, connected to why I wanted to do the residency program. 
My #1 interview tip: Use active listening. We prepare for interviews by thinking about what we are going to say, but we also need to practice listening to those we are interacting with. 

Taylor Mathis, PharmD

My most awkward interview moment: Almost all of the interviews I have attended had portions during which I had to ride in a car with one of my interviewers while visiting an off-campus site. I always found the car ride to be awkward because it is not a formal component of the interview, but I knew I was still being evaluated on some level.
Lesson learned: I learned to prepare appropriate “on the road” questions when I knew I would be in these situations.  I would ask about the town, local “hot spots,” average commute length, and other related questions to fill any lapses in casual conversation.
My #1 interview tip: Be genuine. Being true to yourself during an interview will make you feel far more comfortable and confident than trying to be someone else you think they may be looking for.

Rebecca Lahrman, PharmD 

My most awkward interview moment: I was interviewing for a post-residency position and was asked about how I would handle a few patient cases with provided lab work. We disagreed about the way to handle the situation, as I was lacking the background information about issues within the clinic. I rolled with it, and we had a good conversation since I was able to defend my perspective based on my experience and was able to learn more about the clinic I would be in. 
Lesson learned: Follow your gut. They are interviewing you for your perspective, so it’s important to communication your perspective.
My #1 interview tip: Remember the interview is for you to find out if you like the company and position just as much as it is for them to decide if you are a good fit. If there is something about the position that does not work for you, be open to negotiating that change. Often there is more flexibility with positions than it might feel.  

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