What to Expect from a Pharmacy School Interview

When applying to a pharmacy school, it is important to remember that there will be a face to face interview process. Pharmacy schools are interested in enrolling bright students who are will to work hard and that are eager to learn their trade with enthusiasm.  It is also a situation where the old cliché, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”, rings true.

Since you only get one shot at making a good first impression with the admission board, the School of Pharmacy at the University of Washington advises applicants on the pharmacy school’s admission process on their website:

“The interview is an extremely important part of the PharmD Admissions Process. During the interview, applicants are evaluated in a variety of areas including motivation, verbal and written communication skills, personal attributes, critical thinking and decision-making abilities, knowledge of the profession of pharmacy and issues affecting health care. Highly considered qualities are integrity, maturity, responsibility, humanitarianism, compassion, leadership and the ability to overcome personal or social adversity. The purpose of the interview is to give the applicant an opportunity to demonstrate these attributes through their answers to carefully-considered and well-planned probing questions. Applicants will be interviewed by a team of three members of the UW School of Pharmacy PharmD Admissions Committee. Each interview lasts approximately 30 – 45 minutes.”

Passing a pharmacy school interview is a lot like passing a job interview. It is important for the student and the school to come to the conclusion that the relationship will work and that neither entity (student or school) is wasting their time on the other.  It is also important to pharmacy schools to know that students really want to be there – as opposed to being told to be there by a parent or other influential person.

Studentdoctor.net says there are 2 basic reasons for a pharmacy or medical school to conduct an interview with a potential student:

“What does receiving the offer of an interview mean?  This, of course, is a complex question varying from school to school. In brief, receiving an interview means one of two things:

  1. Based on your grades, test scores and secondary applications, you have passed the initial hurdles of score screening and essay review, making either a numbers-based cutoff process or passing an individual committee member’s screen.
  2. Your application was perhaps sub-par or borderline in terms of scores, academic performance, etc., but the committee is intrigued by other aspects of your application and wants to evaluate further via an in-person interview.”

Read more on StudentDoctor.net

According to the University of Kansas, there are many questions that an admission board may ask potential students during the admission process.

“The following is a list of typical questions that you might be asked during an employment interview for pharmacy school. Read through the questions and prepare appropriate answers that reflect your experiences and knowledge. Be sure to include specific examples from “real life” experiences, including internship(s), in your answers. To gain further practice with

interviewing, contact the University Career Center to schedule a mock interview.

1. Why are you interested in becoming a pharmacist?

2. What characteristics do you have that will make you a successful pharmacist?

3. What kind of pharmacy practice are you interested in and why?

4. What are some of the most important issues you see facing pharmacists currently and in the coming years?

How will you deal with these?

5. What pharmacy experience have you had?” (Read the full .pdf here.)