Pharmacy School Interview Tips from a Student Who Got In

Tips to Ace a Program Interview for Your Major

Does your program require an interview in order for you to proceed in your major? We’ve met a number of students who need to apply to be officially accepted into their final program of study. Their biggest question: how do I set myself apart and make sure I get in?

Good news! Patrick Ryan, one of our Seelio Student Ambassadors at the University of Toledo, reached out to a student who just went through the application process to get into UT’s Pharm.D. program.

Daniel Arendt University of Toledo StudentHe set up an interview with Daniel Arendt, Pharm.D. class of 2018 in UT’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, to get his top pharmacy school interview tips. While he shares his experience as a pharmacy student, we captured a summary of his tips below that will be helpful for any major or program that requires an interview.

See what he had to say!

How did you prepare for your Pharm.D. interview?

I did some mock interviews with older friends who were in the pharmacy program already and had them ask me questions that they remembered from their interview. I rehearsed my answers to popular interview questions such as “tell me about yourself” and “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” The College of Pharmacy also hands out some questions that are common so I rehearsed what I would like to say if those questions were asked.

What type of questions did they ask in your interview? Were they focused on academic performance, experiential learning, campus involvement, or other experiences?

The questions were fairly balanced. Some were about classes and the issues that come up while transitioning to college and maintaining a grasp on classes. They also asked about interest in the pharmacy profession, whether that is work experience, shadowing experience, organizational involvement, or simply knowledge about the common issues facing the profession as well as the progression of the profession in certain areas such as prescription and medication therapy management.

What specific experiences really helped you stand out in your interview?

My involvement with Leadership UT as a facilitator showed that I had leadership qualities and was able to be comfortable speaking in public as well as working with students and teaching them concepts about working in teams and leading others, which are very important skills for a pharmacist. I also really like to keep up with and follow the news so that I know what’s going on in the world which was important. They asked me about my opinion and thoughts on universal health care and its impact on pharmacists and I demonstrated a basic understanding about how insurance would impact the profession.

What advice can you give to current students on how to rock their Pharm.D. interview?

Whatever you do, make sure you prepare and look at the questions the college gives out to PP2 students. Seek out older students and ask them how to prepare. Follow some accounts such as Pharmacy Times on Twitter, read articles to keep somewhat up to date on things happening in the world of pharmacy, and try to be up to date with major issues going on in the world, especially if they relate somewhat to the medical field or pharmacy in particular. Also, make sure to relax and be comfortable and confident, the more that your interview feels less like an interview and more like a conversation the more successful you will be.

How do you think building a Seelio could be helpful in preparing for a Pharm.D. interview?

Seelio is a way to show what you’re involved in and what you do that goes beyond the typical LinkedIn profile, allowing interviewers to see past your resume and see how your experiences really shaped the person that you are. In a pharmacy interview, it’s important to not just be able to list off what you’ve done but to be able to analyze what you’ve done and to see how it has allowed you to grow as a person. Having a Seelio account can help remind you of what you’ve done and can allow you to organize your thoughts and truly see the impact that your involvement has had on you. It allows you to stand out, to go above and beyond the typical boring resume and show your interviewers who you truly are, which will help you land that Pharm.D. spot. Everyone’s got a resume, be someone who goes beyond that.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Be confident and be yourself, let your true self shine through and don’t be afraid to be different, the things that make you unique are what makes you memorable and makes you stand out. It’s those exact qualities that will win you a spot in the PharmD program.


Tips For Any Major:

• ASK OLDER STUDENTS FOR ADVICE
• PREP FOR STANDARD QUESTIONS
• BRUSH UP ON INDUSTRY NEWS
• REFLECT ON YOUR UNIQUE LEARNING EXPERIENCES
• BUILD A PORTFOLIO TO SEE THEMES & SHOWCASE YOUR SKILLS

Thanks for the great tips, Daniel!

Have advice for rocking an interview, whether it’s for a program, an internship or a job? We’d love to hear it. Share your tips with us on Twitter @seelio.