Category Archives: Pharmacy Schools

Preparation for Pharmacy School Interviews

So you got an interview for pharmacy school – congratulations! Obviously, the pharmacy school have found your qualifications on paper impressive enough to grant you an interview, and want to know more about you face to face. Interviews could cause worry and anxiety in any potential pharmacy school candidate, but preparation is key to performing well and impressing the interviewers. Depending on the pharmacy school, interviewers could be selected from those members who may be part of the admissions committee, administrative staff, faculty members, or even current pharmacy students. Since interviewers could all have biases based on their own experiences and personality, and also different perspectives on what they deem fit in a student to be accepted into the program, the pharmacy school candidate will need to prepare for anything that could be asked, in addition to understanding the basic principles for interview preparation, not too much different from a job interview.

Appearances say many things, and first impressions are very important. It is customary to dress appropriately in business attire and looking presentable. Posture before, during, and after the interview, especially when seated on a chair during the interview process, is crucial. Never slouch when seated as this gives off bad vibes and an air of carelessness or arrogance. Greeting the interviewer with a nice handshake and a genuine smile is a given. Remember, your interview may not be just the face to face with the interviewers; it is the entire process from when you walk on to the pharmacy school campus and until you leave. You never know who may be observing you; from the volunteers who guide you through the process, to the administrative personnel in the room where you are seated and waiting to be interviewed, and to those who are serving breakfast or lunch if food is provided throughout the day. If there is a social event in place on the agenda, remember to be personable and social…not sitting in the back or in the corner alone by yourself. Interviewers want to see how you get along with your peers, as well as the conversations involved. Be personable, friendly, and sharp. You probably want to veer away from polarizing conversation topics.

As for the dreaded interview itself, one cannot possibly know exactly what will be asked. Remember to research the school well to understand the program, the structure of the curriculum, and the school’s history; this could probably be found on the school’s website. Those that really want to be a pharmacist, and really know the profession well from experience as a pharmacy technician or volunteer shouldn’t fret too much if asked questions about the work or lifestyle of a pharmacist. For those that do not know the profession well, maybe it is time to get some exposure to the life of a pharmacy employee before committing four years of schooling and tuition expenditures to validate if this is what you really want. There are some general questions that are common during interviews that one could prepare for, just as one would for medical school or a PhD program. Interviewers probably want to know what kind of person you are, why you want to be a pharmacist, your future plans, and about your life experiences; they will ask you questions that will better gauge your fit for their program. Most pharmacy students have great scores on paper, and they want to know if there is more to a candidate than a bookworm lifestyle. Think of what sets one person apart from others? Think of experiences a candidate holds prior to applying to pharmacy school, leadership qualities, service in many organizations, etc.

Practicing general questions in front of a mirror or your friends and family could assist you in familiarizing yourself with the interview process. This could allow you to see the facial expressions that your interviewers will look at, and whether you speak confidently or mumble words when answering questions in front of friends or family. Think of questions that you would ask a pharmacy student. Some questions could be:

Why do you want to be a pharmacist?
What kind of a pharmacist do you want to be and why (hospital, retail, industry, specialty)?
What experiences do you have working in pharmacy?
Why do you want to bo to this pharmacy school compared to others?
If there is one thing in your life you would like to do over, what would it be?
Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years?
What is the last book you read? Your favorite book, movie, TV show?
What do you do for fun, hobbies?
What leadership experiences do you have?
What would you do in this _______ situation ?
What do you know about this pharmacy school program and what it offers?
What do you offer? Why should we accept you?

Just as in many things in life and work, practice and preparation, amiable personality, and conveying a genuine desire to be a pharmacist could take the candidate one step further onto the road to pharmacy school.

Pharmacy Schools Spotlight: Palm Beach Atlantic University

Palm Beach Atlantic University Gregory School of Pharmacy is located in West Palm Beach, Florida. The school currently holds a class size of 75 students, which enables a preferable student to teacher ratio. This may benefit the student by allowing more personalized attention relative to schools where students could be a dime a dozen in a pool of hundreds of students. The institution is considered a Christian environment with one of the most advanced technologies in a relatively new spacious 45,000 square foot four-level facility constructed in 2004 – simply amazing! The pharmacy school also provides opportunities to affect the lives of others by serving on medical missions around the world such as Central America, South America, and Africa. The school has a ‘Walkscore’ of 83 which means it gets high ratings for having commercial areas such as parks, grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, entertainment, etc. within walking distance of the school – in short, there is plenty of things to do nearby. It does not also hurt that the school is located right on a beautiful campus by the water. If you’d think the students could doze off or daydream in class with the beautiful view of the water, think again; the pharmacy school’s class of 2011 ranked 1st in Florida for National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Exam (NAPLEX) scores.

The pharmacy school holds three types of programs: (1) Doctor of Pharmacy, (2) Joint Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) Program, and (3) a Bachelor of Science in Medicinal Chemistry. In summary, the pharmacy school is located in a great scenic location with accessible places within walking distance, within a newly constructed and spacious facility, has implemented advanced technology, provides focus on the student with a small class size, has produced successful results as evidenced by the passing rate for national pharmacy board exams, offers opportunities to serve in countries around the world with the Christian principles of serving the less fortunate, and offers a dual degree program in conjunction with the PharmD program.

Palm Beach Atlantic University Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy
901 S. Flagler Drive
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
888-468-6722

New Pharmacy Schools

Several new pharmacy schools have opened for the 2012 year, and plan on enrolling their first class of students soon: Manchester College School of Pharmacy (link here: http://www.manchester.edu/pharmacy/index.htm), Marshall University School of Pharmacy (link here: http://www.marshall.edu/wpmu/pharmacy/), Cedarville University School of Pharmacy (link here: http://www.cedarville.edu/Academics/Pharmacy.aspx, and Fairleigh Dickinson University Medco College of Pharmacy(link here: http://www.fdu.edu/academic/pharmacy/). New pharmacy schools have to go through the accreditation processes with the accreditation council for pharmacy education (ACPE). The opening of new pharmacy schools as well as current pharmacy schools do not guarantee that they will be accredited or maintain their accreditation by the ACPE, but only that they are in varying stages of seeking or maintaining their accreditation. Therefore, candidates should apply and enroll at their own risk. It is wise to check with each of the pharmacy schools and the ACPE for accreditation updates and information before beginning the application process.

For more information, please contact the individual pharmacy schools:

Manchester College School of Pharmacy
Mailing Adress:
1818 Carew Street, Suite 300
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805
260-470-2700

Marshall University School of Pharmacy
Mailing Adress:
One John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755-2950
304.696.7302

Cedarville University School of Pharmacy
Mailing Adress:
251 N. Main St.
Cedarville, OH 45314
937-766-7480 – Local
1-800-CEDARVILLE (233-2784) – Toll Free

Fairleigh Dickinson University Medco School of Pharmacy
Mailstop M-SB1-01
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940
973-443-8781