We spoke to Aamer Safdar, Principal Pharmacist Lead for Education and Development at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and RPS English Pharmacy Board Member about the best way you can prepare for your Hospital pre-reg interviews.
‘So the hospital of your dreams has got back to you to invite you for interview and you are really happy about this and then blind panic sets in about how you should prepare for this interview. This is normal and happens to more trainees than you can imagine!
The first thing to do is not to panic and start thinking about how you are going to plan your time. The next thing to do is to find out a little bit more about the hospital and then the pharmacy itself. A good place to start is the hospital website and, if the pharmacy has a webpage, have a look at that. Really and truthfully you should have done this preparation before you put down your choices of hospital but I still get amazed when students attend interviews knowing very little about the pre-registration training let alone the hospital they have applied for!
This year there are two recruitment processes for pre-registration interviews, one is a centralised Health Education England (HEE) London and the South East pilot where everything is centralised and standardised and the other is a traditional approach to interviews. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on the traditional approach.
In my experience hospitals approaches their interviews very differently and there is no one way of preparing for them. Having said that there are some common things that they will be asking which is based around your attributes. They will want to know that you have some baseline clinical knowledge and that you can add up so don’t be surprised if there are some tests as part of the interviews. Don’t worry too much about these tests because they should be at the level of a graduate, should be is the operative word here.
They will want to know why you have applied to their hospital. I personally ask this question a lot and find that the answer can be a ‘what you think I would like to hear’ or it could be a more personal answer. It’s your dream hospital so there must be a reason why you’re so happy at getting the interview invite!
My advice is to keep it simple, don’t over think your responses and be your natural self during the interview. We want to see you, the real you in the interview!’
Principal Pharmacist Lead for Education and Development
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
RPS English Pharmacy Board member