Facing the hospital preregistration interview


It has been a year since my pre-reg interviews but I remember it very well. The first stressful part was trying to ensure none of the interview dates clashed, the last thing I wanted was to have to pick between hospitals before I had even received any offers. If I thought there was a risk that the interview dates could clash I notified the hospital(s) I was waiting to hear from to let them know when my other inteview dates were.

To prepare for the interviews I found The Preregistration Interview book by Nadia Bukhari very useful. I would add however that I feel that it made me over prepare as many of the questions never came up in my interviews and looking back some were too unusual to come up. I made lists of questions to prepare answers for based on The Preregistration Interview book and useful articles I had found on the PJ Online (follow them on twitter they tweet lots of useful articles around this time). I then gradually began to type answers to these questions, using the hospital person specifications to guide me as you need to be able to demonstrate the criteria in interview. It was also useful to gather information about each hospital from open days, their website etc. to get a feel of what kind of applicant they are looking for as for some hospitals I prepared different answers.

For one of my interviews I had to give a 5 minute presentation. This was nothing to be afraid of as it was 5 minutes of the interview that I was in total control of.

The topical focus most of my interviews was the Francis report and medicines optimisation. Surprisingly I was not asked any clinical questions or asked to comment on any recent news articles, however many other hospitals do ask these questions. Something else that I noticed was that if something had been covered in the application, such as an example of you working in a team, this would not be covered again in interview, simply due to a lack of time, however this is no definitive rule.

Below is a list of some of the questions I was asked in my interviews:

  • What make you pick this hospital?
  • How are pharmacists involved with managing risk on wards?
  • Give an example of an intervention you have made related to pharmacy?
  • What is the role of the pre-reg pharmacist?
  • What will challenge you as a pre-reg?
  • What is the role of the hospital pharmacist?
  • How are Independent Prescribing Pharmacists’ roles different?
  • Where do you want to end up after pre-reg?
  • What are high risk medicines?
  • If CPD was compulsory for undergraduates give 2 examples of what you would have done it on
  • How do you cope with stress?
  • Give an example of when had to cope with very pressurised situation
  • What do you know about the Francis Report?
  • How would you counsel an elderly patient on the ward?
  • What do you know about medicines optimisation?
  • Give 2 weaknesses and 2 strengths of yours

Finally, if faced with multiple offers, go with your heart as based on my reaction for getting an offer for the place I ended up accepting, I knew it was the one for me – I burst into tears!

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 20 September 2014, Vol 293, No 7828;293(7828):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20066396

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