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Top 10 Interview Tips for Securing a Role as a Clinical Pharmacist



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We understand that it can be challenging to secure your first role as a clinical pharmacist. If you’re struggling to secure a position in primary care, then this is the article for you.


Inspired by one of our previous podcast episodes, we have complied a set of ten top tips to help you excel in your next interview:



1. Share your preparation


During an interview, it’s very important to share what steps you have taken to prepare for the role. This could include shadowing experience, online training programmes, or even anything you’ve read or learned about the primary care sector. You should discuss how these experiences have shaped your understanding of the role and your readiness to embrace it.


If you are looking for appropriate training programmes and free resources, you can explore the online courses we have available on our academy website here.


2. Showcase your proactivity


You should share something which demonstrates that you are proactive about your learning and your personal development. This could include upskilling yourself in various clinical areas by reading NICE Guidelines, MHRA Alerts, or BNF Treatment summaries.


3. Demonstrate that you’re willing to learn


Emphasise your willingness to learn with examples of how you've overcome previous challenges or adapted to new environments. It is important to show that you are prepared to learn and take on new challenges, as the learning curve can be very steep, especially if you are new to the sector.


4. Demonstrate good communication skills


It’s crucial to exhibit good spoken and written communication skills throughout the application process. Ensure you check for any grammatical errors before submitting your application. You should also consider preparing some examples of how you’ve communicated effectively in the past, perhaps during patient consultations or with members of your practice team.


5. Adherence to instructions.


It’s also important to ensure that you correctly follow any instructions during the application process. This includes returning any forms and providing any documents within good time. This is not only polite, but also helps you to demonstrate your attention to detail and respect for procedures, which are vital in clinical settings.


6. Maintain professionalism.


It is crucial to remain professional throughout every stage of the interview process. This includes responding to emails appropriately and politely. This ensures the employers that you will also maintain a professional approach to all aspects within your role such as when communicating with the practice team and patients.


7. Showcase your clinical knowledge


You should demonstrate that you have the basic clinical knowledge a pharmacist is expected to have. This includes things such as, knowing eGFR ranges for normal and reduced renal function or knowing normal blood pressure ranges. Instead of just listing your knowledge, you should discuss how you've applied it in practical settings or how you would apply it in hypothetical scenarios.


8. Demonstrate good judgment


It’s important to demonstrate your good judgment and your ability to make clinical decisions. Be prepared for any clinical scenarios you may be presented with during an interview. You should use these to demonstrate that you can gather key information from a variety sources, consider the most important aspects, and arrive at a sensible conclusion.


9. Ensure you understand the role


It’s crucial to ensure that you understand what a pharmacist’s role in primary care entails and you show that you do not underestimate the role. You can ensure this by gathering shadowing experience, listening to relevant podcasts, and familiarising yourself with the PCN DES contract.


You can access all episodes of our Clinical Pharmacist Podcast here.


10. Always be honest


Last but not least, it’s imperative to be honest if you do not know the answer to a clinical question during an interview. You shouldn’t try and blag your way through a response. This will only demonstrate that you don’t take patient safety seriously, and that you don’t respect evidence-based practice. Instead, you should be honest and say that you don’t know, and then perhaps follow this up with “I would check this reference source…”.


If you're interested in accessing more interview tips and guidance, please click here.




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