A pharmaceutical internship is not just a rite of passage during your pharmacy school tenure, it’s also a great way to boost your resume and life experience. Landing a great internship will help you apply concepts you learned in class (or while studying your Picmonics) and help you with networking when you’re ready to find your post-graduation dream job.
But first you need to actually get that internship and one sure way to do is by putting your best foot forward at the interview. While it may seem daunting to go in for what is essentially a (friendly!) interrogation, we have some tips that will help you impress, dazzle, delight, and most of all, snag an awesome pharmaceutical internship.
Remember how Joey on Friends said he was a Broadway dancer? Except we later found out he was lying, which was bad because was hired to be a Broadway dancer? And then he was fired pretty quickly? Funny for TV, less funny when it’s your real life. As tempting as it may be to fudge your resume a little, don’t do it. These lies could come back to haunt you. (Or worse, your pharmacy clients.) Additionally, make sure your resume is current. Showing up with an outdated resume could put you out of the running immediately.
Oh, how we all loathe the question, “what’s your biggest weakness” but even so, you should have an answer ready to go just in case you’re asked. Going into an interview without practicing can lead to a series of unfortunate and awkward moments. A few days before your interview, have a friend go through a list of possible questions with you so you can practice composed answers. You can find a list of typical interview questions here. Remember that you won’t be answering all of them on your interview, but you’re never really sure which ones you’ll be asked.
Try to use the STAR method to answer questions whenever possible. The method allows you to give specific examples when answering tough interview questions which will in turn help you stand out from other potential applicants.
STAR stands for:
You can learn more about the STAR method here. Get in the habit of using STAR and soon you’ll be everyone’s favorite intern.
The internet is for more than just looking up that cute barista from the coffee shop. If you can find out in three clicks that they love Golden Girls as much as they love making you a flat white every morning, then you should be able to find out all sorts of things about the company you’re applying to. Use this information to your advantage! Drop it into some of your answers to show you’re really excited to (hopefully!) be a part of the team.
To get a pharmaceutical internship, it’s important to keep up your grades and prove you have a major passion for your future career. Don’t be afraid to be a little bit of a know-it-all. Use Picmonic to study hard and retain what you learn. You’ll be able to apply your new knowledge in a real world situation when you land this awesome opportunity.
You’ll know your interview is wrapping up when you’re asked if you have any questions. Don’t pass up this opportunity to make a good impression. Show the people conducting your interview that your mind is always turning and ask a few questions. They do not have to be exceptionally specific, but something like, “how long have you worked here and what do you like best about your job?” gives the impression that you’re enthusiastic, full of positive energy, and interested in the company and your co-workers.
Set out to be the very best by doing some interview prep work. A little bit can go a long way! Of course, getting a great pharmaceutical internship starts with doing well in school. Picmonic can help you cut study time while upping retention by 331 percent. Get your free trial today and land a badass internship… well, maybe not tomorrow, but like, really soon after.
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Erika Bankhead, UI/UX Designer & Student Success Ninja
As Picmonic’s lead Student Success Ninja, Erika works to improve Picmonic for students across the globe.
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Remember more, boost your test scores and maximize your potential with Picmonic, the world’s best visual study tool for medical school, nursing school, and more! More than just pharm flashcards and study guides, the Picmonic Learning System will help you dominate your classes and review for the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, NCLEX®, PANCE, MCAT, and more with our research-proven mnemonic learning system.