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Everything I Wish I Knew About Residency Interviews

By Stephanie Yager posted 03-19-2015 17:03


February was filled with residency interviews. There is a lot I wish I had known ahead of time, such as how early to expect a response from programs, how frequently applicants are asked clinical questions, and the duration of most interviews. This blog post was created to provide insight for those who may be interviewing for PGY1 residencies in the coming application cycles.

 Residencies started contacting applicants for interviews in early January and continued until the end of February. Only three of the programs I applied to contacted me to assure me that they had received my application materials. Some applicants received interview offers right away, while others did not start hearing back until the end of January. It was a stressful time for people who received interview invites later, but I encourage future applicants to be patient because many programs send their invites in February. 

            Scheduling multiple interviews across the country was my biggest challenge. I had to fly to Boston multiple times, but was able to coordinate my Colorado interviews a few days apart. My earliest interview was January 30th and my last one was February 26th. Several of my classmates had interviews during the first week of March.

             Interviews ranged from 3-8 hours. Most included lunch with the current residents. While many of my peers’ interviews included dinner, only one program I applied to included dinner in the itinerary. Most days were divided into multiple 30-minute interviews with preceptors, program directors, and residents. My interviews varied from 1-on-1, 2-on-1, 5-on-1, and 20-on-1. As expected, most questions were situational – such as, “Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a group member”. It helped to prepare answers to the typical interview questions, but there were frequently unique situational questions I had not prepared for. About 25% of my interviews included a 5-10 minute presentation and about 30% of my interviews included clinical questions. Most of the questions were fairly straight-forward, such as counseling on common medications or recognizing common drug interactions. I was also asked about specific journal clubs and presentations I had listed on my CV.

            Overall, I enjoyed traveling to different cities, meeting so many fascinating pharmacists, and learning about what different programs had to offer. Interviewing got significantly easier after the first few interviews. I eagerly await tomorrow’s match results.

#interviews #PharmacyStudents #PGY1 #Residency #P4