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Interview Advice and Techniques

When attending a job interview is important to appear relaxed, controlled and confident. Here are some simple ways to achieve this.

Prepare

Make sure you make notes, brainstorm and write a list of potential questions the interviewer may ask you and come up with responses. Some questions to prepare for include:

  • Why did you study Pharmacy?
  • What area would you like to specialize in?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What appeals to you about this position?
  • What appealed about our Pharmacy?
  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?
  • Tell me about your previous employment experience?
  • What script numbers have you worked with?
  • What computer systems have you worked with in your career so far?
  • What do you know about our organisation?
  • Why do you want to leave your current position?
  • How would your friends or colleagues describe you?
  • What do you think you have to offer this company?
  • Why are you interested in making a job change?

How to effectively answer Interview Questions

In today’s competitive employment market, many employers utilise a behaviour style of interview method, known as competency based interviews, which requires you to draw on their previous experience and refer to specific examples that illustrates your competence and skills in a particular area.

The most effective way of answering behaviour style questions is to use the “STAR” technique:

  • Situation: Briefly describe the background to the situation.
  • Task: Specifically describe your responsibility.
  • Action: Describe what you did.
  • Result: Describe the outcome of your actions.

Practise, Practise, Practise!

Although you may feel silly standing in front of the bathroom mirror practising your responses can help you is mentally prepare for an interview.

Plan your trip

Plan your route carefully and allow for delays and traffic jams. Also, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview so that you’re relaxed.

Dress to impress

It is important that you dress appropriately for your interview. Choose something that is professional, but something that you feel comfortable in. Given the environment, closed-toe shoes are a must and jeans are not acceptable. Also try and avoid clothes that are revealing or may be considered too casual.

Discuss

Make sure that you know your résumé inside and out. It is likely that the interviewer will ask you to talk through your résumé and experience with them and will ask questions based on the information in your résumé. Answer questions honestly and do not over elaborate your experience.

Engage

An employer will appreciate you showing interest in their organisation, so make sure you prepare some questions to ask towards the end of the interview. Also, by taking a pen and paper you will appear interested and keen to learn more.

Here are some examples of questions that you may ask the employer: 

  • Why is this position available?
  • Could you tell what a typical day would be like in this pharmacy?
  • How would you describe your management style?
  • What on the job training does your company provide?
  • How is your company positioned against its competitors?
  • What are the three things that would make someone an outstanding success in this role? 
  • How well do you think I match the requirements of the role?
  • What is the next step in the process? 

Some definite no no’s are listed below:

  • Bone crunching handshakes
  • Avoid blunt ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers
  • Avoid making negative comments
  • Don’t act too cool. Communicate your interest in the role
  • Dirty shoes or clothes
  • Untidy hair
  • Avoid overpowering aftershave/perfume

When you don’t get the job

So you were unsuccessful in getting the job? Try not to think of having ‘failed’ but rather focus on what you did well and look constructively at the areas you could improve on. Think of every interview as an opportunity to gain experience and to fine tune your interview technique.

Once you’ve got that job, what now?

Once you have been successful in getting that job, make sure you check the following details with your future employee:

  • Start Date, Time and Location
  • Hours of operation
  • Details of what is expected of you and/or your employment contract
  • Job description (if applicable)

Some tips for your first day

  • Have a good night’s sleep, get up nice and early and eat a proper breakfast
  • Turn up on time
  • Bring relevant information such as your tax file number and bank account details. If you wish to remain with your current superannuation provide, bring these details too
  • Make sure you know what hours are expected of you
  • It’s a good idea to write everything down - there’s nothing worse than forgetting where things are
  • Observe your colleague and start to identify what is and isn’t acceptable
  • Don’t start with bad habits on day one such as taking long lunches