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Anna Robinson | University of Sunderland

Pharmacy Mpharm

Pre-Reg applications and interviews

So the scary time in a pharmacy student’s career is approaching for me… I’ve already completed my hospital pre-reg applications, and I have been lucky enough to be offered 4 interviews. Fingers crossed they go okay and I manage to secure a job at the end!

I decided to do a written blog about hospital pre-reg applications. They’re all done online, via a website called ‘PharmaLife’ which you can google and look into more if you wish. As a student there were numerous talks throughout my third year at Uni, all about Careers and what to expect when applying for a pre-reg position somewhere. There was one talk in particular about hospital pharmacy, so I’d strongly encourage any student who is interested in hospital to attend, because they go into a lot of detail about how Pharmlife works and when the deadlines are for applying.

There are two deadlines – the first of which is basically an ‘enrollment’ deadline, where you need to create an account and assign an academic reference to your application (around June time); then the second deadline is later in the summer (end of August) where you need to have completed the whole application form. The application form is quite big- with sections for your background, education, grades for past exams, CV and work experience, then some long answer questions.

The long answer questions were definitely where I spent the majority of my time; they are ‘scenario’ or ‘example’ based questions, such as ‘Tell us about a time when you demonstrated organisational skills and working as part of a team to achieve a common goal’. Personally, I found them quite tricky when it came to evidencing my chosen scenario within the word limit (you only get 1000 characters)! But I am positive that having plenty of work experience (over many different backgrounds) helped me to come up with appropriate examples for each question.

There is a final question specific to hospital pharmacy and why you wish to pursue a career there. You can apply to a maximum of 4 hospital Trusts (from anywhere in England) so it makes good sense to tailor the final answer with specifics to each individual hospital; for instance, something that intrigues you that you’ve heard or read about, for a specific hospital or Trust. Definitely do your research beforehand!!

Once the application form is submitted (deadline at the end of August) the hospitals can access it from September 1st, then if they like what you’ve written, they can invite you to attend for an interview. Personally, that’s the nerve-wracking part! The interviews can encompass different areas of pharmacy, usually with 3-4 interviewers asking you questions about clinical pharmacy, current issues in the pharmacy/healthcare world, and gauging whether they’d like you as a pre-registration student at their hospital. Some hospitals also ask candidates to do presentations or complete numeracy/literacy assessments, so bear this in mind – but you’ll be told about this when you’re applying or researching the programmes at different Trusts.

Fingers crossed my interviews go okay, and I am lucky enough to secure a pre-registration role.


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  • Name: Anna Robinson
  • Age: 21
  • Studying: Pharmacy MPharm
  • Hometown: Newcastle
  • Ambitions: To begin my career in Hospital Pharmacy, specialising in cardiology, with a view to teaching Pharmacy at a University.

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