A Protocol to Help Pharmacists Prepare for Interviews: Part 3

The competition for positions in the world of pharmacy is fierce.

The competition for positions in the world of pharmacy is fierce. Much more so than when I graduated. But irrespective of where or when you are looking to apply for a position, albeit a professional role, internship, fellowship or something else, the interview process can be a challenge. When you do get that opportunity to interview, take every advantage you can get to get that job offer and this means you take full advantage of the pre-interview process by being prepared. Keep in mind that job interviews are your best opportunity to make a terrific first impression on your potential supervisor(s) and coworkers. In this third of a 3-part series about the essentials of the interview process, I will outline how to properly follow up after the interview with 3 tactics.

First of all, staying on the minds of the recruiter, HR person or interviewer is incredibly important — and not just for the job at hand. Even if you do not get selected for the particular position for whatever reason, following up — can be incredibly helpful down the line if you leave the right impression on the powers that be.

As your interview comes to a close, toward the end of the conversation ask the interviewer “What happens next?” If the interviewer says they will be contacting candidates within a week, and you don’t hear from them by day 10, it is perfectly acceptable to gently touch base with a quick email or note (Note: Do not be pushy).

An email like this would be sufficient: “Hello [PHARMACY RECRUITER] — I hope you’re having a great week. During the interview, you mentioned that a hiring decision would be finalized on the manager position this week. I’m enthusiastic to hear if/when you may have an update. Should I be able to provide any additional information to support your decision-making process, please let me know!

Thank you notes are another effective tool to help you stay on the minds of the hiring individuals and follow up with the decision-maker right away. Emails are my go-to and are increasingly customary in this electronic age as opposed to the old school tactics like a neatly hand written card. I personally have never opted for the hand written card approach. I suggest sending the email close-to and within 24 hours of the interview. Triple-check the content/grammar etc. of your email before sending!

A message that reflects the interview works best and give specific reasons what part of the interview left an impression with you etc. “Thank you again for taking the time from your schedule to speak with me yesterday afternoon. The information you provided was very helpful and I appreciate your willingness to explain the position and share your insights with me.”

Using the power of social media such as LinkedIn is a useful way to connect and build long-term professional relationships. There should always be a logical reason for connecting and ask for permission to connect. If you can, add value to the person’s life, do so! For example, introducing the person to a friend or colleague of yours or forwarding (on occasion) an informative article that relates the recipient’s professional work or interests. Lastly, do not just send a generic message, or copy and paste the examples like the one above; make it personal and make it count! For example, you can say something along the lines of: “You mentioned that you are into classic cars, I would be happy to connect you to my former colleague. He has been restoring antique cars ....

Hopefully, with a bit of luck and good preparation, you will smoothly navigate the interview process, follow up like a champ, and that dream job and succeed in your new role.

Best of luck out there!