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Applicant Interview Information

For the MPharm and MPharm with Foundation Programmes, applicants will be assessed for entry using an interview, in addition to the academic entry requirements. This process is new from October 2021 and is an opportunity for us to check that you have the personal and professional values required for a future student of Pharmacy.

Before the day

Once we receive your application via UCAS it will be assessed and if your application is strong then you can expect to receive an invitation to undertake an online interview with a member of academic staff within the Reading School of Pharmacy. You will be sent an email with instructions on how to book your interview.

All interviews will be undertaken via Microsoft Teams and you will receive an email invitation with the session link not less than 48 hours before the interview is due to take place. If you have not received this link 48 hours before the interview is due to take place, or are from a country where Microsoft Teams does not function, please email mpharmadmissions@reading.ac.uk. Please note that occasionally our invitations could be filtered into your spam folder – please check your junk/spam folders carefully for the link before contacting us.

For safeguarding and quality assurance purposes, all interviews will be recorded and retained until 31st August 2022. These will be held securely and can only be accessed by departmental staff undertaking MPharm/MPharm with Foundation interviews and Charlotte Harman. The recording will not be shared for any purposes other than safeguarding and quality assurance unless required by law. Please note that candidates are not permitted to make their own recordings of their interview.

On the day

Interviews will last up to 25 minutes and there will be time for you to ask questions as a part of this process. Once you have logged into the session, the interviewer will introduce themselves and explain the interview process. Please note, to reduce unconscious bias in our interview process, your interviewer will not have a copy of your application to refer to during the interview and may therefore ask you for information which is contained in your personal statement. You will be required to undergo an ID check and will require a photographic form of ID for this, which must be shown to the interviewer on camera before the interview can continue. Examples of acceptable ID are a passport, driving licence (full or provisional) or EU ID card.

The interview is split into four sections:

1. Establishing your motivation to study Pharmacy and what steps you have taken to ensure this is a fully informed decision

In this phase of the interview, the interviewer will seek to understand what has motivated you to apply to study Pharmacy. The interviewer will also expect you to explain how and why you have come to this decision, including discussing any steps you have taken to ensure that you understand what a Pharmacist does. Please note that work experience is not required for entry onto our programmes, but we would expect you to have undertaken research to ensure you understand the role of a Pharmacist and what a career in Pharmacy could mean for you.

2. Demonstrating personal values

In this phase of the interview, we will ask you for a time where you have demonstrated values and professionalism suitable for a future healthcare professional. You will be asked for examples of times when you have shown two out of the following four skills:

  • Professional behaviour
  • Leadership
  • Communicated effectively with a group or groups with a different background to yourself
  • Worked in partnership with others

Your examples can come from any aspect of your life – personal, professional, or previous study. We are fully aware that these skills can be demonstrated in a variety of different areas, some of which may not be immediately obvious. For example, perhaps you lead an online gaming group, contribute to the running of a school club or sports team, or have experience of the workplace – all of these would make good examples of some of these skills. It is not the example itself that is important but what you have learnt by undertaking the activity and how this has affected how you would work in the future.

3. Situational judgement
 
In the final assessed phase of the interview, you will be presented with hypothetical situations which will further test your personal and professional values along with your decision-making skills. The interviewer will give you a scenario and ask you how you would respond if you found yourself in the given situation.
An example is given below:

You are a Pharmacy student with a Saturday job in a community pharmacy. 

One of your flatmates has been asking you all week to ‘borrow’ a pregnancy test strip for them from the pharmacy as this is unlikely to be missed and is much cheaper than a commercial pregnancy test which they can’t afford. You refuse but on Saturday you notice your flatmate in the pharmacy, in an aisle near the pregnancy test packets. When you look closer, it appears as though your flatmate has placed one of the packets in the pocket of their hoodie.

You worry that your flatmate is going to steal the pregnancy test. If your flatmate gets caught, then they will be in serious trouble.


In the above scenario, we would require a potential future Pharmacy student to show honesty and integrity. Acceptable ways of dealing with the situation could include approaching your flatmate to establish the facts of the situation and/or speaking with Pharmacy staff to raise your concerns.

Unacceptable approaches to this scenario include ignoring the problem, taking the stance of it being the flatmate’s problem if they get caught, or agreeing to your flatmate’s request to take a test strip from the pharmacy yourself if they return the test from their pocket. All of these options show a lack of integrity and personal responsibility in a professional environment.

4. Questions

 

Once you have answered the last situational judgement question, the assessed part of the interview is over and you are free to ask the interviewer any questions you may have about the programme or life here as a student of Pharmacy at Reading.

After the day

The interviewer will provide a recommendation to the admissions team as to whether you have met the standard required in the interview to be eligible to receive an offer to study with us at Reading. At this stage, a member of departmental admissions staff may review the recording of the interview to ensure that recommendations made by staff are consistent across all applicants. Typically, all decisions to reject a candidate will be reviewed by a member of the admissions team. You will typically be contacted with the outcome of the interview within two weeks, and it is at this point that you could expect to receive an offer to study with us if your application has been successful.

If you have any questions about your interview, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at mpharmadmissions@reading.ac.uk