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Applicant Interview Information

For the MPharm Pharmacy and MPharm Pharmacy with Preparatory Year courses, applicants will be assessed for entry using an interview, in addition to the academic entry requirements. This process 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.

Your online interview will take place via Microsoft Teams. Closer to the date of your interview (at least 48 hours before the date of your interview), a Microsoft Teams meeting invitation will be sent to you via email. Once you have received this, please follow the listed steps:

  1. Open the email containing the Microsoft Teams meeting invitation and select ‘Yes’ to accept. 
  2. Once you have accepted the meeting invitation, you will need to open your email calendar to access the meeting invitation. Please go to the date and time of your interview in your email calendar to locate the meeting invitation and double click on the meeting invitation to open it. 
  3. On the day of your interview, please open the meeting invitation in your email calendar and select the “Click here to join this meeting” link to join your online interview at the appropriate time. Please note, the meeting invitation will also include a meeting ID and a password, but you do not need to use these details to join your online interview.  

If you have not received an email containing a Microsoft Teams meeting invitation at least 48 hours before the date of your interview, or if you are from a country where Microsoft Teams does not function, please email mpharmadmissions@reading.ac.uk. Please note that, occasionally, our emails could arrive in your junk/spam folders – please check your junk/spam folders carefully for the email containing the Microsoft Teams meeting invitation before contacting us.

For safeguarding and quality assurance purposes, all interviews will be recorded and retained until 31 August 2024 or for 90 days, whichever is shorter. These will be held securely and can only be accessed by departmental and school staff undertaking MPharm Pharmacy/MPharm Pharmacy with Preparatory Year interviews. 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.

Please contact us if you may require any specific adjustments to be made to accommodate a disability or other circumstances. We will consider all requests on a case-by-case basis. 

On the day

Interviews typically last approximately 20 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 ID card.

You are permitted to have a chaperone present with you in the room during the interview, who would typically be a parent/guardian, teacher, or another family member. However, chaperones are not permitted to discuss answers to questions with you or otherwise interfere with the interview process at any time and cannot have applied to study Pharmacy at the University of Reading in the current academic year.

At any time during the interview, you may request that your interviewer repeat or clarify a question if you feel this is needed. This does not affect the mark awarded for your performance and you will not be penalized for this. You may also request that a question is shown on-screen as text in addition to it being read by an interviewer.

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.

Offers will be made from January onwards. Once a decision on your application has been made, the University Admissions team will contact you to let you know the outcome.

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

Free Online Course to help with your interview

We have developed a free online course, Stress-Free University Interviews, available to students who have offers of interviews at the University for interviewing subjects.  It will help you make the most of your skills, build confidence, and enable you to practice those all important interview techniques.

Book a place on this course