Candidates’ Day Advice: Karin Abernathy

With interview season underway, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
Three

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
I started by looking up potential interview questions for graduate/professional school admissions. This was super helpful in gauging the types of questions that interviewers are likely to ask – such as questions about myself, questions about my pharmacy school goals, and behavioral questions that involve some sort of scenario that I’d have to address. I took time to think of the things about myself and my experiences that I wanted to highlight during the interviews, and founds ways to draw all of them back to why I wanted to be a pharmacist.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I think the MMI style is very unique, and I very much enjoyed meeting many of the faculty that would one day be professors that instructed us daily. For me, I found the MMI much less intimidating and less stressful than some of the other interviews I attended. If I didn’t feel great about my connection with the interviewer in one room or the way I’d answered the question, there were still six other impressions to be made.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
Aside from the MMIs, I really enjoyed the session that attempts to emulate what a day in a typical class in pharmacy school is like. Looking back now, this illustration really showed me a lot about how a typical day would be as a pharmacy student, including taking pre-class quizzes, working in groups, and comparing, discussing, and defending your answers to your peers to collectively solve problems. A lot of other interviews I attended focused solely on the administrative aspects of the admissions process, which is definitely important and an integral part of Candidate’s Day, but I think this mock class session is unique to UNC in that it looks beyond just being accepted into the program and highlights some of the key features that are special to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

 

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
I think it’s important to really reflect on why you want to be a pharmacist, and why you’d be a good fit for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. This is helpful not only in prepping for potential interview questions, but will also keep you inspired and enthusiastic during your time on campus. I’d say that the second that Candidate’s Day begins, remember to be professional, friendly, inquisitive, humble, and excited for the duration of your time on UNC’s campus.

Candidates’ Day Advice: Akil Sidi

With interview season underway, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
None – I only interviewed at UNC

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
I talked to current UNC pharmacy students to get a feel for what the interview would be like and what sort of questions to expect. I went through some general questions that I thought would be asked and practiced the responses I would give. I also practiced interviewing with a couple of different people to see what my weaknesses were and where I could improve.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I enjoyed meeting all the new prospective candidates along with current students. I learned a lot about the UNC ESOP and some of the unique programs they offer. Although the interviews were stressful, I enjoyed the MMI as it allowed me to interact with different people. Candidates day was a good way to get a feel for pharmacy school and what to expect. Everyone was very friendly and helpful and were willing to answer any questions I had and give me a glimpse into the life as a pharmacy student.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
I only attended one pharmacy school interview at UNC so I am not very aware of other pharmacy school interviews. I do know that typically many schools do not use the MMI. That would be the biggest difference I believe; most schools use the traditional 1-3 person panel for about 30 minutes to interview the prospective student. Candidates Day uses a MMI with different scenarios and about 7 different interviewers.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
I was most surprised by all the different people I met and their various backgrounds. It was surprising how open and friendly everyone was to talk to you and help you out as needed. I thought Candidates’ Day was going to be very intense and stressful; instead, other than the interview part, Candidates’ Day was very calm and enjoyable. It was very calm and use to help settle you down so you could perform well on your interview as well as educate you more on UNC ESOP.

If you could go back and relive Candidates’ Day, what would you do differently (if anything)?
The only thing I would differently would be to interact with more people. Each person had a unique story and unique perspective to pharmacy so the more people you meet the more knowledge you get. Also, meeting more candidates would have been beneficial as it would help you build some connections with students if you were to be accepted to the program. Other then these minor changes, overall I believed I performed well at Candidates’ Day and learned a great deal of information.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
I would advise candidates to be as friendly and outgoing as possible. Talk to everyone and start building relationships as soon as you arrive. It is also a good idea to be very friendly with your recruitment ambassador and the various faculty that are present there. Take the time to ask any questions you have, even if you feel it is a “dumb” question; chances are other candidates have the same question. Take time to prepare for your interviews but don’t stress over it; just do your best and have confidence in your self.

Candidates’ Day Advice – Starr Barrier

With interview season underway, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
1

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
Because both the schools I interviewed at planned on doing MMI, all I did to prepare was think about why I wanted to become a pharmacist and what unique qualities each school had to offer me and why I would chose to attend that school.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I especially liked the MMI. I liked how organized it was here and enjoyed it a lot more than I would a typical 30 minute one on one interview. You don’t have enough time to be nervous and you get multiple chances to make a good first impression. I liked how the day was split into different sections, and the group discussion time was a good way for us to interact with other candidates and relax a bit. The information panel was particularly helpful.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
The information panel had current students along with professors and I thought this was very helpful. Other schools had student panels but no professors were present. I think this also showed how close the student body is with the faculty and this was eye opening for me and one of the reasons why I chose UNC because it shows the faculty really want you to succeed.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
The group discussion was surprising and fun. I liked getting to interact with other candidates that I’m now in school and getting to interact with one of the professors was interesting.

If you could go back and relive Candidates’ Day, what would you do differently (if anything)?
I would have asked the faculty more questions. Asking questions in general is important, but you especially want to talk to faculty to see if this school is the right fit for you.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
I would think about why you want to become a pharmacist and if there is a particular field you’re interested in. If you’re not that’s fine, but if you’re passionate about something you definitely want to talk about that at some point. I would ask a bunch of questions because you want to make sure that you chose a school that’s going to be a good fit for you. Don’t forget to relax and be yourself! This is your chance to sell yourself and they want to see who you are.

Candidates’ Day Advice – Ashlyn Norris

With interview season underway, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
2

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
My favorite part about Candidates’ Day was that we got to meet so many different people and really get a chance to know the school. Throughout the MMI you got to meet a variety of professors, faculty members and administrators and in the different sessions throughout the day you were able to interact with even more professors and see what a typical class was like. I really feel that not only did the school get to know me better, but that I also got to know the school and the people here.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
I was most surprised about how much I enjoyed the MMI. I was able to be myself and have meaningful conversations with the faculty members conducting the interviews. Instead of talking about myself for 30 mins to two people, which was awkward at times, I was able to talk to a variety of people and answer questions that made me think and demonstrate my character.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
My advice would be to stay relaxed and just be yourself. All of the people are really nice and want to see you succeed. The interview questions are not stressful and are meant to get to know you better, so just be honest and true to yourself.

Candidates’ Day Advice – Michelle Ton

With interview season underway, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
2

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
Practice interview questions in front of friends and family really helped me organize my thoughts for common questions and helped me relax.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I was very impressed with the organization of Candidates’ Day and how every aspect of the day went smoothly – including checking in, the interviews, and the tour.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
In comparison to the other interviews I attended, Candidate’s Day was more interactive in terms of talking with professors and current students during “down time.” I also felt more relaxed because the recruitment ambassador that my group was assigned was very helpful in calming our nerves and telling us about her personal love for UNC that encouraged all of us to do well in our interview.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
I did not expect to enjoy the multiple mini interviews (MMIs) as much as I did! I originially thought that having multiple interviewers would be nerve-racking but after the first interviewer, my nervousness almost completely disappeared!

Candidates’ Day Advice – Ryan Rodriguez

With interview season underway, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
None – I only interviewed at UNC

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
I went over the MMI structure. It was a completely new interview style and I wanted to prepare for it as best as I could.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
You really cannot prepare for the MMI interview. My advice is just be yourself. This interview style is designed to view the the character of a person.

Candidates’ Day Advice – Sabree Burbage

With interview season beginning, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
3

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
I prepared by looking up MMI situations and questions online. I was able to watch videos and look through blogs that were both informational and reflective. I had also completed my other interviews and that helped me to work out the nerves and to gather my experiences beforehand.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
Candidates day allowed me to learn about the school/program from several different perspectives.

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
Candidates Day seemed very well planned and all inclusive. It incorporated more than just the interview. We were able to meet and talk to students, take a tour of the school AND campus and any and all admissions questions were also answered.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
The large number of candidates also interviewing on the same day was very surprising. I can still remember my jaw dropping when I walked into the (almost completely filled) lecture hall.

If you could go back and relive Candidates’ Day, what would you do differently (if anything)?
I would have gotten to Candidates’ Day a tad bit earlier to allow myself time to calm any nerves that I had. After being stuck in traffic and getting lost on the way to the building I was definitely on edge when I arrived.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
1. Relax and breathe. Everyone is incredibly friendly. Just be yourself, pull from our OWN experiences and do your best.
2. Not only are you interviewing for UNC, but you are “interviewing” UNC. This is your chance to see if the program could be right for you, so ask questions.
3. Be enthusiastic!

Candidates’ Day Advice – Amy Dorszynski

With interview season beginning, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
1

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
To prepare for Candidate’s Day, I went online to research some common interview questions. I complied a list of questions and determined how I would respond. This was helpful for me because it made me think about some of my specific experiences that I could draw upon during the interview. I think this process was mostly beneficial because it made me feel more prepared even if I hadn’t practiced a specific question that I was asked.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
I really loved the opportunity to spend time with current PharmD students at Candidate’s Day. Not only do they help direct you to all of your stations throughout the day, but they also eat lunch with you. This decreased my stress level and gave me a chance to meet some people who were already where I wanted to be!

How was Candidates’ Day different from other pharmacy school interviews you attended?
Candidate’s Day here at UNC ESOP was very different from my other interview experience. At the other interview that I attended, the interview style was far more typical with a one-on-one interviewer to interviewee format. Here at UNC, you are given seven different short interview sessions. At first, I was nervous about having so many different interviews, but I quickly learned that this made the process far less stressful! In this type of format, you won’t just get stuck with just one interviewer who you don’t click with. Because you have seven different interviewers, you have so many opportunities to let your personality shine!

Candidates’ Day Advice – Emily Garcia

With interview season beginning, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
2

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
My undergraduate university offers mock interviews through the Center for Pre-Health Advising, so I utilized that resource. Since UNC uses the MMI format, I opted to do a mock MMI and felt it was very helpful. I asked current PharmD students for ideas of questions I could ask to get the most out of any Q&A opportunities. And most importantly, I organized my things the night before and got plenty of sleep so I didn’t have to stress on the morning of the interview!

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
Talking to the Recruitment Ambassadors! From the minute I stepped into the school, they were there to greet me, answer any questions I had, and ease my nerves before the MMI. Also, Candidate’s Day is extremely well organized – I received a detailed personal schedule in the morning so I knew exactly where to be at what time.

What part of Candidates’ Day was most surprising/unexpected to you?
I was surprised by how easy it was to talk to the other prospective students on Candidate’s Day. I was nervous that it was going to be a stressful and competitive environment, but everyone was very friendly and encouraging. That spirit of camaraderie has definitely transferred to our PY1 class at ESOP, and I now have many friends that were with me on Candidate’s Day!

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
Before any pharmacy school interview, be sure to do some self-reflection on why you want to become a pharmacist, and what experiences in your life helped shape your path to the PharmD career. I would also recommend jotting down some notes during the non-interview portions of the day, such as student/faculty panels, presentations and tours. Because you may visit different schools over the course of several months, it’ll be helpful to look back on these notes to remember what stood out to you during each experience.

At Candidate’s Day, get to know your Recruitment Ambassador. After I got accepted to ESOP, I kept in touch via e-mail with my group’s Recruitment Ambassador to get advice about apartment hunting and moving to Chapel Hill. Also, the Recruitment Ambassador that gave me my campus tour on Candidate’s Day is now my Peer Mentor.

Above all, try to relax and enjoy your day! Through your application, the school is already familiar with your resume and transcript. During an interview experience, they want to get to know you as a person.

Candidates’ Day Advice – Genevieve Anakwe-Charles

With interview season beginning, current students reflect back on their experiences at our interview day (Candidates’ Day).


Besides UNC, how many other pharmacy school interviews did you attend?
3

How did you prepare for Candidates’ Day (or pharmacy interviews in general)?
I knew I was going to be asked: why do you want to be a pharmacist? This is such a simple question but you will be surprised that it can be a bit difficult when asked on the spot. So I just made sure I had a cohesive answer. Also made sure that I had my professional attire picked out a couple of days before and got a good night’s sleep. Overall, just being confident in myself and projecting that was what helped me get through the interview process. Knowing that I am passionate about becoming a pharmacist was the fuel that I used in answering the questions. That passion will shine through no matter what.

What did you like about Candidates’ Day?
The MMI interview style was great. UNC was the only pharmacy school that I interviewed for that used that style. It is a great way to make multiple impressions on different people. It also takes off some of the usual anxiety with a traditional interview with two people. It assesses a wide range of skills that better showcases the interviewee’s personality and capabilities.

If you could go back and relive Candidates’ Day, what would you do differently (if anything)?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. I believe that I put my best foot forward and did my best, which paid off.

What advice would you give prospective students preparing for interviews/Candidates Day?
Be confident, be respectful, be enthusiastic, but above all, be yourself!