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    • Homecoming
    • By Homecoming 15th Apr 18, 11:48 AM
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    • 25Thanks
    Homecoming
    Job Interview Tips - Trainee Dispensing Assistant
    • #1
    • 15th Apr 18, 11:48 AM
    Job Interview Tips - Trainee Dispensing Assistant 15th Apr 18 at 11:48 AM
    I have a job interview on Tuesday for a role as trainee dispensing assistant in a hospital pharmacy.

    Does anyone know what kinds of questions I might be asked or any other tips for the interview please?

    I don't currently work in healthcare at all, but training would be provided if I was successful. My background is in administration, the last five years of which were in an educational setting. I'm hoping for a career change, and this job sounds a lot more like what I'm looking for.

    Any information or tips would be welcome, I am nervous and really want this job!
    Don't dream it, be it
Page 1
    • Kathy535
    • By Kathy535 15th Apr 18, 4:23 PM
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    Kathy535
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 18, 4:23 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Apr 18, 4:23 PM
    I used to work as a dispensing assistant, albeit in a pharmacy. You need attention to detail, customer service skills and to get on with your colleagues (it!!!8217;s a small space usually, little things become annoying very quickly).

    You might be asked when you have had to solve problems (eg you may have to call a doctor and ask them to clarify what they!!!8217;ve written or ask if they meant to prescribe (for example) twice the usual dose). Perhaps when you!!!8217;ve delivered good customer service or worked as part of a team. You might get asked what you!!!8217;ve done to promote equality and diversity in the work place.

    I!!!8217;d also prepare to be asked how you!!!8217;d see your current skills transferring into the pharmacy setting.

    Good luck!
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 15th Apr 18, 8:28 PM
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    jobbingmusician
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 18, 8:28 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Apr 18, 8:28 PM
    I saw this this morning, and thought I'd leave it as I have absolutely zero experience! However, when you hear about pharmacies in the news, it's normally because they have mis-transcribed a Dr's prescription, or the Dr wrote the wrong thing in the first place.

    So if I were preparing for this interview, I might be thinking about stories about my professional life where my attention to detail saved the day, or where I was the 'details person' working as part of a team. And how well I worked in this team, and got on with my colleagues (and - especially given the state of Drs' handwriting) I might talk about how I was able to check with team members if I found something unclear, and to learn from my experiences.
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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    • Homecoming
    • By Homecoming 15th Apr 18, 8:32 PM
    • 26 Posts
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    Homecoming
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 18, 8:32 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 18, 8:32 PM
    Thank you, Kathy, that's really helpful. :-) I'll have a think about those questions and prepare answers for them tonight.

    Jobbingmusician - thank you very much. I'll add those scenarios to my list and come up with some examples for them too.
    Last edited by Homecoming; 15-04-2018 at 8:34 PM. Reason: Adding response to another poster
    Don't dream it, be it
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 15th Apr 18, 9:39 PM
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    Detroit
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 18, 9:39 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 18, 9:39 PM
    Like Jobbing musician, I have no experience of pharmacy work. However, I have recruited trainees.

    When doing so, I haven't expected them to have practical or technical knowledge of the work. I will know from their application they are not experienced, as your interviewer will know about you.

    Far more important has been their enthusiasm and commitment to learn, as this is what is needed most in a trainee.

    With this in mind, I would have some examples prepared to demonstrate your positive approach to learning, how you have responded to feedback, times when you have had to acquire new skills etc.

    Try also to research the company a little to demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for working there.

    Good luck!


    Put your hands up.
    • Lorian
    • By Lorian 15th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
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    Lorian
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:12 PM
    My local hospital trainee Pharmacists seem to get a job in a quite busy, cramped department, with long hours for perhaps not the reward they deserve. It won't have the diversity of role or the social interaction you might expect in a community pharmacy.

    I'd expect some questions about working under pressure, working with confidential data. Being good at maths will be a benefit.

    Remember to ask what the training involves, and how you can progress in the role. Remember it's not the route to become a Pharmacist - that takes a 4 year degree and pre-reg year.

    Good luck!
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 15th Apr 18, 10:49 PM
    • 39,258 Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:49 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:49 PM
    NHS: Equalities act. Know what protected characteristics are, think about how you avoid discrimination.

    (Someone I know applying for an NHS position, not front line, asked how they'd contribute to equalities within the team ...)
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    • Homecoming
    • By Homecoming 17th Apr 18, 5:31 PM
    • 26 Posts
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    Homecoming
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 5:31 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Apr 18, 5:31 PM
    Thank you, Detroit, Lorian and Savvy_Sue, and apologies for not responding yesterday. I added your suggestions to my notes and came up with some examples for them.

    I had the interview this morning, and I think it went okay. They asked questions based on the organisation's values, all of which I could answer with the examples I had prepared. I think they were seeing quite a few candidates however, so it could still go either way.

    They said they will let me know either way tomorrow.

    Thank you again for your help everyone, it really made a big difference to my confidence as I felt much more prepared going in.
    Don't dream it, be it
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 17th Apr 18, 6:28 PM
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    Smodlet
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 6:28 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Apr 18, 6:28 PM
    How refreshing to hear from someone who wants help to help themselves, as opposed to being "entitled" to an interview because they have applied. Best of luck, OP, let us know when you hear?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
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    • Ja7188
    • By Ja7188 17th Apr 18, 6:32 PM
    • 224 Posts
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    Ja7188
    How refreshing to hear from someone who wants help to help themselves, as opposed to being "entitled" to an interview because they have applied. Best of luck, OP, let us know when you hear?
    Amen to that! Fingers crossed...
    • Homecoming
    • By Homecoming 19th Apr 18, 11:18 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    Homecoming
    Unfortunately, I don't have any good news to report back with - the job went to someone who already worked for the NHS.

    I am disappointed of course. I genuinely wanted the job and it's frustrating to come second when there was only one role available.

    The positive was that, when I asked for feedback, I was told that there was basically nothing I could have improved upon, and that my answers were very strong. So thank you to all of you for your help - it obviously made a big difference as I was much more confident in the interview than I have ever been in the past! :-)

    I received a message this morning inviting me to interview for an administration role in a different hospital, so I am going to start getting myself prepared for that one. It's not for another couple of weeks, so I should have plenty of time.

    Thank you again for all of your help and kind messages. I really do appreciate it.
    Last edited by Homecoming; 19-04-2018 at 11:21 PM. Reason: Typo
    Don't dream it, be it
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 20th Apr 18, 7:53 AM
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    • 5,193 Thanks
    michelle09
    Good luck with the next one. One thing that we always ask is the Trust values. It is supposed to check that the candidates have put some effort into researching the particular role.

    Sadly trainee and lower grade roles are often the most competitive now. The best way to get them is to get yourself known to the department (in a positive way!). If you have the time, you could ask if it was possible to shadow someone for a day. Some Trusts don't allow it but if you can then it gives a much deeper insight into the role than you can pick up from reading about it.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 25th Apr 18, 5:02 PM
    • 4,197 Posts
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    Smodlet
    No experience is a waste if you learn from it (or so my sixth form Spanish teacher told me) Homecoming, you come across as having a great attitude, if I might be so bold as to venture so personal an opinion. Maybe this next job will be better.

    Best of luck with it, anyway, and please let us know how you get on. Positive vibes being sent your way.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 25th Apr 18, 8:12 PM
    • 19,368 Posts
    • 19,947 Thanks
    jobbingmusician
    No experience is a waste if you learn from it (or so my sixth form Spanish teacher told me) Homecoming, you come across as having a great attitude, if I might be so bold as to venture so personal an opinion.
    Originally posted by Smodlet
    Seconded, and whoever is sensible enough to offer you a job should be delighted if your posts on here reflect what you are like as a person.
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    The good folk of the matched betting board are now (I hope!) supporting Macmillan, in memory of Fifigrace. Visit
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