Exploring interviews – are intern pharmacists’ responses what employers want?

Eugene Ong, Steven T. Walker, Tahlia Bothe, Hamilton Gray, Esther Liu, Angelina S. Lim

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background: The National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016 (NCSF) describes the skills, attitudes and attributes that enable a pharmacist to practice effectively. However, little is known about what skills and attributes entry-level pharmacists perceive to be important to attract future employment.

Aim: To describe and categorise intern pharmacists’ self-perceived skills, attributes and experiences required for hospital employment.

Methods: In 2021, intern pharmacists enrolled in an extension intern program completed a video recorded mock job interview for a hospital residency position. Participants were asked what skills, attributes and experiences they could bring to the job. Responses were transcribed and coded using team-based framework analysis against an inductive codebook mapped to the NCSF.

Results: A total of 83 intern pharmacists participated. The frequency of interns that mentioned each of the five NCSF competency domains were: Domain 1 (78/83, 94%), Domain 2(78/83, 94%), Domain 3 (75/83, 90%), Domain 4 (83/83, 100%)and Domain 5 (54/83, 65%). The most common competency standards mentioned by interns were: show leadership of self (82/83, 99%) and collaborate with professional colleagues (78/83,94%). Participants most commonly drew upon prior experiences working in various pharmacy settings to answer questions, but rarely mentioned experiences outside of pharmacy practice.

Discussion: In comparison to other studies of entry-level pharmacy position interviews that have focused on personal attributes desired by employers (e.g. enthusiasm), the results provide insight into the types of skills and competencies that interns perceive are important when applying for entry-level hospital pharmacy positions. Interns mentioned education and research competencies (Domain 5) the least which may suggest they perceive these as less relevant to entry-level residency positions or that they find it more difficult to use examples in this domain. Further studies should investigate how well these perceptions match those desired by hospital pharmacy employers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventSHPA National Conference : Medicines Management - Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 1 Dec 20223 Dec 2022
Conference number: 46th


ConferenceSHPA National Conference
Abbreviated titleMM2022
OtherAfter three years apart we are excited to recharge, reconnect and reinvigorate as we welcome our profession back to a very special face-to-face Medicines Management 2022, 46th SHPA National Conference in Brisbane!

Over 1-3 December 2022 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, recapture the energy of innovation, rediscover the buzz of budding partnerships, and reinvigorate your passion for hospital pharmacy.

Join leading pharmacists and technicians from all areas of practice, allied health care professionals and supporters as we shape the future of medicines management and patient care in a truly electric atmosphere.
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