17 Optical Dispenser Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from an optical dispenser, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

An optical dispenser is a professional who helps patients select and fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, taking into account the patient’s vision needs, prescription, lifestyle, and facial features.

If you’re interested in becoming an optical dispenser, you’ll need to complete an accredited training program and pass a state-licensed exam. Once you’re licensed, you can start applying for jobs.

When you go to an interview for an optical dispenser job, you can expect to be asked a mix of general and specific questions about your skills, experience, and qualifications. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample optical dispenser interview questions and answers.

Are you comfortable working with a variety of materials in the dispensing lab?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your comfort level with working in a lab environment. This is an important skill for optical dispensers because they often work with different types of materials, such as plastics and metals, that require specialized tools and equipment. Your answer should show the interviewer that you have experience working with these materials and tools.

Example: “I am very comfortable working with a variety of materials in the dispensing lab. In my previous role, I worked with many different types of plastic and metal alloys, including gold, silver and platinum. These metals required special tools and techniques when handling them, so I learned how to use these tools and techniques to ensure I was working safely.”

What are some of the most important skills for an optical dispenser to have?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills necessary to succeed in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of your strongest skills and how they relate to working as an optical dispenser.

Example: “The most important skill for an optical dispenser is attention to detail. This job requires me to measure out prescriptions accurately and fill them properly so that patients receive the correct eyewear. Another important skill is communication. Optical dispensers must communicate with customers about their eyeglasses orders and answer any questions they may have. I am also very organized, which helps me keep track of all the different components of my work.”

How do you keep track of inventory and manage supply needs?

This question can help the interviewer understand your organizational skills and how you use technology to support your work. Use examples from your previous experience to highlight your ability to manage inventory, organize data and collaborate with others.

Example: “I have a system for organizing my supply needs that I developed during my first year as an optical dispenser. It’s based on color coding and labeling all of our supplies so they’re easy to find when we need them. For example, I keep all red-labeled items in one cabinet, blue-labeled items in another and green-labeled items in a third. This makes it easy to locate specific items quickly and helps me avoid running out of stock.”

What is your experience with working with children?

Employers may ask this question to see if you have experience working with children. They want to know that you can handle the unique challenges of working with kids and their parents. In your answer, share a specific example of how you helped a child feel comfortable in an optical store.

Example: “I worked at my previous job for two years as an optical dispenser. I loved working with children because they were always so excited about getting new glasses. One time, I had a little boy come into the store who was very nervous about getting his first pair of glasses. His mother told me he didn’t like wearing them because they made him look different from other kids.

I talked to him about how cool it is to be able to see things better. He ended up picking out some really fun frames and even got a free lollipop after we finished.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to help a patient who was upset. How did you handle the situation?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you handle challenging situations and how your interpersonal skills may be beneficial to their organization. Use examples from past experiences where you helped a patient feel more comfortable or resolved an issue with them.

Example: “In my previous role, I had a patient who was upset because they didn’t like the frames I recommended for them. They were adamant that they wanted something different, but I explained that the frames I suggested would work best for their prescription. After explaining why I chose those frames, they agreed to try them on again. The patient ended up loving the new frames and left happy.”

If a patient returns a pair of glasses, what would be your first steps in determining the cause of the issue?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your customer service skills and ability to troubleshoot. In your answer, demonstrate that you value the customer’s experience and are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure they leave satisfied with their glasses.

Example: “If a patient returns a pair of glasses, I would first determine what was wrong with them. If there is an issue with the prescription, I will re-examine the patient to make sure the new prescription matches the old one. If the frames are damaged or missing parts, I will replace them at no cost to the patient. If the lenses are scratched, I will clean them for free.”

What would you do if you noticed a coworker was struggling to complete their work duties?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to help your coworkers when they need it. They want employees who are willing to lend a hand and support one another in their workplace. In your answer, explain that you would try to help them as much as possible while also asking for help from other coworkers if necessary.

Example: “If I noticed my coworker was struggling with their work, I would first offer to help them complete any tasks they were having trouble with. If I couldn’t finish all of their duties myself, I would ask for help from other coworkers so we could ensure our coworker had everything they needed.”

How well can you see without your prescription glasses or contacts?

This question is a way for employers to assess your vision and determine if you can perform the job duties without any assistance. Employers want optical dispensers who have excellent eyesight, so they may ask this question to see how well you can function without your glasses or contacts. In your answer, explain that you are able to read small print and see objects clearly up close and far away.

Example: “I don’t need my prescription glasses or contacts to do most of my daily activities. I can read small print and see objects clearly both up close and far away. However, I do wear my glasses when performing certain tasks like reading an eye chart or working with patients.”

Do you have any experience working with optical software?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience using the software they use at their company. If you do, share your experience and explain how it helped you perform your job more efficiently. If you don’t have any experience with optical software, you can talk about your computer skills and how you would learn to use the software if hired.

Example: “I’ve used several different types of optical software in my previous positions. I find that each system has its own benefits, but I prefer working with a system that allows me to customize the patient’s order form for each exam. This helps me save time by not having to fill out the same information multiple times.”

When measuring a patient for eyeglasses, what is the purpose of the right eye lead?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your knowledge of the process of measuring patients for eyeglasses. This is an important part of the job, as it helps ensure that the glasses fit properly and are comfortable for the patient. In your answer, explain what the right eye lead is and why it’s important.

Example: “The right eye lead is the distance from the center of the nose bridge to the center of the pupil in the right eye. It’s important to measure this accurately because if the glasses don’t fit well, they can be uncomfortable or even unsafe for the patient.”

We want to increase our customer retention. What would you do to improve customer satisfaction and retention?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn how you can improve the customer experience at their optical dispensary. To answer this question, think about what makes customers happy and how you could implement those strategies into your work.

Example: “I believe that one of the best ways to increase customer satisfaction is by providing excellent service. I would make sure all staff members are knowledgeable about our products and services so they can help customers find exactly what they need. Another way I would improve customer retention is through my communication skills. If a customer has any questions or concerns, I would do everything in my power to resolve them as quickly as possible.”

Describe your experience with working with children.

Employers may ask this question to see if you have experience working with children. They want to know that you can interact positively with them and help them understand the optical process. In your answer, share a specific example of how you helped a child feel comfortable in an optical store.

Example: “I worked at my previous job for two years as an optical dispenser. I loved interacting with all of our patients, but especially enjoyed helping young children who came into the store. One time, we had a family come in where the parents were getting glasses while their toddler was just starting to learn about colors. The little girl kept touching her mom’s glasses and asking what color they were. I showed her some other colors and let her try on different frames.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their business. Before your interview, review the job description to see what skills they’re looking for in an optical dispenser. In your answer, share two or three of these skills that you possess. Explain why these skills are important to the role and how you’ve used them in previous positions.

Example: “I have a background in customer service, which is one of the most important skills for this position. I know that patients come into our office with many questions and concerns. As an optical dispenser, it’s my responsibility to help them understand their prescription and find frames that fit their lifestyle. I also think organization is important because we handle sensitive information like patient records and credit card numbers. I’m always prepared and on time for work because I keep all of my files organized.”

Which eyeglass frame brands do you have the most experience working with?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience level and whether you have any expertise in working with their company’s brand. It can also show how much you know about eyeglass frames in general. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a few brands that are similar to the one you’re interviewing for.

Example: “I’ve worked with many different brands of eyeglasses over my career, but I’m most familiar with Oakley, Ray-Ban and Maui Jim. These brands all offer high-quality products at affordable prices, which is something I look for when helping customers find glasses they’ll love.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of customer service?

This question is a great way to determine how you will interact with customers in the optical dispensary. Interviewers want to know that you understand customer service and can provide excellent care for their patients. When answering this question, make sure to emphasize your interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively with others.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of customer service is being able to listen to what the patient has to say. I believe it’s crucial to ask questions and actively listen to the answers so that I can fully understand the patient’s needs. It’s also important to be empathetic when interacting with patients. If they are having a bad day or feeling anxious about their visit, I always try to put them at ease by making eye contact and smiling.”

How often do you perform inventory checks?

This question can help the interviewer determine your attention to detail and organizational skills. Your answer should include a specific time frame for performing inventory checks, such as monthly or quarterly.

Example: “I perform an inventory check at least once per month. I find that this is enough time between checks to ensure all of our frames are in stock and we have plenty of lenses on hand. If there’s ever a shortage of any items, I immediately contact my manager so they can place an order with our supplier.”

There is a discrepancy between the inventory count and the actual inventory. What would you do?

This question is a great way to test your problem-solving skills and ability to work as part of a team. Your answer should include steps you would take to resolve the issue, including who you would involve in the process.

Example: “I would first verify that I counted correctly by counting again. If there was still a discrepancy, I would then check for any missing inventory. If it’s not missing, I would ask my manager if they have any ideas on what could be causing the discrepancy. They may know something about the system or the client that can help me find an explanation.”


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