17 Outpatient Pharmacist Interview Questions and Answers

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

Outpatient pharmacies are found in a variety of locations, such as hospitals, clinics, and community pharmacies. These pharmacies are responsible for filling prescriptions for patients who are discharged from the hospital or who visit the clinic for outpatient procedures.

If you’re interested in working in an outpatient pharmacy, you’ll need to ace an interview first. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of the most common outpatient pharmacist interview questions and answers.

Common Outpatient Pharmacist Interview Questions

Are you comfortable working with patients who have a range of different conditions and needs?

This question can help interviewers understand how you might fit into their team. They may be looking for someone who is empathetic and compassionate, as well as willing to learn about a variety of conditions and treatments. In your answer, try to show that you are open-minded and eager to work with patients from all walks of life.

Example: “I have worked in the pharmacy field for five years now, and I’ve seen many different types of patients. I am comfortable working with anyone who comes through our doors, no matter what their situation or background is. I know that everyone has unique needs when it comes to their medication, so I always make sure to listen carefully to each patient’s concerns.”

What are some of the most important qualities for an outpatient pharmacist?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their team. They want to know that you have the qualities they’re looking for, so it’s important to read through the job description beforehand and make sure you can relate your skills to what they’re looking for.

Example: “I think one of the most important qualities is being a good communicator. I find that patients often come into the pharmacy with questions or concerns, so it’s important to be able to listen to them and answer their questions as best as possible. Another quality I think is important is patience. Patients are sometimes nervous when they come in, so it’s helpful to be someone who can help put them at ease.”

How would you handle a situation where a patient is resistant to your advice about their medication?

As an outpatient pharmacist, you may encounter patients who are resistant to your advice about their medication. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the interpersonal skills necessary to handle these situations effectively. In your answer, explain that you would try to understand why they’re resisting and find a way to help them see things from your perspective.

Example: “I’ve encountered this situation before at my current job. The patient was taking a blood pressure medication but didn’t want to take it because of its side effects. I explained to her that there were other medications she could take that wouldn’t cause as many side effects. She agreed to start taking those instead.

In this situation, I would first try to understand where the patient is coming from. I would listen to what they had to say and try to put myself in their shoes. Then, I would try to convince them by explaining how the medication can improve their health.”

What is your process for handling multiple patients at once in a clinic setting?

This question can help interviewers understand how you prioritize your work and manage multiple tasks at once. Use examples from previous experience to explain the steps you take to ensure you’re meeting patients’ needs while also completing other important tasks.

Example: “In my last role, I often had multiple patients waiting for me in the pharmacy area of the clinic. To make sure that all of my patients were getting the care they needed, I would first check on each patient to see if they had any questions or concerns about their medications. Then, I would fill out prescriptions for each patient before checking back with them again to answer any additional questions they may have.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to research and recommend a new medication for a patient.

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your critical thinking skills and ability to research information. Use examples from your experience that highlight your problem-solving abilities, attention to detail and communication skills.

Example: “In my previous role as an outpatient pharmacist, I had a patient who came in for his regular medication refill. He told me he was experiencing some side effects from the current medications he was taking, so I asked him what other medications he had tried. He mentioned one medication that sounded like it could help with his symptoms but also had some potential side effects. I researched the medication thoroughly and found that while there were some side effects associated with the drug, they were less severe than those of the current medications he was taking. I explained all of this to him and recommended the new medication.”

If a patient was taking a medication that was no longer necessary, how would you approach them about discontinuing it?

This question can help the interviewer assess your interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with patients. Your answer should demonstrate that you are able to speak with patients about their medications in a clear, concise way.

Example: “I would first explain why I am recommending they stop taking the medication. If it is due to an improvement in their condition, I will discuss how long it may take for them to notice any changes. If it is because of side effects or other reasons, I will make sure to thoroughly explain all alternatives and what discontinuing the medication means for the patient.”

What would you do if you noticed that a patient was consistently taking their medication incorrectly?

Pharmacists are responsible for educating patients about their medication and how to take it. This question helps the interviewer assess your ability to handle challenging situations with patients. In your answer, explain that you would first try to educate them on how to correctly take their medication. If they continue to take it incorrectly, you would consider changing their prescription or refer them to a doctor.

Example: “I have had this situation happen before at my previous job. I noticed that one of my patients was taking his medication incorrectly because he was experiencing side effects from it. I explained to him why he should be taking his medication in the way that I prescribed it. He insisted that he wanted to change it, so I referred him to another pharmacist who could help him find an alternative.”

How well do you understand the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations on pharmaceuticals?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is a government agency that regulates the production, sale and use of pharmaceuticals. The FDA’s regulations are designed to ensure patient safety when using medications. An interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of these regulations and how you apply them in your work as an outpatient pharmacist. In your answer, try to show that you understand the importance of following these regulations and have experience doing so.

Example: “I am very familiar with the FDA’s regulations on pharmaceuticals because I worked at a hospital where we had to follow all of their rules. For example, if a doctor prescribed a certain medication for a patient, it was my job to make sure they got that exact drug. If there were any changes to the prescription, such as dosage or frequency, I would also need to update the order. These types of regulations help keep patients safe while ensuring that pharmacists like me are qualified to do our jobs.”

Do you have experience working with patients who have special needs?

Some patients may have special needs that require extra attention. Employers ask this question to make sure you are comfortable working with these types of patients and can provide the best care possible. In your answer, share an example of a time when you helped a patient who had a unique need or condition. Explain how you used your skills to help them receive their medication in a timely manner.

Example: “I once worked with a patient who was deaf. I learned basic sign language so I could communicate with her more easily. She appreciated my efforts and it made our interactions much smoother. We were able to work together to find a medication schedule that she felt comfortable with.”

When consulting with a patient about their medication, how do you determine their understanding of the information you’ve provided?

This question can help the interviewer assess your interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with patients. Your answer should demonstrate that you are able to listen to patients, ask questions and provide clear explanations of medication information.

Example: “When I am speaking with a patient about their medications, I first make sure they understand what each medication is for and how it works. Then, I ask them if they have any questions or concerns about taking the medication. If they do, I try my best to address those concerns and explain why the medication is important for their health.”

We want to make sure our patients understand how to properly take their medication. What is the best strategy for teaching patients about medication dosing?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you interact with patients and their families. Showcase your interpersonal skills by describing a time when you helped a patient or family understand medication instructions.

Example: “I find that it’s important to make sure my patients fully understand all of the information I give them about their medications, including what symptoms they should expect from taking the drug and how often they need to take it. For example, if a patient is taking an antibiotic for strep throat, I explain that they may experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea as side effects. If they have any questions after our discussion, I encourage them to ask me at any point.”

Describe your process for documenting each interaction with a patient and updating their medical records.

This question can help interviewers understand how you prioritize your work and document important information. Use examples from previous experiences to explain the steps you take when interacting with patients and updating their medical records.

Example: “I always start by asking a patient what medications they’re currently taking, including over-the-counter drugs or supplements. I also ask about any allergies they have and if there are any other health concerns that may affect my recommendations for treatment. Once I’ve gathered this information, I enter it into the computer system so I can easily access it later. Then, I review each medication the patient is taking to make sure it’s appropriate for their current condition.”

What makes you stand out from other outpatient pharmacists?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you can contribute to their team. When answering, think of a few things that make you unique or what skills you have that will help you succeed in the role.

Example: “I am passionate about helping patients find solutions to their health problems. I also enjoy working with other pharmacists to create new treatment plans for patients who are struggling with chronic conditions. In my last position, I worked with an oncologist to develop a medication plan for a patient with cancer. The patient was able to reduce her dosage by 50% while still managing her symptoms.”

Which pharmacy software programs are you familiar with?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your level of experience with specific software programs. If you have previous experience using a particular program, be sure to mention it and explain how you used it in your role.

Example: “I am familiar with the Medi-Touch system, which is one of the most commonly used pharmacy software systems. I’ve worked with this program for over five years now, so I’m very comfortable using it. In my current position, we use the same software, but I also know how to navigate other similar programs like Pharmacy One and RxTrace.”

What do you think is the most important part of your job as an outpatient pharmacist?

This question can help interviewers understand what you value about your work and how you would approach the responsibilities of this role. When answering, it can be helpful to identify a specific skill or quality that you feel is important for an outpatient pharmacist to have.

Example: “The most important part of my job as an outpatient pharmacist is helping patients understand their medication regimens. I find that many people are nervous when they first start taking medications, so I make sure to explain each step of the process clearly and answer any questions they may have. This helps them feel more confident in their treatment plan and ensures they’re able to take their medications correctly.”

How often do you update your knowledge of new pharmaceuticals and drug interactions?

This question can help interviewers understand your commitment to continuing education. They may want to know that you are always learning and developing new skills, which can be beneficial for the position. Use examples of how you stay up-to-date on pharmaceutical advancements or other relevant information about the industry.

Example: “I am passionate about my career as a pharmacist because I enjoy helping people. As a result, I have been committed to staying up-to-date on the latest developments in the field since I graduated from pharmacy school. For example, I recently attended a conference where I learned about the newest medications available to patients with certain conditions. I also learned more about drug interactions and how they can affect patient care.”

There is a new medication that could help a patient with their condition, but there isn’t a lot of research on its long-term effects. Would you recommend it to them?

An interviewer may ask this question to see how you would make a decision that could affect the health of a patient. Use your answer to show that you are willing to take risks when necessary, but also prioritize safety and quality care for patients.

Example: “I would recommend it if I felt confident in my knowledge of the medication’s effects on the body. If there is little research available, then I would explain to the patient why we don’t know much about its long-term effects. I would tell them that they can choose whether or not to try the new medication, but that I will always be here to support them either way.”


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