Interview

22 Pharmacist Interview Questions and Answers

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

If you’re looking for a job as a pharmacist, you may be asked to participate in a job interview. During the interview, you may be asked questions about your experience, your knowledge of medications, and your understanding of the role of a pharmacist.

To help you prepare for your job interview, we’ve put together a list of common questions that pharmacists are asked during job interviews. We’ve also included sample answers to these questions to help you prepare for your interview.

How did you hear about our pharmacy?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and how you found their job posting. They want to know if you have experience working in a pharmacy, so they may also ask what pharmacies you’ve worked at before. If you don’t have any experience, explain that you saw the position online or heard about it from someone who works there.

Example: “I was looking for a new job when I came across this listing on Indeed. I noticed that this is a local company with great reviews, which made me interested in applying. I’m excited to work here because of its reputation as a friendly place to work.”

What are your greatest strengths as a pharmacist?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their team. They want to know what makes you unique as a candidate, so be sure to highlight your most positive qualities. When answering this question, it can also be helpful to mention a specific example of when you used one of your strengths to help a patient or colleague.

Example: “My greatest strength is my ability to remain calm under pressure. I have worked at several pharmacies where the workload was high, but I always managed to stay focused on helping patients. One time, there were three pharmacists out sick, so I had to work alone for an entire day. I stayed calm and helped all of our customers while still managing to fill prescriptions accurately.”

Why do you want to leave your current position?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you are motivated and eager to learn new things. It also helps them understand what your intentions are for leaving your current position. When answering this question, it is important to be honest about why you are looking for a new job but also highlight any skills or experiences that will benefit their pharmacy.

Example: “I am looking for a new opportunity because I feel like my career has plateaued at my current position. I have been working as a pharmacist for five years now, and while I love helping patients, I would like to work somewhere where I can expand my knowledge of pharmaceuticals and provide more patient care.”

What is your favorite part of being a pharmacist?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about you as an individual. It also helps them understand what motivates you and why you are passionate about your career choice. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of specific examples that highlight your favorite aspects of being a pharmacist.

Example: “My favorite part of being a pharmacist is helping patients feel better. I love seeing their faces light up when they realize how much better they feel after taking their medication. Another thing I enjoy is educating patients on how to take their medications properly so they get the most out of them.”

What is your least favorite part of being a pharmacist?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your personality and how you handle challenges. It’s important to answer honestly, but also try to find something positive in your response.

Example: “My least favorite part of being a pharmacist is when I have to tell patients that their insurance won’t cover certain medications or treatments. Patients often get upset, so it’s my job to help them understand why this happens. However, I always explain what they can do to save money on their prescriptions. For example, if they need to take medication twice a day, they may be able to switch to once-a-day instead.”

How would you describe your ideal work environment?

This question can help the interviewer determine if your personality and work style would fit in with their pharmacy. Your answer should include a few details about what you find most important in your workplace, such as how much autonomy you need or whether you prefer to work collaboratively.

Example: “I thrive in an environment where I have plenty of opportunities for professional development. In my last position, I was able to take part in several training programs that helped me learn new skills and techniques. I also enjoy working in a place where there is a positive atmosphere among staff members. I believe it’s important to support one another and collaborate on projects.”

How do you stay up to date on developments in the field?

Pharmacists must stay up to date on developments in the field. Employers ask this question to see if you have a plan for keeping your knowledge current. In your answer, explain how you learn about new information and what resources you use. Share any certifications or training you’ve completed recently.

Example: “I am always looking for ways to improve my skills as a pharmacist. I regularly read journals and articles from professional organizations. I also subscribe to newsletters that provide updates on recent research. I take online courses through an accredited university to earn continuing education credits. I find these methods are the best way to keep up with the latest news in the industry.”

What do you feel are the most important changes that have happened in pharmacy over the past few years?

This question is a great way to see how much the candidate has learned about pharmacy and its changes over time. It also shows that they are aware of what’s going on in their industry, which can be important for employers who want to hire someone who will stay with the company for a long time. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention any major changes you’ve noticed and explain why they were significant.

Example: “I think one of the most important changes in pharmacy was when pharmacists started being able to prescribe medications. This change allowed us to provide more care to our patients and helped us build stronger relationships with them. I feel like it’s made our profession even more valuable than before.”

Do you have experience working with an inventory management system?

Pharmacists often use inventory management systems to keep track of the medications they have on hand and those that need restocking. This question helps employers determine whether you’re familiar with this process and how comfortable you are using technology in your work. If you don’t have experience working with an inventory management system, consider asking a friend or family member who does for some tips before your interview.

Example: “I’ve worked with several different types of inventory management software during my career as a pharmacist. I find it helpful to use these programs because they allow me to quickly check our stock levels and ensure we always have enough medication to meet patient needs. In my last position, I helped implement a new program that made it easier for pharmacists to communicate with each other about their orders.”

What experience do you have with managing a team?

Pharmacists often work with a team of medical professionals to ensure their patients receive the best care. Employers ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you’ve managed teams in the past. Use your answer to explain what made you successful at leading a team, such as your ability to delegate tasks or your communication skills.

Example: “In my previous role, I worked with a large team of pharmacists, nurses and technicians. My experience managing this team taught me how important it is to communicate effectively with everyone on staff. I learned that if I explained my expectations clearly, my team was able to complete their assignments efficiently. This helped us provide excellent patient care while also meeting our department’s goals.”

Have you ever made a mistake when filling a prescription? What happened?

This question can help interviewers learn about your ability to admit when you make a mistake and how you handle it. It’s important to answer honestly, but also show that you learned from the experience.

Example: “I once made a mistake while filling a prescription for a patient who had multiple allergies. I accidentally gave them a medication with one of their allergens in it, which caused an allergic reaction. The patient was taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released. When I found out what happened, I immediately called the patient to apologize. They understood that mistakes happen, and we discussed ways I could prevent this from happening again.”

What is your approach to customer service?

Customer service is an important part of the job for a pharmacist. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand how important it is and what your approach is. They want someone who can provide excellent customer service while also being efficient in their work. When answering, explain that you value customer service highly and will do everything you can to ensure customers are happy with their experience at the pharmacy.

Example: “I believe that providing great customer service is one of the most important parts of my job. I know that if a patient feels comfortable coming into the pharmacy, they’re more likely to get the care they need. I always greet patients when they come in and try to answer any questions they have before they even ask them. I am also very good at remembering details about each person so I can address them by name or something else specific. This helps build trust between us.”

Have you ever disagreed with a physician or nurse practitioner regarding a treatment plan?

This question can help interviewers understand how you work with other healthcare professionals. It can also show them your ability to think critically and make decisions based on evidence. In your answer, try to explain what the disagreement was about and how you resolved it or implemented your plan.

Example: “I once had a patient who came in for their regular prescription refill. They were supposed to take two pills twice daily, but they only took one pill every day. I asked them why, and they said that’s all they needed because of their pain level. I explained that taking more than prescribed could lead to an overdose, so we discussed alternative treatments that would be safer. The patient agreed to start taking two pills per day again.”

How do you keep up with the many changes in laws and regulations related to pharmacy?

The interviewer may ask this question to see if you are committed to staying up-to-date on the latest laws and regulations related to pharmacy. This can be an important skill for pharmacists, as they must ensure that their practices comply with all relevant legislation. In your answer, try to show that you have a passion for learning about new developments in the field of pharmacy.

Example: “I am passionate about my career as a pharmacist, so I always make sure to stay informed about any changes or updates to laws and regulations. For example, I recently attended a conference where experts discussed the newest guidelines regarding prescription drug disposal. I also subscribe to several newsletters that provide valuable information about these types of changes.”

How do you prioritize the different aspects of your job?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you manage your time and workload. It can also show them what skills you use to stay organized and focused on important tasks. Use examples from past experiences that highlight your organizational skills, ability to multitask or other relevant abilities.

Example: “I prioritize my work by focusing on the most urgent matters first. For example, when I start my shift, I check in with my patients who are currently waiting for their prescriptions. Then, I fill any prescriptions that need immediate attention. After that, I focus on filling all of the prescriptions that have been placed but not yet filled. Finally, I complete any paperwork or administrative tasks that may be left over.”

Describe the steps you take when verifying a prescription.

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform this important task. You can answer by describing a step-by-step process for verifying prescriptions, or you can describe how you would go about doing it if you haven’t done so before.

Example: “I first look at the prescription form to make sure all of the information is correct. I then check the doctor’s signature to ensure it matches the one on file. Next, I compare the patient’s name to their ID to make sure they match. Finally, I double-check the drug name, dosage amount and instructions to make sure everything is accurate.”

How do you make sure your staff is properly trained in all areas of pharmacy?

This question can help interviewers understand how you ensure your staff is able to perform their jobs well. Your answer should show that you are a strong leader who knows how to train and develop others.

Example: “I make sure my staff members have the necessary training before they start working on their own. I also hold monthly meetings where we discuss any changes in our pharmacy, including new medications or procedures. This helps everyone stay up-to-date with what’s going on at work. In addition, I encourage my team members to ask questions when they’re unsure of something so we can address it together.”

How do you tell a customer that a medication is not covered by insurance?

Pharmacists often have to tell customers that their medication is not covered by insurance. This can be a difficult conversation, and it’s important for the pharmacist to handle this situation with care. A hiring manager may ask you this question to see how you would respond in such a situation. In your answer, try to show empathy while also being honest about the policy.

Example: “I understand that this can be an upsetting conversation for both the customer and myself. However, I always make sure to explain why the medication isn’t covered so they know there wasn’t any way around it. If possible, I will offer them other options or similar medications that are covered.”

How do you ensure your staff is completing all necessary documentation and paperwork?

Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring that all necessary paperwork is completed and filed. This includes prescriptions, medical records and insurance claims. An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your organizational skills and how you plan to manage the administrative tasks of the job. Use examples from your experience to show that you can complete these tasks efficiently and accurately.

Example: “In my previous position, I was in charge of managing our pharmacy’s documentation system. We used a software program that allowed us to enter patient information into an electronic database. The program then automatically generated any required forms or documents we needed to file with insurance companies or other organizations. This saved me time when filing paperwork and ensured that everything was accurate.”

Describe how you would instruct a pharmacist new to the team.

This question can help interviewers understand how you would work with others and your communication skills. Use examples from previous experiences to show that you are a team player who is willing to help others succeed.

Example: “When I first started working as a pharmacist, I was nervous about making mistakes or asking questions. However, my manager noticed this and offered to give me one-on-one training sessions. During these sessions, she explained the basics of the job and answered any questions I had. She also gave me some tips on how to be more efficient in my work. After these sessions, I felt much more confident in my role and learned how to better communicate with my coworkers.”

What are your strategies for staying calm when working with high-stress situations?

Pharmacists often work with high-stress situations, such as when a customer is experiencing an allergic reaction to a medication. Employers ask this question to make sure you have strategies for remaining calm and focused in these types of situations. In your answer, explain how you stay calm under pressure. Share two or three techniques that help you remain calm during stressful situations.

Example: “I find deep breathing exercises to be very helpful when working with high-stress situations. I also try to take breaks throughout the day to give myself time to relax. Another strategy I use is positive self-talk. When I am feeling stressed, I remind myself that I can handle whatever situation arises. These strategies help me feel more confident and prepared to face any challenges that come my way.”

What are some challenges you’ve overcome in previous positions?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your problem-solving skills and how you’ve overcome challenges in the past. When answering, think of a time when you had to solve a challenging situation or problem at work. Explain what steps you took to resolve the issue and highlight any positive outcomes that resulted from your actions.

Example: “In my previous position as a pharmacist, I once encountered an overwhelming number of customers who needed assistance. This was during a busy rush hour, so there were many people waiting in line for service. To help manage the large crowd, I asked one of my colleagues to assist me with filling prescriptions while I helped customers who were waiting in line. By delegating some of my responsibilities, we were able to serve all customers within 15 minutes.”

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