Interview

17 Pharmacy Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

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

Pharmacy assistants are an important part of any pharmacy team. They work under the supervision of a pharmacist to provide customer service, fill prescriptions, and provide other pharmacy-related services.

If you’re looking for a pharmacy assistant job, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of common pharmacy assistant interview questions and answers.

Common Pharmacy Assistant Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the laws and regulations that govern pharmacy assistants?

Interviewers ask this question to make sure you understand the laws and regulations that govern your role. They want to know that you will follow these rules, which can help keep patients safe. In your answer, explain how you plan to stay up-to-date on any changes in the law or regulation.

Example: “Yes, I am familiar with the laws and regulations that govern pharmacy assistants. As a student, I took an online course about the laws and regulations that apply to my role. I also learned about them through my internship at a local pharmacy. I plan to continue learning about these laws and regulations throughout my career as a pharmacy assistant.”

What are some of the most important skills you have that make you a good pharmacy assistant?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have the skills and abilities necessary for this role. When answering, it can be helpful to list a few of your strongest skills and how they relate to the job.

Example: “I think my ability to multitask and prioritize tasks are two of my most important skills. In my previous position as a pharmacy assistant, I often had multiple responsibilities at once. For example, I would answer phones while checking inventory or processing prescriptions. This helped me ensure that customers always received excellent service and that the pharmacy was running smoothly.”

How would you handle a situation where you have a disagreement with the pharmacist about how a prescription should be filled?

The interviewer may ask you a question like this to assess your ability to work with others and resolve conflicts. Your answer should show that you can collaborate with pharmacists, respect their authority and learn from the experience.

Example: “If I disagreed with how the pharmacist filled a prescription, I would first try to understand why they chose to fill it in a certain way. If I still felt strongly about my approach, I would explain my reasoning and ask if there was another way we could fill the prescription that might be more suitable for the patient. The pharmacist taught me everything I know about filling prescriptions, so I value their opinion and want to do what’s best for the patients.”

What is your experience with handling and preparing prescription medications?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience level and how you might fit into their pharmacy. Your answer should include a few examples of specific tasks you’ve done in the past, such as counting pills or mixing solutions.

Example: “In my previous role, I assisted with preparing medications for patients by weighing out pills and counting them to ensure they were accurate. I also mixed liquids together to create different solutions, such as combining water and syrup to make cough syrup. In addition, I labeled bottles and bags according to the patient’s information.”

Provide an example of a time when you went above and beyond to help a patient and solve a problem.

This question can help the interviewer get a better sense of your problem-solving skills and how you might approach challenges in this role. Use examples from previous work experiences to highlight your ability to think critically, communicate effectively and solve problems under pressure.

Example: “In my last position as a pharmacy assistant, I noticed that one of our patients was having trouble affording their medication. After speaking with them about it, they told me that they were recently laid off and had no other income. I spoke with my pharmacist about the situation, and we decided to lower the cost of the patient’s medication for three months until they found another job. The patient was so grateful for our assistance and continued to come into the pharmacy for all of their needs.”

If a patient asked you about the side effects of a medication, what would be your response?

This question is a good way to test your customer service skills. It also helps the interviewer determine if you have enough knowledge about medications and their side effects. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that you would thoroughly explain all of the possible side effects to the patient.

Example: “If a patient asked me about the side effects of a medication, I would first make sure they understood what the medication was for. Then, I would list out every single side effect that I know of. If there are any side effects that I’m unsure of, I would tell them that I will find out more information for them as soon as possible.”

What would you do if you noticed that the pharmacist was having difficulty completing all of the tasks needed to serve patients that day?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you would handle a challenging situation. Your answer should show that you are willing to take on additional responsibilities and work hard when needed.

Example: “If I noticed that the pharmacist was having difficulty, I would ask if there is anything I could do to help. If they said no, I would continue with my regular tasks until they asked for assistance. If they said yes, I would offer to assist them in any way possible. For example, I might run errands or organize inventory while they serve patients.”

How well do you follow written instructions?

This question can help the interviewer determine how well you can follow written instructions and whether you have any difficulties with reading comprehension. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a time when you had to read or interpret written information in your previous role.

Example: “I find that I am very good at following written instructions because of my ability to pay attention to detail. In my last position, I was responsible for organizing inventory according to certain criteria, such as color and size. This required me to carefully read each item’s description so I could place them in the correct category.”

Do you have experience working with inventory management software?

This question can help the interviewer determine your experience with a specific type of software. If you have experience using inventory management software, share what types of systems you’ve used and how they helped you complete your job duties. If you don’t have experience working with this type of software, you can explain that you’re willing to learn it if hired.

Example: “I haven’t worked with inventory management software before, but I’m familiar with several different types of software programs for managing data. In my previous role as a pharmacy assistant, we used an electronic medical record system to keep track of patient information and prescription orders. This system was helpful in ensuring all prescriptions were filled correctly and accurately.”

When filling prescriptions, what is your process for confirming that you entered the correct information?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you ensure accuracy when working in a pharmacy. Your answer should include steps for confirming information and your reasoning behind them.

Example: “When I enter prescription information, I always double-check to make sure that I entered all of the necessary details. For example, if I’m entering a patient’s name, I’ll check that I spelled it correctly and that I included their middle initial or any other title they may have. If I’m entering their address, I’ll confirm that I spelled out the state name and zip code correctly. This helps me avoid mistakes as I work.”

We want to improve our customer service scores. What would you do during your shift to try and improve customer satisfaction?

Customer service is an important aspect of working in a pharmacy. Employers ask this question to see if you have any ideas for improving customer satisfaction at their pharmacy. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to improve the customer experience. Show that you are willing to go above and beyond to help customers feel welcome and satisfied with their visit.

Example: “I think one way we could improve our customer service scores is by making sure all of our employees are friendly and helpful. I would make it my goal to greet every single person who comes into the pharmacy. If they need assistance finding something or have questions about a product, I would be happy to assist them. Another thing I would do is try to learn as much as possible about each product we sell. This will allow me to give better recommendations and answer more complex questions.”

Describe your experience with using computerized systems to enter and track patient information.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your computer skills and how you use them in the workplace. Use examples from previous work experience to describe what types of systems you’ve used, how often you used them and any challenges you faced using these systems.

Example: “In my last position as a pharmacy assistant, I worked with two different computerized patient management systems. The first system was for entering prescription information into the database, which I did every time a pharmacist or doctor wrote a new prescription for a patient. This system also allowed me to track patients’ medication history so that pharmacists could see if they had filled similar prescriptions before. The second system was for tracking inventory levels and ordering supplies. I used this system daily to check our stock levels and place orders when we needed to restock.”

What makes you an ideal candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their pharmacy. Before your interview, make a list of all the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for this position. Focus on highlighting your soft skills such as communication, organization and teamwork.

Example: “I am passionate about helping others, which is why I chose to pursue a career in healthcare. Throughout my college education, I have learned many valuable skills that would be beneficial to this role. For example, I am highly organized and detail-oriented, which makes me great at following instructions and completing tasks within deadlines. I also enjoy working with people, so I am excited to join your team.”

Which pharmacy software programs have you used in the past?

Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience using the software they use in their pharmacy. If you don’t have any experience with the specific program, it’s important to show that you’re willing to learn and adapt quickly. You can answer by listing the programs you’ve used in the past and what your experience was like.

Example: “I’ve worked in two different pharmacies where we used a variety of software programs. I’m most familiar with Medi-Touch because my current employer uses it. However, I also know how to use Pharmacy Pro, which is another popular system. I find both systems easy to navigate and am confident I could get up to speed on either one.”

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

Customer service is an important part of working in a pharmacy. Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of providing excellent customer service to their customers. When answering, think about what makes you feel valued as a customer. Try to relate your answer back to how it will help you provide better care for patients and customers.

Example: “I believe that empathy is the most important aspect of customer service. As a patient or customer, I want to know that someone understands my needs and wants. If they can empathize with me, then they can provide better care and services. In my last role, I was often on the receiving end of customer service. I noticed that the employees who were kind and empathetic always provided better service than those who weren’t.”

How often do you perform inventory checks?

This question can help the interviewer determine how familiar you are with inventory management. They may also want to know if you have experience performing this task independently or as part of a team. Use your answer to highlight any specific skills you have that could benefit the pharmacy.

Example: “At my current job, I perform an inventory check every two weeks. This is usually done in teams of three, and we each take turns checking different areas of the store. We use our phones to scan items for price checks and compare them to what’s on the computer system. If there are any discrepancies, we note it and discuss solutions with the pharmacist.”

There is a discrepancy in the amount of medication that is supposed to be in stock compared to what is actually in the supply cabinet. What would you do?

This question is a great way to determine how you would handle an error in the pharmacy. It also shows that employers want assistants who are detail-oriented and can help ensure their pharmacies have accurate records of inventory. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to resolve the discrepancy and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Example: “I would first check with my supervisor to see if they knew about the discrepancy. If not, I would then count all medications in stock to make sure there was no mistake. If there was still a difference between what should be in stock and what actually is, I would contact the supplier to find out why. They may have sent us more medication than we ordered or maybe some of our supply went missing.”

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