Top 35 Pharmacist Interview Questions (Example Answers Included)

By Mike Simpson

Pharmacists play a critical role in the medical community. They dispense prescription medications, ensuring patients have what they need to feel better or get well. Often, pharmacists also act as counselors, advising patient’s on how to take their medications effectively and safely.

Many pharmacists also do more. They might offer blood pressure monitoring services, administer vaccinations, handle cholesterol screenings, and provide smoking cessation consultations, just to name a few.

Oh, and don’t forget, pharmacists can make bank. Annual salaries around $128,090 are the norm, and some even bring in over $161,900 a year.

Not bad, right?

If the idea of being a pharmacist is appealing, then you need to be able to nail your pharmacist interview questions. That way, you can show a hospital, clinic, drug store, or other facilities that you have what it takes to treat their patients right. If you’re ready to shine during your pharmacist interview, here’s how you can pull it off.

How to Answer Pharmacist Interview Questions

Okay, you’re here for the example pharmacist interview questions and answers; we know that. But before we dig into those, we need to go over something incredibly important: how to tackle pharmacy interview questions.

If you don’t have a great strategy for handling questions, you might stumble during your meeting with the hiring manager. There’s always a chance the hiring manager will ask a question you didn’t expect. If you don’t have a formula for answering the pharmacist interview questions and you’re caught off-guard, you might not offer the best answer. And that’s no good.

Luckily, you can craft an amazing formula for success. With that and a few practice pharmacy interview questions, and you’ll be ready to go.

Begin by tracking down that pharmacist job description. Scour it for helpful details, particularly anything discussing must-have skills and traits. You’ll learn a ton about what the hiring manager wants to find in a candidate, giving you clues about what they’ll probably ask.

But there’s still more to learn. If you head to the organization’s website and social media pages, you can find out about its priorities. Some hiring managers are even going to ask what you know about the organization directly, so, at a minimum, this will help if you encounter that question.

However, even if you don’t, it’s ridiculously useful. You can position your answers to align with any priorities you discover. That may let you stand out from the pack.

MIKE'S TIP: If you’re interviewing for a healthcare organization, make sure you also dig into recent news. Most hospitals and clinics are incredibly proud of their accomplishments. By learning about what they’ve been up to lately, you can mention it during the interview and, if it was an advancement or helped the community, express your admiration or appreciation. It’s a great way to go the extra mile when interviewing for any healthcare job, so make the effort if you really want to impress.

After that, it’s also wise to review general job interview questions. You can get comfortable with working the various details into different kinds of answers. This increases your job interview adaptability, and that can make a big difference.

Okay, but what behavioral interview questions? They don’t have a right or wrong answer, so is there a way to increase your odds of nailing them?

Yes, there is a way to nail behavioral interview questions. Mostly, it’s about having a great technique. The easiest way to go is to start with the STAR Method and mix it with the Tailoring Method. Your responses will be relevant and interesting, making it easier to stand out in the eyes of the hiring manager.

Top 3 Pharmacist Interview Questions

Overall, there are more than 309,000 pharmacists positions spread across the country. By and large, supply typically equals demand, at least on a national scale. That means there’s a decent chance you’ll face competition when you go for a pharmacist job.

Luckily, you’ve got a sound strategy to help you excel. So, what comes next? Well, the example pharmacist interview questions and answers, of course!

Now, each pharmacist position might be a little different. Some only handle medications and patient counseling, while others offer a range of supplementary services. That means some candidates might face different pharmacy interview questions than others.

However, many of the roles have a ton in common, so certain questions are almost guaranteed to come up. With that in mind, here’s a look at the top three pharmacist interview questions around:

1. What steps do you take to remain up-to-date on new medications?

The world of prescription medications is always changing. New drugs are released regularly across a variety of categories, and pharmacists do need to keep up with the latest advances.

With this question, the hiring manager is trying to find out what you do on your own to ensure your knowledge remains current. Usually, the best approach is to discuss the various mechanisms that help you do that.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“Remaining up-to-date on new medication is greatly important to me. To make sure I am well-informed, I subscribe to a variety of trade publications and newsletters. Additionally, I am a member of a pharmacist professional organization, providing me with a strong network of other professionals who frequently share details they discover.

I also follow thought leaders on social media and various article platforms. When possible, I attend industry conferences. Finally, I believe continuing education isn’t just a requirement, but an opportunity to ensure any knowledge gaps are filled, including in regards to emerging treatment options.”

2. How do you ensure patients are properly educated about their medications?

As a pharmacist, a core part of your job is to make sure patients understand what their medication is, what it will do, and how to take it properly. A significant amount of their day may be dedicated to patient education, so hiring managers ask this question to learn how you manage it.

EXAMPLE ANSWER:

“When it comes to patient education, I make sure it’s a priority. Whenever a patient picks up a prescription they’ve never taken before, I ask that they step aside to have a conversation. Additionally, I make sure every patient is asked if they have questions or would like to discuss their prescription.

At that point, I discuss what the medication is and its intended purpose. Next, I cover how it should be taken, including frequency and whether meals are required.

Then, I review any side effects, ensuring patients are aware of what to watch out for and what may occur, but isn’t always concerning. Finally, I cover the basics of why sharing medications can be dangerous before opening up to any questions they may have. Generally, I’ve found this approach to be efficient and thorough, so it’s my go-to-strategy each time.”

3. When you work in a high-volume pharmacy, providing excellent customer service can be challenging. How do you make sure you excel when it comes to patient care while still managing your other responsibilities?

Customer service is critical for pharmacies, ensuring patients feel respected and looked after. However, it can be challenging for pharmacists to excel in this area, particularly when they work for a high-volume, high-traffic pharmacy.

Hiring managers want to know you can handle it even when you’re busy. That’s why they ask this question.

“Customer service is always a priority for me. If a customer needs assistance, they are going to get my full attention.

Additionally, I aim to greet every incoming customer with a smile, and use their name during discussions. I ask how they are before asking if they have questions. If they do, I remain focused on them until I’ve answered every one, ensuring they know they are valued and important in my eyes.”

32 More Pharmacist Interview Questions

Here are 32 additional pharmacist interview questions candidates might face:

    1. Why did you choose a career as a pharmacist?
    2. Why do you want to work here?
    3. Are you experienced with administering vaccines?
    4. If you believe you are witnessing drug-seeking behavior, what would you do?
    5. Do you have experience managing on-the-job disputes between technicians?
    6. What is the biggest challenge the pharmacy community is facing?
    7. Have you previously worked in a high-volume pharmacy?
    8. If you believe you made a medication mistake but didn’t think of it until after the patient left, what would you do?
    9. What would you do if a customer asked about a medication you haven’t heard of?
    10. Describe the biggest challenge you’ve faced on the job.
    11. If a patient was undergoing a complex medical treatment, how would you explain it in a way that they could understand?
    12. Tell me about a time you failed to meet a patient’s expectations.
    13. What would you do if a patient claimed they only received part of their prescription antacid when they picked up their last refill? Would you act differently if the drug was an opiate?
    14. Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
    15. What is the most critical aspect of a pharmacist’s job from a business perspective?
    16. Tell me about a time when you had to use your research skills on the job.
    17. If a patient couldn’t afford all of their medications, what would you do?
    18. If a patient has questions but doesn’t speak English, what would you do?
    19. Is your license current?
    20. Which of your traits makes you best equipped to excel as a pharmacist?
    21. If a customer presented a prescription that you believed to be a fake, what would you do?
    22. Tell me about a time when you had a particularly difficult customer. How did you handle the situation?
    23. If a pharmacy technician who is usually accurate started making mistakes, what would you do?
    24. What would you do if a pharmacy tech did not arrive on time?
    25. If a pharmacy technician disagreed with you about a decision, what would you do?
    26. What is your best professional habit? What about your worst?
    27. How would you guide a patient through a difficult medical situation?
    28. If a customer was taking a supplement that could interact with their medication, how would you handle the conversation? What would you do if they refused to stop taking the supplement?
    29. If an inventory check revealed that some of an opioid medication was missing or unaccounted for, what would you do? What if only one pill was missing?
    30. Tell me about a time when jumping to a conclusion backfired.
    31. How would you go about hiring a new pharmacy tech?
    32. If a patient became worried about the side effects of a new prescription to the point where they weren’t sure they wanted to take it, what would you do?

5 Good Questions to Ask at the End of a Pharmacist Interview

When your interview comes to an end, you’ll have a chance to ask some questions yourself. Having a few ready is a must, as it shows you’re engaged and interest in the role. If you don’t know what to ask, here are some questions you can keep at the ready.

    1. How many patients or prescriptions does this pharmacy handle in a day?
    2. What is the required turnaround time for filling new prescriptions here that don’t require extra steps, like clarification from a doctor or solving an insurance issue?
    3. How many pharmacy technicians or other support staff are available? What are the leadership responsibilities associated with that team?
    4. What does a typical day look like in this job?
    5. What are the biggest challenges this pharmacy faces?

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, working as a pharmacist can be lucrative and rewarding. With the tips above, you can make landing your next pharmacist job easier than ever. Use the information to your advantage, ensuring the hiring manager see how amazing of a candidate you really are.

Good luck!

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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.