Your patient's feedback will say a lot about you as a Pharmacist. Let the interviewer know that your patients would say that you are knowledgeable, kind and helpful. Go ahead and share a brief story about a time you helped a patient and they let you know how much it meant to them.
"My patients would say that I'm a very patient person. I pride myself on being a very patient person, especially with my elderly patients. Sometimes just being patient and taking a few extra moments with them means a lot."
Getting a simple 'thank you' from a patient could be all you need to know that you are making a difference in your patient's lives. Tell the interviewer about positive feedback you've received when you made the right call. Share a story about a time that you worked directly with medical staff and monitored the patients progress based on a change that you made in their medication.
"I was able to put a stop to a patient's shopping around for narcotics. By bringing the situation to light, I was able to help the patient realize that they were in a bad situation and that they needed to seek rehabilitation."
This is a unique interview question so be careful with your answer. Don't tell the interviewer that you would be sleeping off your hangover from the night before or sitting in your man-cave on hour 12 of playing video games. Share an example of something positive that shows you lead a positive and active lifestyle outside of work.
"If I wasn't here right now I would be at home playing catch with my son. His first softball game is this weekend and we've been practicing quite a bit for it."
Building positive and professional working relationships is important to have in your pharmacy. Your interviewer wants to know that you're the type of person who will make the first move to build and mend relationships on the job. There can be miscommunication and confusion on the job in the midst of handling crisis situations. What do you do in order to ensure optimal cooperation and teamwork?
"On my first day, I plan on bringing in baked goods. My hobby is baking and I think a great way to break the ice is through food. I think that by bringing in goodies, my new coworkers will know that I'm genuine and will see my excitement to start the job and be part of the team."
Long hours, odd shifts, exhausting patients and hard to work with employees are all part of the job as a Pharmacist. Tell the interviewer how you balance your day and want to get up and do it again the next day. Tell the interviewer you are able to leave your work at work and enjoy your downtime with your family. Tell your interviewer about your mentor and that you bounce ideas off them and get advice and guidance from them on how to be successful without getting burnt out.
"I do yoga each morning for 30 minutes before my shift. Yoga is my way of releasing any stress that I may have so I start each day off fresh."
The interviewer can see your qualifications and accomplishments on your resume. Sometimes the interviewer is just trying to learn more about you as a person. There is no need to get caught up in trying to give the perfect response. Talk about a book you actually read and liked. If possible, talk about a book you read that is relevant to the field in which you are applying to. If the interviewer has read it too, feel free to ask their opinion on it. Be truthful in your response. Don't bring up a book title you haven't read just to please the interviewer. You might be asked a question and your inability to answer will show the interviewer that you are not a truthful person.
To prepare for this interview question, do your homework and find out what the average salary is in the location you are looking to be a Pharmacist. Remember this is just the first interview and you haven't been offered the job yet. The first interview is not the time to enter negotiations. Go ahead and give a broad salary range without selling yourself short.
"I'm looking for a salary range between 80K and 120K a year."
When answering this question, go ahead and walk the interviewer through your process of prioritizing and why it works for you. Describe the job, the work inputs and the tasks involved. Explain the different levels of importance of each task. Explain how you work with management to arrange your priorities. Describe how you manage time frames and explain why your system of prioritization works.
"I meet with my office each morning to go over what each of us has on our to-do lists for the day. Our manager helps us prioritizing by letting us know what he needs from us and what can be put on hold. If one of us has a clear schedule we offer to help the other."
Having a system that works for you and being organized is a valuable skill to have as a Pharmacist. Tell the interviewer how you manage your to-do list. Tell the interviewer if you use Outlook Calendars, Take notes during meetings, or simply like to take time each morning to plan your day out. Share the tools that have been most helpful for you. This role requires you to manage a high volume of information using systems and technology. If you have any prior experience with any of the databases or software you know you will be using, share that with the interviewer.
"I like to get to work about 15 minutes early just to plan my day. I prioritize my to-do list, review my email to see if I have any new tasks and touch base with my supervisor to see if they have any new requests from me."
As a pharmacist, you may have had the opportunity to be in a supervisory role. Tell the interviewer your ability to train others, take the initiative to solve problems and listen to clients and other staff members. If you feel your leadership experience is limited, reflect on your education and your interactions with clients and coworkers in your previous roles. Your willingness to take the lead shows you are a strong leader.
"I have not had the opportunity to serve in a leadership role. I'm confident that my knowledge and 5 years of experience have prepared me to step up and take the lead."
ALWAYS have a few questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Having questions for the interviewer shows them that you are genuinely interested in the position and not just floating your resume. Feel free to take notes after their answers.
"Why do you enjoy working here?"
The interviewer will see the experience you will bring to the position by reading your resume. Use this question to tell the interviewer something personal about your job that he won't read about you. Tell the interviewer about a particular situation you excelled in and what the impact was.
"Last week I had a coumadin clinic class to prepare for in less than 12 hours. I was able to assign roles, create a task list and lead our team to success. I would bring my leadership skills to this new job."
Make sure you do your homework before your interview. Knowing about the hospital, pharmacy and staff will show the interviewer that you are interested in their particular position and not just floating your resume. First mention their goals and mission and how you relate and appreciate their support within the community. Talk about the awards and accreditations the hospital has. Reviewing the sites annual reports is a great way to brush up on how the hospital is making a difference in the community.
We all have work stress, but how you handle it will say a lot about you as a person and as a Pharmacist. Let the interviewer know that when stressed out you sometimes just need a moment to walk away and get a soda and pick up where you left off 5 minutes later. When others are stressed out, do they come to you for advice and resolution?
"I do yoga each night with my wife. Yoga helps me relieve work stress."
When answering this question you will want to consider qualities that are relevant to this position. Good communication skills, attention to detail, and technical mindset are all important characteristics for any Pharmacist. Show off your strengths, like having a good attitude when faced with a difficult situation or being willing to go above and beyond expectations to help someone out. Don't be afraid to brag a little, but keep it relevant.
"My coworkers would describe me as a hard worker, organized and that I love my job."
As a Pharmacist, you have to complete continuing pharmacy education to maintain your professional competencies as well as your state CPE requirements. Tell the interviewer about home study CPE Activities, live activities and other training programs you have attended to keep your certification current. Go ahead and tell the interviewer about course or workshop you attended that you enjoyed and learned from.
Show your passion for being a Pharmacist when answering this question. Steer clear of the financial reasons or flexible schedule. Tell the interviewer why you love the job. Tell them about your passion for helping people or that you want to work with state of the art technology.
"Being a part of the patient's recovery is what I enjoy most about being a Pharmacist."
As a Pharmacist, one of your many jobs is to track patient compliance and usage of medication and maintain communication with Providers. Tell the interviewer that you would make time to do the research to track the patient's usage over the last year to determine if there was a trend of abuse. You would work with the Dr. to inform them of the situation so they could take actions on their end as well as discontinue dispensing on yours.
"As a Pharmacist, I find myself phoning physicians to verify patient diagnoses to ensure they are using their medications correctly. Keeping the physician informed of the patient's usage is one of the ways that I monitor medication usage."
Many times the pharmacy is the last stop for sick patients. Patients have been in the facility for hours at times and they are ready to go home, not ready to sit in your lobby and wait even longer. Tell the interviewer how you would handle an upset patient. Would you allow them to vent and listen to the concern or would you stop the conversation once you noticed it was going to be heated?
"When I've had patients yell at me I just listen. Most times I've found that they are just upset with the situation and not at me. Once I'm able to hear their concern I can sometimes help them with the problem and make them happy."
This question is being asked to hear about your professional goals as a Pharmacist. Keep these goals professional goals and not personal.
"My long-term goal is to lead an industry research and development group and its clinical research program."
There are things we all dislike about our jobs but make sure you don't get wrapped up in negativity when answering this question. Don't bad mouth any co-workers or bosses. Tell the interviewer about something you dislike and how you try to make it better.
"I hate the fact that the cost of some medications is so high. After ringing a patient up the cost came to $200 dollars for one medication. The patient couldn't afford this so I took the time to contact the Dr. to see if we could substitute it with the generic. The patient's new prescription cost was $10."
The important thing to relay to the interviewer when answering this question is that you can take correction with a good attitude. Talk about how you listened, made changes and respected the person's criticism.
"Once I was asked to re-arrange a medication storage area that I had spent a lot of time on. After listening carefully to the critique, I saw how I could make changes that would strengthen the flow of the pharmacy."
Working shift work might be tempting as a Pharmacist because of the additional pay. If you are the type of person that has trouble balancing your work and family life, sleep, health, and well-being when working shift work you may want to steer clear of volunteering for this during the interview.
"I'm available occasionally for shift work but because of my husband's schedule, day shift works best."
Instead of concentrating on the word conflict think more about a miscommunication or disagreement with a Dr. The interviewer is looking to see if you discuss a heated conflict with a co-worker. This question is being asked to see your frustration and temperament. Instead of taking the bait, talk about a time where the two of you didn't see eye to eye and how you came to a resolution.
"I had a situation with a Provider who had over dosed a patient and miscalculated the weight of a patient. After professional discussion, we realized it was a miscommunication and the Dr. misread a patient weight. He may not have admitted guilt but he walked away and didn't raise his voice after I brought the error to his attention."
This interview question is similar to the 'tell us about yourself' question. This is your opportunity to tell the interviewer how your skills match their vacancy and how your goals line up with theirs. This will be your 45-second elevator speech highlighting your qualifications and accomplishments.
" I love helping people, I love keeping them safe, being their advocate and improving their quality of living."
As a Pharmacist, you track, train and counsel different types of patients. If you don't have experience with the types of clinics the position covers, be sure to describe your participation in a different teaching environment such as smoking cessation. Tell the interviewer how you stay organized and provide the best customer service and care to your specialty clinic patients as well as work on a multidisciplinary team.
"My 4 years as a pharmacist has been spent in retail. I look forward to being able to care for my patients in an educational setting as well as dispensing and educating them on their medications."
One of the advantages to becoming a Pharmacist is that you have the option to work in various locations. Community Pharmacists typically work in chain drug stores or independently owned pharmacies. Clinical Pharmacists work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. Consultant Pharmacists advise healthcare facilities or insurance providers on patient medication use or improving pharmacy services. Pharmaceutical industry pharmacists work in areas such as marketing, sales, or research and development. As a Pharmacist you may dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. You may also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.
Prospective pharmacists are required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) Chemistry, pharmacology, and medical ethics are just a few of the areas that you will study. Pharmacists must provide safe medications efficiently. To do this, they must be able to evaluate a patient’s needs and the prescriber’s orders, and have extensive knowledge of the effects and appropriate circumstances for giving out a specific medication. A few skills needed to be a successful Pharmacist are your communication skills, managerial skills,computer skills and be detail oriented.
To prepare for your interview you'll want to have you two minute elevator speech memorized. During this time you will want to talk about your education, your past and current employment and accomplishments. Practice the common interview questions such as 'tell me about yourself' and 'what are your strengths and weaknesses.' Dress professionally, bring a few copies of your resumes and references, provide good eye contact and a clear speaking voice.