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Pharmacy Technician Interview
Questions

27 Questions and Answers by
| Ryan has over 10 years of experience interviewing
candidates in the healthcare, public service, and private manufacturing/distribution industries.

Question 1 of 27

How do you keep yourself up to date on new medications and practices in the field?

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Pharmacy Technician Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    How do you keep yourself up to date on new medications and practices in the field?

      In a constantly changing field, Pharmacy Technicians must stay up to date to keep up with the times on the job. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are invested in your career by seeking further education for yourself in the field. Be sure to talk about any training you attend, publications you read or career related groups that you belong to.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Having worked in the field for what has been eight short years, a lot has changed in that time. New drugs are continuously being approved by the FDA and new regulations are passed regularly as well. By being certified as a tech, I have greatly looked forward to and taken part in the continuing education requirements. These credits have enabled me to be able to learn and adapt to a changing career."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Being new to the field, I became a member of the NPTA and receive both the "Technician Today" magazine and their e-newsletters. After just starting to receive these, I can see that I will be able to learn a lot about changes in the field moving forward."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I receive emails from different online pages with interesting articles about new medications or changes or anything new going on in the medical field. One of them is pocketbook.com"

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is great! If possible, offer up 2-3 specific names so that the interviewer can see that you follow reputable resources.

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  2. 2.

    How do you handle times where customer waiting times are longer than normal and customers become uneasy or even mad?

      For this question, your interviewer will be looking for you to remain calm and stay focused during times where things get hectic in the pharmacy. If possible, think of a time where you had to work under this type of pressure and explain the step-by-step approach you and your team took to ensure that customers were handled to the best of your abilities and to their satisfaction.

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current position working in a large retail pharmacy, we can get very backed up at times. When I am working the front register, communication is very key for me both between my coworkers and with the patients. As I process each customer, I let them know the wait time before the pharmacist will be able to speak with them and I ask them to wait to the side. At the same time, I am communicating with our tech that is processing orders. It is a smooth process that keeps things flowing nicely. If I notice customers becoming irritated, I announce a wait time for those at the back of the line based on my best judgement."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Customer service is something that I take very seriously and this can be noted in my time working as a waiter through college. If customers became frustrated due to time concerns, I learned quickly that the best way to ease their minds was to give them a clear expectation of wait times for a meal. In the pharmacy setting, communication and teamwork will transfer well in keeping customers informed of their wait times and working closely as a team to continue to meet those deadlines."

      View answer examples for this question >

  3. 3.

    Give me an example of your leadership ability?

      Your leadership ability is a reflection of your initiative and collaboration with others, among several other qualities. Talk about a time you led a team to success, whether it was a sports team or a day in the pharmacy. Companies like to hire leaders because they are reliable and trustworthy. A good leader listens to their coworkers and their boss and communicates effectively. How have you embodied these qualities in the past?

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my current position, I am one of the lead techs for training new employees in our department. As part of my training with new techs, I walk them through the training on policies and procedures in the department as well as the day to day duties we provide. I lead and train using great communication skills and leading by example."

      Heather's Answer

      "During my high school years, I was a team captain for my volleyball and basketball teams. As a leader on these teams, I promoted teamwork among my peers and communicated the plays that we were running. These are skills that I will be able to bring to the workplace by being a team player and great communicator with the other members of my team."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "As the lead tech, the other techs always come to me to ask me when they don't understand something since I am always the first one to know the new changes or go to further training. I like to share all I learn with others so we can all be on the same page."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your answer shows a great deal of teamwork but also the qualities of a true leader...mentorship and helpfulness, being the first to take additional training, etc. Nicely done!

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  4. 4.

    How would your co-workers describe you?

      Think about positive traits others use to describe you. Focus on the characteristics that are most valued in the workplace. Explain why your coworkers think you have these traits or an experience that shows off these characteristics. Prepare two or three examples that you can use in your interview. These examples can also be applied when talking about your strengths, another potential interview question.

      Ryan's Answer

      "My coworkers have consistently said that I am easy to work with because of my pleasant attitude and my ability to work as a team. I pride myself on being positive at work and this tends to radiate to those that I work closely with."

      Heather's Answer

      "If you were to talk to any of my current co-workers or classmates, the would point out that I am a dedicated person that put 100% into everything that I do. By being focused both on the job and in school, my work is detailed and completed thoroughly with no mistakes and I am proud of the fact that I learned this dedication from my parents at a young age."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "My co-workers can describe me as a hard-working, reliable, responsible, and a good listener. They know I'm always available when they need me to help with a project, stay overtime to help them or listen if they need someone to talk to."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You sound like an incredibly solid person! A good hire, indeed :)

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  5. 5.

    How do you work as part of a greater team? What role do you find yourself taking on in a team environment?

      Pharmacy Technicians work with a variety of people through their workday and functioning in a larger team is extremely important. Depending on the setting that you may be working in, you may work with Pharmacists, Nurses, Physicians or any other hospital, clinic or retail staff. Your interviewer will be looking to hear that you are willing to do what it takes to help the greater good of the organization and that you are able to work with people from different walks of life and that work in different jobs.

      Ryan's Answer

      "The team-based atmosphere at my current job is very inspiring and makes work both productive and fun. I work closely with our Pharmacists and am able to take direction from them on a daily basis while also being able to discuss issues with them. My fellow techs and I are a great team together and we bounce ideas off of each other and help each other out whenever needed. In this team environment, I am definitely a leader among my technicians."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Teamwork is vital in any work environment and its extremely important in a pharmacy setting. I will be dealing with powerful medications and communication between myself, me fellow technicians and the pharmacists is something I will take great pride in. During my schooling, I worked for a large retail establishment where I quickly became a lead in my department. In that role, I was tasked with leading pre-shift meetings and helping train new staff and I loved being in a lead type role."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "As the pharmacy tech with more experience, I have the lead role, I train new techs and help them when they have questions. I am also in charge of calling Dr's offices to verify prescriptions or ask them to finish the pa forms I start for them."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It sounds as though you have a great amount of experience taking the lead, naturally. Very nice answer!

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  6. 6.

    What do you enjoy most about working in the pharmaceutical field?

      Talk about your favorite aspect of the job. If you're new to the field, think about what you're looking forward to learning. Talk about some of your on the job training and what you enjoyed about it.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I like working in an environment where I am constantly learning. I like being challenged. There are always changes to regulations and new information a."

      Heather's Answer

      "Being both a people person and someone that is knowledgeable in science and chemistry made this field very interesting for me to pursue. I love the fact that I'll be getting the opportunity to work with pharmacists, hospital staff and patients on a regular basis while utilizing my pharmacy skills at the same time."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I like everything from inputting, filling, receiving the order, working with my coworkers, pharmacist, and help customers."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It seems that you have a well-rounded interest in all of your daily tasks. Nice answer.

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  7. 7.

    What do you know about our pharmacy?

      Before your job interview, make sure you are familiar with the company's mission and values. We recommend visiting the company website, reading employee reviews or talking to anyone you know that works there to learn as much as you can. You want to be able to talk about what you like about the company so that you can convince them you're the best fit for the role. Your interest in current seasonal promotions and ongoing events shows them how well you would integrate into this position and the culture of the company. Watch the videos on their website and take note of the information on their careers page if one is available. If you're not clear on something you read or heard, ask about it!

      Ryan's Answer

      "Being a small, independent pharmacy, I love the fact that you give so much back to the community. Having grown up here, this city is very important to me and I look forward to the opportunity to help in contributing giving back to it."

      Heather's Answer

      "One of the students a year ahead of me was hired here a year ago and has nothing but great things to say about this organization. In coming into the field, I knew that I wanted to work in a retail pharmacy for the unique customer base as well as work for a large, established employer. I know that your organization values both employees and their customers and I would be honored to work for a company that holds those values."

      View answer examples for this question >

  8. 8.

    Give me an example of one of your past jobs that required great attention to detail.

      You could expand upon this example, sharing the type of technology you used and articulating the details of this aspect of the job. Showing that you can follow through with tasks using accuracy and precision will give the interviewer confidence that you can handle the responsibility of interpreting doctor's orders. Can you pay close attention the names and quantities of medications? Prove you can be entrusted with handling the details of your future job.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Because of so many look alike and sound alike medications, putting supplies away requires a great amount of attention to detail. If I place a bottle on the wrong shelf and it is used it could cause harm to the patient. Due to this, I have a system for double checking my work to ensure that items are in the right place."

      Heather's Answer

      "Filling prescriptions each day requires attention to detail. If I'm not giving each prescription my 100% attention, I could make an error and hurt someone severely. During my college years, I worked a"sa waitress where attention to detail was extremely important. I was able to multitask many tables at a time in a busy restaurant environment and I was required to pay attention to the needs of all of my customers. I believe these skills will transfer greatly to this position. "

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I am a medication aide and dispense medications to residents in a long-term facility. All residents' medications are put in a cart. I need to do triple checks (pick; pull; put back) and make sure I get the right medication to the right resident and put it back in the right spot."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your response shows a great ability to work carefully and with intention.

      "As a medication aide, I dispense medications to residents in a long term care facility. All residents' medications are placed in a cart. My job is to triple check to ensure I have the right medication to the correct resident, and that it's put back in the original spot. I call this system pick, pull, put back."

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  9. 9.

    Give me an example of how you are dependable.

      A great way to prove that you can be relied upon is to be consistently on time. Be sure to set the standard by arriving at least a few minutes early before your interview. Map out the route and go the day before so that you know where it is and how long it will take. You could also talk about a time you followed through with something even in the face of conflict. Consistency in your work shows you are dependable as well.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I do my best to show up to work 15 minutes early, just in case something comes up on my way there that might set me back. Traffic can be unpredictable, and it's important to me to be on time."

      Heather's Answer

      "My attendance record at the job I held through my schooling was perfect, even during times where school and family life were hectic. My mother instilled this trait in me when I was young and I'm very appreciative that she taught me this responsibility as a young man."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I'm flexible to go to work on my day off if my manager needs me. I can change my shifts, stay overtime when someone else calls in sick, and attend conference calls when the other person is not able."

      Rachelle's Answer

      These are precise ways in which you are reliable. Wonderful answer!

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  10. 10.

    How do you verify that a prescription is valid in this line of work?

      In today's world, fraudulent prescriptions are being passed along to pharmacies at an alarming rate. Your role as a Pharmacy Technician is often the first line of defense in spotting a fraudulent prescription. If possible, talk about any formal training that you've had in this area and how you've worked closely with your Pharmacists to help prevent these from reaching the hands of people that they shouldn't.

      Here is a sample answer: "With my current employer, I receive training on the warning signs of a fraudulent prescription. My first step when receiving a new prescription is to look at the drug and the dosage to verify it is within the norm. Then, I verify the provider that prescribed and where they are from. If any warning signs come out, it is the job of my on-staff pharmacist to work with the patient directly and to address them directly."

      Ryan's Answer

      "With my current employer, I receive training on the warning signs of a fraudulent prescription. My first step when receiving a new prescription is to look at the drug and the dosage to verify it is within the norm. Then, I verify the provider that prescribed and where they are from. If any warning signs come out, it is the job of my on-staff pharmacist to work with the patient directly and to address them directly."

      Ryan's Answer

      "During my schooling, we received training on the proper steps to verify a prescription. Red flags like a prescribing provider from far away and a new patient are things that should be brought to the pharmacists attention to address with the customer."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I check for different things in the prescription like the ink, watermark, Drs Dea, and NPI # Drs specialty, check what kind of drug is prescribed."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Wonderful! It sounds as though you are very careful to ensure that each prescription you receive is valid.

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  11. 11.

    What do you do in your free time?

      This question is a bit similar to 'Tell me about yourself.' Share a few things that are relevant to the job and give the interviewer insight into your personality. Since you'll be working with people, talking about spending time with friends would be a good thing to share. You can mention hobbies that require attention to detail, like reading and writing. You can talk about sports that require perseverance or goal setting, like distance running. Be yourself! Maybe consider sharing something that makes you unique that will stand out above other candidates.

      Ryan's Answer

      "To best keep myself refreshed outside of work, my children's lives are my life and we travel to baseball, softball, hockey and dance competitions just about every weekend that we can. On top of them, our family likes to spend as much time as we can with our close friends grilling, camping and cooking together."

      Heather's Answer

      "I volunteer at a homeless shelter in my free time. I like to give back to my community through volunteer work. On top of that, I have two dogs that occupy most of free time while at home."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "In my free time, I like to relax, read books, meditate, and go out with my friends."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good answer! You are showing the interviewer that your life is very fulfilling, inside and outside of work.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  12. 12.

    What would you do if you suspect a customer is a drug seeker?

      With the rise of abuse in opiates and pain killers, pharmacies have seen a dramatic increase in people coming in with fraudulent prescriptions. If possible, let the interviewer know of any protocols that you've worked under if these situations were to arise. If you have a specific example of a time where you encountered a drug seeking customer, let your interviewer know how you handled that situation.

      Ryan's Answer

      "With my current employer, we've been trained to spot potentially fraudulent prescriptions and behaviors of people looking for drugs. We have specific protocol in place if we ever suspect this is the case where we inform the pharmacist right away to handle the customer. Just recently, a man came in with a prescription from two states away that just didn't look right. When I informed him I needed to grab the pharmacist, he became very angry and shouted profanities in front of other customers. The pharmacist quickly told him we wouldn't fill the prescription and he was asked to leave. Luckily, he did without incident."

      Ryan's Answer

      "If I suspected that a customer is looking for medication outside of the scope of a legit prescription, I would immediately speak to the pharmacist on duty. It is their responsibility to either fill or deny a prescription based on their knowledge and best judgement."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "After working in the pharmacy for almost ten years, I learned to recognize drug seekers. After I suspect that, I let my pharmacist know so he can call the Dr's office and verify the prescription. As our policy said, let the patient know we have to verify the prescription."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Excellent! Your plan shows professionalism and care. Well done.

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  13. 13.

    Where do you see yourself in five years?

      Think about your career goals before your interview. It is likely that you will be asked a question similar to this. Be prepared to talk about how your role as a pharmacy tech will fits into your five year plan. Don't have a plan? Take some time to look at your options. Research the career path of a pharmacy tech. You could work as a lead pharmacy tech or decide to go to pharmacy school. The options are endless!

      Ryan's Answer

      "In all honesty, my job search is solely due to me looking for a long-term, stable employer that I can eventually retire from. I love my career as a Pharmacy Technician and I really like everything that I have heard about your organization. Five years from now, I hope to be working here as a tech."

      Heather's Answer

      "My career goal is to pursue a doctorate degree in Pharmacy. My plan right now is to work full time as a Pharmacy Technician and work towards my bachelor's degree over the next four to five years. From there, I will look to pursue my doctorate. It is important for me to find an employer where I will be able to learn and grow and hopefully remain employed once I become a pharmacist."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I will like to be working as a lead tech in this company and maybe attending a nursing or PA program."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You seem to have a lot of direction, which is great! Would you be working the nursing or PA program in tandem with your job? It's important to address this so that the interviewer does not worry that you would leave your job once you return to school.

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  14. 14.

    Who is your greatest role model?

      Keep your answer career focused for this question. Your role model can be anyone who has inspired you to pursue your education and training. Sometimes family members motivate you or a close friend. There may be researchers in the medical field who's work caught your interest when you were in college. Talk about how your role model inspired you. What qualities do they embody? What did they do that motivated you to persevere through the challenges in your life?

      Here is a sample answer: "My greatest role model in my life was my grandfather. Having owned a dairy farm for his entire working life, he taught me the value of hard work at a very young age. From the time I was a young girl, I spent many days with him milking cows and tending to the other chores around the farm. Watching my grandmother and him go through positives and negatives in his business while he kept a very positive attitude has always been an inspiration to me in my work life."

      Ryan's Answer

      "My greatest role model in my life was my grandfather. Having owned a dairy farm for his entire working life, he taught me the value of hard work at a very young age. From the time I was a young girl, I spent many days with him milking cows and tending to the other chores around the farm. Watching my grandmother and him go through positives and negatives in his business while he kept a very positive attitude has always been an inspiration to me in my work life."

      Heather's Answer

      "My older cousin is currently working as a Pharmacy Technician while pursuing her doctor of pharmacy degree. When I was coming out of high school, she had so many good things to say about the field and that getting years of experience as a Pharmacy Tech is vital to eventually pursuing a career as a Pharmacist. I plan to pursue my doctorate someday as well."

      View answer examples for this question >

  15. 15.

    What do you enjoy most about being a Pharmacy Technician?

      Talk about your favorite aspect of the job. If you're new to the field, think about what you're looking forward to learning. Talk about some of your on the job training and what you enjoyed about it.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I enjoy working in an environment where I am constantly learning and being challenged. There are always changes to regulations and new drugs to learn and this aspect makes each and every day different and exciting."

      Heather's Answer

      "My motivation for coming into this career was to be able to work with customers to help meet their needs. I am a people person and have loved working in customer service types of jobs when I was going through both high school and college. My love for science and my passion for working with people makes this a great career choice for me."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "I like everything about being a pharmacy tech, from inputting prescriptions to filling and ordering prescriptions, helping with inventory, etc. It is why I keep working as a tech."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It sounds like you really enjoy your job! You seem to also really like working with the customers, so perhaps you could add in a bit about that aspect as well?

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  16. 16.

    How do you keep yourself organized to be able to meet deadlines?

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  17. 17.

    What do you dislike the most about being a Pharmacy Technician?

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  18. 18.

    Have you ever worked with a Pharmacist you did not like? What didn't you like about them?

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  19. 19.

    How do you fill your downtime?

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  20. 20.

    What is the difference between prescription medicine and over-the-counter drugs?

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  21. 21.

    What do you feel are the most important qualities in being a good technician?

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  22. 22.

    How do you feel about working with customers of diverse backgrounds?

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  23. 23.

    Tell me about a stressful time in your work life. How did you handle it?

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  24. 24.

    What influenced you to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical field?

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  25. 25.

    When you reflect on your education, is there anything you would do differently?

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  26. 26.

    What hours are you available?

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  27. 27.

    What pharmacy software do you have experience working on?

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