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.
"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."
"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."
Consider the challenges of your future role. How will you go above and beyond to tackle the most difficult tasks? One way to show off your skills is to talk about your accomplishments from school or work. Review the job description once more to help you highlight accomplishments that are relevant to the expectations. Talking about a successful project you put together with a team or how you excelled in your internship are great examples of that speak to why any sensible employer would want to hire you.
"I have a way of bringing people together and motivating people to give 100%."
Be careful not to bad mouth your old boss! It's okay to share some qualities that might have affected you or the staff negatively. Keep your response positive. In talking about other people's flaws, share what you learned or how you learned to work with them. Sometimes the downfalls of your coworkers can be opportunities for you to share your skills. See if you can flip this question around to show off how well you handled a difficult personality.
"The pharmacist wasn't very personable. They were professional, but just not much of a people person. I love working with people, so I took it as an opportunity to shine when I worked with customers, making sure they received the best service."
"I have worked for challenging Pharmacists. I value my professional work relationships and Sometimes we agreed to disagree and that's ok."
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!
"In five years I'd like to have the opportunity to be in a leadership position in one of your pharmacies in this facility."
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.
"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."
"I currently have a schedule that allows me to pull call whenever needed with a short amount of notice. My flexibility comes in handy when someone calls in sick."
Show your understanding of how listening and empathizing with a customer helps to diffuse tension and anger.
"The customer grew more relaxed as I let them vent. I spoke to them softly and in a calm voice, which helped prevent the conversation from escalating."
"I've had a patient thank me for taking the time to listen to them, provide solutions and calm them down."
Take a look at the job description before your interview. As you review the list of responsibilities, think of the character qualities that will help you to be successful in completing those tasks. Now think of the bigger picture. What qualities will enhance the overall work environment for everyone else?
"Flexibility, communication skills and attention to detail are important qualities that I posses as a pharmacy technician."
"Patience and empathy. A lot of times our patients are sick so being patient with them and empathetic can show that you truly care about them and their wellbeing."
Prescription medication require a Dr's prescription while over-the-counter medication does not. As a Pharmacy Technician your job is to interpret and fill prescriptions written by various doctors. So be sure to know this definition.
"Prescription medication is typically something you can't purchase over the counter. Sometimes there is a version of the medication over the counter but it is generally a lower strength."
"Over the counter medications are typically available in any grocery store. I'm very familiar with helping patients pick out the best over the counter medication for their symptoms with the assistance of the pharmacist."
If you are still employed, show that you are respectful by letting the interviewer know that you want to give a two week notice. This shows you care about your work and that you're not the type of person who would quit as soon as something better comes your way.
"I'd love to start immediately, but I need to give my two weeks notice."
"I plan on moving to the area in 2 months. I can start right after I move. How is 1 July?"
Preparing for this question requires a little bit of self-awareness and strategy. Focus on a weakness that you could possibly turn into a strength. Share something you are proactively working on improving. Tell the interviewer about a weakness and show how it has helped strengthen the ability to complete tasks and reach goals. Time management is a skill that takes time! Always share what you are learning or have learned from your weakness. This shows your interviewer that you are adaptable and willing to grow.
"Sometimes I move too quickly when completing a project under a deadline, and that's when I make mistakes. I have learned to slow down and plan out how I will use my time, setting benchmarks along the way so that I can check in to gauge my status on the project and see how far I am from reaching my goal."
"Sometimes I have worked through my lunch break. I've come to realize that taking a break is necessary in order to not make mistakes. I've been better about walking away from prescriptions, handing them over to a co-worker or coming back to them after my lunch."
The pharmacy is a cultural melting pot. Each customer will be different in appearance, demeanor and communication style. You also can't predict what type of day a customer experienced before they came to the counter.
"I have no problem working with customers from all walks of life. I understand that everyone's different, and I can adapt easily to different personalities and communication styles."
"I don't change my work style or level of customer service because of a patients background."
Keep it simple. Think through the steps you take when handling difficult customers. Be prepared to give an example of how you have dealt with these types of customers in the past.
"I stay calm and I listen. I'll let a customer vent as long as they need to. Then I empathize and look for a solution or a compromise."
"I would calmly listen to the patient and If I wasn't able to help or they weren't satisfied I would get my boss to help with the situation."
Are you a people-person or would you rather stay at home and do puzzles? There is no correct answer to this question. However, take a moment to think about how it relates to the job description. As a pharmacy tech, you will be doing some customer service, but it is indeed a very technical role. You will spend time preparing prescriptions for a large portion of the time. You can still be a social person, but you will need to be able to flex your time between talking with coworkers and customers and compounding and pharmaceutical calculations.
"A few times a month we host a BBQ at our house, meet friends in town for dinner or participate in an outdoor activity with friends. We love spending time outdoors making memories."
Before your job interview, make sure you are familiar with the company 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. Be prepared to talk about how much you appreciate their values of affordable fitness or community. Whatever their mission is, you need to know it. And if you're not clear on something you read or heard, ask about it!
"I was excited to learn that you have an inpatient pharmacy as well as an outpatient pharmacy. I'm excited to get the chance to possibly move to a new area and learn new skills."
Assure the interviewer that you can handle working in a constantly changing environment. You can handle demanding customers, maintain professional relationships and fill prescriptions. Give an example that demonstrates your ability to manage stress in your life.
"Being able to spend my down time with my family is my stress relief. I enjoy gardening as well as reading in the sunshine."
"I make sure that I take lunch or at least a 30 minute break away from the pharmacy each day. Leaving the pharmacy gives me time to clear my mind and relax during my shift."
Talk about what you found difficult during your training. It may have been memorizing medical terminology or studying for long hours at a time. Share with the interviewer why it was difficult. Remember, you're role in this interview is to talk about your strengths and use weaknesses to show your adaptability.
"I struggled with biology courses in high school. When I started my online training be a pharmacy tech I knew I would need extra help in my pharmacology course, so I went to tutoring and studied hard. I passed the PTCB exam with flying colors and was able to get a job soon afterwards."
"Calculating drip rates were challenging for me. I worked with a mentor during my training that helped me learn it a different way that was easier for me to understand. I can calculate drip rates with my eyes closed now."
The best way to answer this question is to focus on what you did right. Talk about your accomplishments and how you were able to balance your workload.
"No. When I look back, I am proud of how much energy I put into my studies and my work. I grateful where I ended up and I feel like I made the right decision to pursue a career in the pharmacy field."
"I would've taken a few more credits so I could've finished a bit quicker. I wanted to take my time and not overload myself. I did so well that sometimes I kick myself for not taking on a bit more."
Texting your boyfriend and getting on social media are probably not the best responses! Even though you may need time to reset, you want your interviewer to know that you understand how valuable your time is and that you take your job seriously. If you want to stay accurate in preparing medications and prescriptions, you might need to make the most of those 10 minutes of free time after by reviewing your to-do list, checking in with your boss and then grabbing some coffee. Express to your interviewer that you use your downtime wisely.
"In a few minutes of free time I like to review my to-do list, check in with my boss and grab some coffee"
"I like to shadow the pharmacist and learn more about the medication that we are dispensing to our patients."
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?
"My mentor and pharmacist from my current place of employment. He started from the ground up, put himself through school working nights and faced many challenges along the way."
This is the time to sell yourself. Be prepared to discuss three different strengths that you can show off in the workplace. Think of the traits that make you good at your job. Reflecting back on the top qualities of a Pharmacy Technician, you may want to draw from there. Being positive, detailed and motivated are all strengths worth sharing. Next, talk about how you use this strength in the workplace.
"One of my strengths is my positive attitude. It keeps me and my co-workers in a good mood all day."
"A strength of mine is my empathy towards patients."
This is your big chance to shine! Share some of your most outstanding qualities followed by examples of each. Talk about your accomplishments that have set you apart from the rest. If the interviewer asks this question last, it's your final opportunity to convince them that you are the best candidate for the job. Draw on your strengths!
"You should hire me because of my passion for helping people. I've been a pharmacy technician for 5 years and love coming to work every day. Each day I learn something new as well as teach a colleague or patient something new."
"I have 10 years experience as a military trained pharmacy technician. I bring a new and experienced set of eyes to the team."
What sparked your interest in the field? This question gives you an opportunity to show off your communication skills. Tell the interviewer about some facts you've learned along the way that drew you to the field. Show off your intelligence and your personality. This is just one of those questions that allows the interviewer to get to know you and see how well you articulate yourself.
"I've always wanted to be behind the scenes in patient care."
What tools do you use to manage stress? Tell the interviewer that you can handle working in a constantly changing environment. You will need to be able to handle demanding customers, manage relationships with coworkers and fill prescriptions. Give an example that demonstrates your ability to manage stress in your life.
"I was studying for the Pharmacy Technician Board Exam while working full time and completing my externship. It was an extremely stressful time for me. I found that managing my time and prioritizing was the most helpful to make sure I was able to balance everything."
"While I was enrolled in school I had a hard time juggling being a parent, student and work part-time. I kept a detailed to-do list and asked for help from my family. I got past the stressful time and grew from it."
It's important to do your research before an interview. This question can be easily answered if you take the time to learn more about the organization and role beforehand. The interviewer wants to be reassured that you're not just looking for any job. What about the position stands out to you? If you are currently in the role at another company, talk about how this role is different and fulfills something that you are missing from your current job, or better yet, how this role will help you accomplish your goals.
"I'm excited at the chance to be in a leadership position. My 10 years as a pharmacy technician has given me the training and experience to lead others."
What aspects do you enjoy most about your job? What courses did you enjoy the most? Show off your knowledge when you talk about the aspects you enjoy most.
"I enjoyed learning about prescriptions and compounding. I never realized the science behind how different ingredients are mixed together could alter the affects of a medication on a patient."
"My favorite part of training was learning to make IV's in the inpatient training block."
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?
"I've been regularly asked to be the shift lead by supervision. I enjoy mentoring jr. pharmacy technicians and keeping the ship running smooth."
In order to stay competitive in this growing field, you will want to stay current on state and national healthcare regulations, in addition to the latest science that might affect the way you do your job. If an employer desires for you to continue your education, they are setting the expectation by asking this question in an interview.
"Yes. I have already researched some courses I plan to take over the next year in order to move forward in my career."
"Yes! I actually just finished up my online CEU's in order to apply for my National Accreditation extension."
If this is your first pharmacy technician position talk about any other relevant work experience. After you passed your exam, you may be looking for some on-the-job training. You can talk about your education. Sharing some of things you found most interesting during your courses will show the interviewer your interest and desire to grow in the field.
"I don't have much experience working in the industry, but I can tell you about what I've learned about it in my training courses."
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.
"I like working in an environment where I am constantly learning. I like being challenged. There are always changes to regulations and new information."
"I enjoy the ability to work in different areas of pharmacy. Inpatient, Outpatient, Compounding. I enjoy learning new things in the pharmacy career field."
When you think of a leader, who comes to mind? Do you think of a president, military leader or activist? Visualize this person and think about the qualities they embody. You may not be fighting for freedom, but you can still make a difference in the workplace through your leadership skills. Think of three qualities.
"Being decisive. confident and empathetic."
"I've been complimented on my communication and active listening skills. I think it is important to foster open lines of communication in order to successfully get through each day."
Be realistic with what you can take on, but above all, be flexible! Plan ahead by looking at your schedule and being honest about what you will be able to do. If the job requires 40 hours a week, make sure that's something you can do. If you know they may need nights and weekends, see if you can clear your schedule to be flexible to work those times. You don't need to tell your employer everything that's on your schedule, just be clear on what you can offer.
"My schedule is quite flexible. If I can be given a 24 hour advance notice I can work any shift."
A Pharmacy Technician performs work under pharmacists within a pharmacy. Pharmacy technicians have many duties in the pharmacy, some of these functions include; opening the pharmacy, sterilizing equipment, greeting patients, data entry, dispensing drugs, inventory reports, stocking shelves, answering phones, and other administrative duties.
Preparing for a pharmacy technician interview is simple, just know the skills that a pharmacist looks for in their technicians and make sure you align yourself with those skills. A pharmacist will want a technician capable of multi-tasking, handling customer complaints in a professional/positive manner, diligent in their work, very organized, communicates clearly and efficiently, passionate about pharmacy, and motivated. Understand how your skills align with the ones mentioned and prepare your interviewing theme around these skills.
Pharmacy technicians can expect an interview by a pharmacist and possibly an assistant or store manager. The assistant or store manager will want to be sure you fit the company's values while the pharmacist will check your skill set and make sure you are capable of handling the duties of a pharmacy technician inside their pharmacy. Most interview questions will center around customer service and responsibility within the workplace. There is no room for error inside a pharmacy so expect to be asked how you double check your work and are sure your work is error-free. Interviewers will want to know how you handle customer complaints and how you solve customer problems in a calm manner. The interviewers will also want to know what your future career plans are and why you want this current job opening.