Sample Pharmacist Interview Questions and Answers

Outclass other candidates with well-founded responses about keeping up with pharmaceutical trends, advising patients on drug interactions, and providing superior customer service.

Sample Pharmacist Interview Questions and Answers

Here are some tips for answering pharmacist interview questions.

The most successful pharmacists are not only experts who properly dispense medication—they're also important members of their community. They advise on health regimens, help curb prescription drug abuse, and provide wellness services. Employers want to hire pharmacists who are well-rounded and customer-oriented, so take that into consideration when you're preparing for your pharmacist interview questions.

Whether you're applying to work in clinical or retail pharmacy, you should expect to discuss the following during your interview: how you educate customers about taking medication and handling side effects, your experience giving immunizations, and your methods for providing customer service when pharmacies are overwhelmed. Monster has loads of pharmacy jobs for you to review, so after you apply, be sure to read over our list of common pharmacist interview questions and answers to prepare for your interview.

Pharmacist Interview Questions

  1. What Made You Choose a Career as a Pharmacist?
  2. How Do You Keep Up With Pharmaceutical Trends?
  3. How Do You Advise Patients on Drug Interactions?
  4. How Do You Manage Disputes Between Pharmacy Technicians?
  5. What Kinds of Vaccinations Have You Given?
  6. How Do You Maintain Excellent Customer Service When Dealing With a High Volume of Patients?

Question #1: What Made You Choose a Career as a Pharmacist?

As part of your initial pharmacy interview questions, employers will want to know why you chose a career in pharmacy. Think about your career path, along with why you're interested in getting involved in your community. Before responding, think about:

  • What motivated you to select pharmacy versus other healthcare careers?
  • What interests you about pharmacology?
  • How can you help your community as a pharmacist?

How You Could Answer

"When I was in college, I knew that I wanted to pursue medicine in one way or another because I wanted to help heal people, but I wasn't completely convinced that I'd want to become a physician. Pharmacology, however, captivated me. I loved learning about the effects and modes of action of different drugs. I then realized that pharmacists are the most accessible providers within the healthcare system, and I felt motivated by how much I could potentially educate and help my community by building relationships with customers and improving patient outcomes by advising them on their lifestyles, medical conditions, and nutritional needs."

Question #2: How Do You Keep Up With Pharmaceutical Trends?

The pharmaceutical industry is constantly progressing with new drug classes and research into how to prescribe, use, and tolerate medications. Your potential employer's pharmacist interview questions may ask about how you stay up to date on pharmaceutical news, so make sure to express your dedication to the field and consider:

  • What sources do you regularly look to for pharmaceutical news?
  • What are some recent trends you're excited about?

How You Could Answer

"I'm subscribed to the American Pharmaceutical Review, so I read that on a regular basis to get info on new trends and the latest research. That's where I learned about new findings in antibody-directed therapy and immuno-oncology drug delivery. I also consult other publications, such as Pharmacy Times, Pharmacy Practice News, and The Medical Letter."

"Most recently, I became a member of the American Pharmacists Association. Besides enjoying their Pharmacy Today publication—which has an informative 'New & Approved' section covering new approvals of prescription and over-the-counter medications—I also receive clinical updates, patient-care resources, access to meetings and virtual events, and networking possibilities from them."

Question #3: How Do You Advise Patients on Drug Interactions?

Many patients attending their local pharmacy—especially elderly ones—may be using multiple prescription and OTC medications at the same time. Your knowledge of these drug interactions—and how to prevent adverse outcomes—will likely come up within any set of pharmacist interview questions. Practice before going in:

  • What are the most serious drug interactions you've learned about?
  • How do you help prevent interactions from occurring?
  • How do you check or double-check on any interactions before giving a prescription?

How You Could Answer

"First, I want to mention that I'd advise any patient to try and stick with one pharmacy, so that we have all their medical and dietary information readily available in our system when preparing a prescription. If I have a new patient, I'll ask what medications they're currently taking and what they've taken in the recent past, along with some questions about lifestyle and nutrition. So, for instance, if they're being prescribed an anticoagulant, I'll tell them to avoid overeating foods high in vitamin K—such as kale, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, beef liver, and even chicken—since very high levels of vitamin K in these patients can increase clotting and bump up the risk of stroke."

"But I'm most concerned about medications with a narrow therapeutic index (NTI-drugs) that have only a small difference between a therapeutic and toxic dose and are more likely to adversely interact with other drugs. I'll also be extra prudent if the patient has epilepsy, depression, or a heart condition. I know most pharmacies have computer systems that review for drug interactions, so I'll always check that—or I'll double-check with our head pharmacist if I'm unsure about a possible interaction."

Question #4: How Do You Manage Disputes Between Pharmacy Technicians?

Disagreements or friction can occur between any staff members and can be detrimental to customer service. Therefore, pharmacy situational interview questions and answers such as this one call for you to illustrate your leadership, interpersonal, and conflict-resolution skills. Show your interviewer that you want to sort out the situation quickly to avoid negatively impacting patients by considering:

  • How would you put your people skills to use?
  • How would you ensure that productivity isn't affected?

How You Could Answer

"A pharmacist sometimes needs to mediate disputes to preserve harmony among staff so that we remain productive for our customers. So I would ask both parties to finish their work and attend a meeting after the store closes. I'd ask for both sides' perspectives to get to the root of the issue, discuss options to resolve it that would make them both happy, and then let them know that they should come directly to me when they have any concerns, moving forward, so that I can help before problems escalate."

Question #5: What Kinds of Vaccinations Have You Given?

Offering immunizations has become a mainstay in pharmacies and has expanded access to vaccines in communities nationwide. Remember that most people have more regular in-person contact with their pharmacist than with their physician, which makes it easy for them to update their vaccinations without having to make a doctor's appointment. So, when responding during one of your rounds of pharmacist interview questions, you should highlight:

  • How experienced are you with vaccinations?
  • What vaccines are you familiar with?

How You Could Answer

"I've completed vaccination training for my state license, and I'm familiar with protocols for vaccination safety. I'm also aware of the recommended immunizations for both children and adults. And as of this interview, I've performed vaccinations for influenza, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, and COVID-19."

Question #6: How Do You Maintain Excellent Customer Service When Dealing With a High Volume of Patients?

Great customer service is key to any pharmacy's success and will probably turn up during your first round of pharmacist interview questions. Prime yourself by assessing the following:

  • How do you work under pressure?
  • What do you do to reduce stress during hectic workdays?

How You Could Answer

"I run through two mantras during busy seasons or crazy days when there are lines of patients waiting: Stay organized and stay focused. I tell my staff the same thing. When I see a surplus of patients coming in, I always check on each technician—and my pharmacist colleagues—to confirm that we're all on the same page. If customers are complaining, I'll head over to the counter, ask if there's anything I can do while they wait, and offer them water. And if we have particularly complex prescriptions, I'll ask some coworkers to hang around the front and answer customer questions, so that I can zero in on filling them. When I'm finished, I'll ask another pharmacist to verify my work, and I'll go to the front to let the patients know that their prescriptions will be completed shortly."

Ready to Find a Fulfilling Pharmacy Job?

Now that you've gone over our list of prospective pharmacist interview questions, you can concentrate on your job search. Monster will give you a booster once you create a profile—we'll send you essential career tips and free, customized alerts on openings at pharmacies in your area.