8 Most-Asked Pharmacy Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

8 Most-Asked Pharmacy Interview Questions & How to Answer Them
June 28, 2024
RxLocal Team

Interviews are one of the most important — but anxiety-inducing — tasks you’ll complete in your career.

If you’ve ever interviewed for a pharmacy position before, you’re probably familiar with the sweaty palms, racing heart, and nervous jitters that come with walking into the room and hoping to make a good impression.

While interviews can be scary, it’s helpful to remember what they’re designed to do.

Ultimately, interviewers want to get to know you, both as a person and as a professional, and determine whether you’re a good fit for their pharmacy.

Similarly, interviews offer you the opportunity to get to know the pharmacy and decide whether you can see yourself working with them.

In terms of the interview itself, you should also remember that many interviews feature the same kinds of questions: about you, about your experience, and about your potential as an employee.

If you want to do well in your interview then, think about potential interview questions ahead of time, practice responses, and decide what you want to say on interview day.

With that being said, here are 9 common pharmacy interview questions and — most importantly — how you should answer those questions.

1. Tell me about yourself.

No matter what pharmacy you interview with, you’re almost guaranteed to get this question. Sharing a few words about yourself can help the interviewer get to know you before diving too deep into pharmacy-specific questions.

Here, you should provide relevant information without reciting your resume – more than likely, the interviewers have already read it.

Instead, briefly describe your education, work history, and what your goals are in pharmacy.

Example answer: “I graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from XYZ University. Over the past three years, I've worked as a community pharmacist where I helped develop a med sync program and more comprehensive health and wellness classes. This helped double our patient base in the last year. I’m passionate about helping patients and ensuring they get the best possible care.”

2. Why did you choose pharmacy as a career path?

In your interview, remember your why.

The interviewer is interested in what drives you — aside from salary — and this question allows you to share that.

If you've had an early experience in community pharmacy, reflect on it. If you were impacted by a pharmacist, talk about them. If you have other interests that tie into pharmacy, explain them.

In other words, be honest about why you got into pharmacy and why you continue to pursue it.

Example answer: "In college, I had a strong interest in chemistry, and I wanted to apply that knowledge to help people. Being a pharmacist allows me to take my own passions and make a direct impact on patient health, which is incredibly fulfilling."

3. Can you describe a time you handled a difficult patient?

When asked behavioral-style questions like this one, use the STAR method.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Start by laying out a specific Situation or Task that you’ve had to complete, specific to handling difficult patients. Then, explain the Action that you took and why. Finally, share the Result.

This method allows interviewers to see your problem-solving skills in action.

Example answer: “At X Pharmacy, I often worked at the returns counter. One day, a customer became very upset about the wait time. When it was her turn, I listened to her concerns, acknowledged her frustration, and apologized for the inconvenience. I explained that we were short-staffed and asked how I could assist her before ringing up her purchases. Our interaction took a bit longer, but she was satisfied with the service and thanked me before leaving, no longer visibly angry.”

4. What would you do if you discovered a prescription error?

Another behavioral-style question, the interviewer wants to know how you respond to mistakes — essentially, if you can handle pressure, fix mistakes, and prevent it from deterring you from other tasks.

Here, make sure you emphasize the importance of accuracy while explaining the steps you would take to fix the mistake.

After answering the question, you can also ask the interviewer(s) what the pharmacy’s protocols are for prescription errors.

Example answer: “If I discovered a prescription error, my priority would be patient safety. I would immediately stop the dispensing process and notify the prescriber to clarify the prescription. I would also inform my supervisor about the error. Afterward, I would document the error according to the pharmacy's protocol and work on improving our processes to prevent similar mistakes in the future. What protocols are in place at X Pharmacy?”

5. How do you stay current with the latest developments in pharmacy?

Pharmacy is always changing, and interviewers want to know if you’re up to date with those changes.

If you attend CE courses, if you hold membership in a particular pharmacy organization, if you subscribe to pharmacology journals, or if you attend pharmacy conferences, highlight those here and demonstrate how you’d like to continue learning.

Example answer: “I make it a priority to stay updated with the latest in pharmacy by attending workshops, webinars, and continuing education courses. I'm also a member of APhA. This helps me stay informed about new advancements and best practices so I can serve my patients better.”

6. How do you prioritize your tasks in a busy environment?

As you may well know, community pharmacy can be hectic.

With this question, the interviewer wants to know whether you can prioritize tasks, manage time, and remain efficient in stressful situations.

When answering, it’s best to outline concrete ways of prioritizing tasks — rather than making mental lists or simply stating that you always get the job done. Specificity is key here.

Example answer: “I make digital to-do lists and prioritize tasks based on urgency and impact on patient care. I also delegate tasks when appropriate and make sure to communicate with my team to ensure smooth workflow."

7. Why do you want to work for our pharmacy?

Here, the interviewer wants to know whether your values and goals align with the pharmacy’s.

Before answering this question, make sure to do ample research — what kind of patients does the pharmacy see? What services does it offer? Where can you contribute?

Also think about your own interests in working for this pharmacy and craft your response accordingly.

Example answer: “I admire your pharmacy’s commitment to patient education, especially through your medication management programs and free health screenings. My background in community outreach aligns perfectly with these initiatives. I believe I can contribute positively to the team and expand these services.”

8. Do you have any questions for us?

In almost all interviews, the interviewer turns the question back around and asks if you have any questions you’d like to ask. You should. Before coming to the interview, jot down a few questions you have about job duties, workplace culture, opportunities for growth, etc.

Asking questions shows your interest in the position and helps you get clarification on anything you may have missed.

Here are a few questions may want to ask:

  • What does a typical day look like for a pharmacist here?
  • Can you tell me about the team I would be working with?
  • What are the main challenges currently facing your pharmacy?
  • How does your pharmacy support professional development?
  • What are the opportunities for career advancement?
  • How do you handle and resolve medication errors?
  • What technologies or systems do you use for medication management?
  • How do you approach patient counseling and education?
  • What are your expectations for the first few months on the job?
  • How does the pharmacy support the local community?


Preparing for a pharmacy interview involves more than just practicing questions.

It allows you to reflect on your experiences as a pharmacist and how they align with the role you’re applying for.

However, by anticipating questions and crafting well-rounded answers ahead of time, you can increase your odds of being seen as a qualified candidate.

In the interview, remember to highlight your passion for patient care, your willingness to stay up to date in the industry, and your ability to respond to challenging situations with empathy.

With the right preparation, you’ll be well on your way to impressing your interviewers and getting the pharmacy job of your dreams.