Ask These 25 Questions in Your Next Pharmacy Interview
Hiring a pharmacist is no easy feat — and you’ve learned it firsthand.
On your search, you’ve sifted through papers, read through résumés, and narrowed down to a few qualified candidates. Now, though, you’ve come to the most critical part of the hiring process: interviewing. Although they’re infamous among all parties part involved, the importance of interviewing can’t be stressed enough.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “The interview experience is the single most influential factor in the hiring process.”
And it's not without reason, either.
As SHRM explains, “If done effectively, the interview enables the employer to determine if an applicant's skills, experience, and personality meet the job's requirements. It also helps the employer assess whether an applicant would likely fit in with the [pharmacy’s] culture. In addition, preparing for an interview can help clarify a position's responsibilities.”
Unlike applications, interviews give you the chance to meet a candidate in person and get a feel for their personality and whether or not they will be a good fit for your pharmacy. With so much weight placed on them, you should take interviews seriously.
That starts with making a plan.
To create the best possible interview experience (for both yourself and your candidates), try out a few best practices:
To get a better understanding of each of your candidates, it’s critical that you ask strategic questions. Your questions should help you get to know the ins and outs of each candidate — including who they are, how they work, and how they respond to situations — so that you can more effectively find the right one for your pharmacy.
Not sure where to start, or what to ask? Read on to find the right mix of questions for your next interview.
For more tips and tricks on picking the right candidate, read our blog, How to Find Your Next Pharmacist | Hiring Best Practices.
1. Can you tell me about yourself?
2. How would your closest friends describe you? Your colleagues?
3. Why did you choose to go into community pharmacy?
4. What educational or professional experiences have impacted you the most?
5. Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
6. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
7. Describe the role of the community pharmacist.
8. What is the biggest challenge community pharmacy is facing?
9. How do you help patients effectively manage their medication?
10. What experience do you have with [a particular clinical service]?
11. How have you adapted your practice throughout COVID-19?
12. How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends in pharmacy?
13. How do you handle the business side of pharmacy?
14. If a patient gave you a prescription you believed to be fake, what would you do?
15. If a patient felt hesitant to get their COVID-19 vaccine, how would you address the situation and put them at ease?
16. If a patient needed one-on-one attention in the middle of a busy shift, how would you respond to them?
17. If a patient refused to take a medication as prescribed, what would you do?
18. If a prescriber did not want to change a medicine that you believed was inappropriate for a particular patient, how would you react?
19. If you found yourself in the middle of a predicament between two other pharmacists, how would you handle the conflict?
20. If you disagreed with the pharmacist-in-charge about a clinical matter, how would you resolve the situation?
21. What would you want to accomplish in the first week on the job? The first month? The first year?
22. How does the mission of our pharmacy align with your own?
23. How would you contribute to our team and our community?
24. Which of your skills make you a good fit for the job?
25. What can you offer us that someone else cannot?
It’s no secret that interviews are tough, time-consuming, and tricky to get right. If you do get them right, though, you can rest easy knowing that you’re one step closer to hiring your next pharmacist — and more importantly, hiring the right pharmacist.
By asking carefully considered questions, you can get carefully crafted answers from each of your candidates: questions that will reveal exactly what you’re looking for (and what you’re not).
As you start your interviewing process, take the time to think about what’s important to you, your team, and your patients; and make sure your questions reflect what you’re after.
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, and you won’t be surprised to find the perfect pharmacist. Happy asking!