Thousands of students apply to pharmacy schools every year, and almost 82.7% get accepted. The acceptance rate varies from school to school and is based on various factors. To get accepted means, you’d have to clear all the levels, including the interview round. Often, students dread the interview round because they fear what will be asked and what they will answer.
Here’s a list of frequently asked pharmacy school interview questions with answers you can use to practice mock interviews!!!
Personal Pharmacy School Interview Questions
The entry-level pharmacy school interview questions are often personal, as the institute aims at learning about the candidate in detail before enrolling them in their course. It is essential to keep in mind that the interviewers may ask all sorts of questions ranging from personal to behavioral, social, political, and also scenario based.
Some of the personal ones are discussed here, have a look and use them for your convenience.
1. “Tell me about yourself?”
This is the standard question every interviewer will ask in and outside of the institute. When they ask you to introduce yourself, they expect you to tell them things that are not mentioned in your resume. This is because they have already gone through your CV, so they know what you are (that’s why you were selected, remember!!)
It is both tough and easy to answer this one. It would be best if you were yourself, but only that much can get you into the institute. You can also add humor to your answer or choose to answer it seriously. You must include these in your response:
- Who are you?
- Where do you belong to?
- Something about your family
- What got you interested in the course?
Sample Answer: “Greetings!! My name is Steve, and I’m from Missouri. I live with my parents and little brother. I want to give you a little backstory about my inclination toward the field. When I was 14, my grandpa’s health deteriorated, and we had to take him to the ER, where we were told that he was required to get admitted. I was with him throughout his treatment, and my constant support was Mr. Bell, the pharmacist who gave me the proper medication and ensured I was taken care of. Mr. Bell is my inspiration to pursue my career as a pharmacist.”
The Impact: The candidate begins by introducing himself and his living conditions. He then gives a peek into his personal life by sharing his experience and how it affected him. Finally, he checks all the boxes in the introduction guide.
You can see how he didn’t stretch it long and finished in 4-5 statements. Keeping your introduction short yet detailed is essential because it reflects your ability to stay focused and not waver off with unnecessary details.
2. What makes you want to be a Pharmacist?
After sharing your personal experience, you can elaborate via this question on what got you thinking about a career in this field. This question is ideal for making a good impression on the panel members. You can mention your contribution to the progress of the field. I know you might not have achieved anything of that sort, but you can always talk about what you can achieve if given a chance.
Sample Answer: “My family has a long history of members not taking care of their medications. Be it not taking them timely, knowing their pros and cons, consuming the correct dosage, or following a course set by the physician. I aim to educate my family and everyone around me about the importance of prescriptions.”
“I also wish to debunk the mysteries of medications, where my soft skills would come into play. I have seen people hiding things from their pharmacists. This hinders the pharmacist’s ability to help them to the fullest. I want to create an environment where people are not judged and can openly discuss their ailments.”
The Impact: The candidate gave another anecdote and pointed out the current issue he wishes to work on. This shows the willingness to better the existing conditions. It would be best to be specific and concise while answering this question.
3. What did you do to prepare for the pharmacy school?
The fact that you have already studied the courses or anything similar is not what they want to hear; they want to know that you are attending the school to learn these things. However, there are several things you can do to assist yourself in preparation. Your research should be your first port of call.
Sample Answer: “Along with the subjects included in my curriculum, I also went ahead and did some research myself. I talked to people around me and some pharmacy students who are currently enrolled in your institute and understood that the curriculum here is rigorous and would require more hard work than I expected. Still, that hard work also pays off with the experience that the students attain.”
“I trained myself in an environment similar to that of your school, and I believe that I’m ready to use my time management skills and dexterity to absorb every drop of knowledge that the esteemed professors of the school would impart.”
The Impact: This is one of the most crucial pharmacy school interview questions as it determines your eligibility as a student fit to be admitted to their school. It also shows your eagerness and flexibility. You must sound confident while answering this question, as it can significantly affect the jury’s decision.
4. The study of pharmacy is time- and labor-intensive. Are you equipped to deal with that? What are you prepared to give up?
This is a crucial one. First, you need to appear sincere in your answer. You need to make the jury believe that you will work hard to overcome it no matter what may come.
Sample Answer: “I understand the intensity of the course. As I mentioned, I did talk to your students priorly, and from what I heard, I have made up my mind, and I believe I’m equipped to deal with all the obstacles in my course duration.”
“I understand that I would have to make sacrifices as I pursue academics. However, I’d try to balance my academics and personal life. If something unavoidable or urgent occurs, I will devote my time and attention to whichever is more important.”
The Impact: In the personal pharmacy interview questions, this one can be deciding factor as the answer reflects the candidate’s ability to tackle crucial situations. A student who can manage situations requiring equal time and attention is deemed eligible for any medical school.
5. How do you respond to difficulty? Can you offer a concrete example?
This one is one of the behavioral questions where your answer will determine whether you can handle pressure and failure. Behavioral questions are common and most-asked pharmacy school interview questions. For example, you can talk about the time when you were in trouble and how you overcame it.
Sample Answer: “When I was working at Starbucks, we often used to have super busy days where we’d not even have time to sit and breathe. In such situations, I used to distribute and delegate work in such a manner that work never felt tiresome to anyone. I also handled demanding customers well.”
The Impact: Being able to handle pressure while maintaining cordial relations with people around you is what was reflected in the candidate’s answer. When you answer such personal questions, you are expected to offer personal anecdotes to support whatever statement you pass regarding your personality.
6. What are the characteristics of a good pharmacist?
You need to think critically before answering this one. This question determines what kind of a physician you’d turn out to be. You must know the qualities of an excellent physician to explain them clearly.
Sample Answer: “In my opinion, a good pharmacist follows these 5Ps: patience, perseverance, pliability, persistence, and passion. A patient may sometimes be unable to convey what is wrong with them. Here it becomes the responsibility of the pharmacist to listen to him patiently and gauge what he is trying to convey.“
“It is also important they understand what you say. He should be pliable enough to gel well in volatile situations while persevering persistently. His passion for serving people should never diminish.”
The Impact: The candidate listed out the characteristics of a good pharmacist while justifying his answers. This shows that he has researched adequately while paying attention to detail. You must understand your answer before presenting it to someone.
7. What are the pros and cons of working as a pharmacist?
You must answer this one honestly yet carefully. Your answer would determine your research’s quality and interest in the field. You must not put stress only on the upside of your profession but give a balanced answer considering both – pros and cons of the vocation.
Sample Answer: “I believe every profession has its limitations and merits, and so does ours. When I see myself as a pharmacist five years from now, I see long duty hours, immense commitment, and crazy competitiveness – a high-pressure environment in which I will constantly be working.”
“However, I’ll happily work in this environment because I’ll be doing what I love to do: helping others. It will also enable me to work on my terms in a safe, independent environment.”
The Impact: The candidate discusses the downside of being a pharmacist, first creating a negative environment which he reverses when he begins talking about the positive impact of the vocation on his life. It is also noteworthy that the candidate discusses a scenario 5 years later from now which answers one of the most critical personal pharmacy school interview questions, which is “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
The pharmacy does not just sell medicines but trust too.
8. Why do you want to study at our school?
One of the most cliche yet most essential questions which determines the time you spent on looking for options and boiling down to the best one. Your answer will also let the jury know what qualities of their school are bringing new students in and where do they still need to be careful.
Sample Answer: “I honestly did a lot of research while looking for the best pharmacy schools, and all the schools I came across lacked something. For instance, some had a high GPA requirement, while others were out of my location criteria, and others did not offer research programs that were lucrative enough.”
But your school (Say the School Name) checks all the boxes on my criteria list. You have great teachers imparting valuable knowledge to their students; the research facility is inspiring, and the location is suitable enough for me to juggle efficiently between home, work, and school.”
“Your GPA requirement matches my scores, saving me from dropping my dream midway. Not to forget the prestige engulfing the town when someone talks about the school. I already know I made the right decision by applying here.”
The Impact: Pharmacy Interview Questions are set to filter out students and retain only those who display an actual desire for the vocation. This is why questions like these are asked, and your answer determines whether you’re sincere about the application and the course.
9. What will you do if you’re rejected from pharmacy school?
When you answer this one, you need to be extra careful, for it may make or break your reputation in front of the jury members. It not only reflects upon your other likings but also states that you have a backup plan ready if you cannot fulfill this one. However, you must frame your answer carefully, or it may seem as if you are not passionate enough about being a pharmacist.
Sample Answer: “I aspire to become a good pharmacist, so if I do not get selected in one go, I’d wait and apply again, but if due for some reason I’m unable to get into a pharmacy school, I’d have to drop the idea. However, I’d not curb my passion for helping people. I’ll be a part of an organization that enables me to impart my knowledge of science and medicine to the coming generations.”
The Impact: With the answer, the candidate made it clear that being a pharmacist is his priority, and if he fails in achieving so, he’ll try again. He also mentions that he has a backup plan he’ll go ahead with if things don’t turn out how he wants.
10. Are there any questions you’d like to ask me?
Once the interviewer is satisfied with your answers, he will open the session for questions from your side. You can use this opportunity to make a lasting impression on the jury. You would require ample research on the school to ask meaningful questions to the jury members.
You can ask these questions during the interview:
- What do you love the most about this school- something other schools do not offer?
- I’ve been really interested in the drama club, are there any such clubs in this school?
- What’s the best gesture any student has ever made for you?
- When can I expect to hear back about your decision?
Remember to ask at least one good question in your interview if given a chance. You must ask questions that only they can answer. You must not ask questions that can be answered via a simple Google search.
Pharmacy Tech Interview Questions
Pharmacy technicians are critical in ensuring the pharmacy runs efficiently and ethically. A qualified pharmacist directly supervises them. A recruiting manager may contact you if you’re beginning your career as a pharmacy technician to set up an interview. Reviewing the many sorts of questions, you must expect general, situational, and behavioral pharmacy tech interview questions. Here are a few frequently asked questions – you can use them to prepare your answers.
- Do you have any experience using pharmacy software or applications?
Pharmacists use software to collect, organize, and preserve information on prescriptions and medications. In your response, prove to the employer that you are familiar with these systems by describing how you use them.
Sample Answer: “At my recent job, I used the online prescription filling system, where I received orders online from my regular customers. I used the details like dosage and prescribing information to produce a package which they then were to collect. As a result, I have several years of experience working with databases that maintain and organize patient and relevant medication information.”
The Impact: The candidate gave an example to prove his ability; he also mentioned that he has years of experience working with similar systems. This will ensure the interviewer that the candidate is a good choice for the position.
- How do you ensure that immediate prescriptions are filled?
This is one of the most essential pharmacy tech interview questions as it is asked to see whether the candidate is able to manage his time well. If your interviewer asks this, it means he wants to know if you can prioritize work and manage tasks during high-pressure hours.
You can stress upon your organizational skills and time management ability by describing a method you used or came up with to handle stressful situations.
Sample Answer: “I use this system to ensure my medications are filled correctly and on time. I begin with filling those prescriptions that are to be delivered first. Next, I ask my supervising pharmacist to sign the prescriptions. I double-check every package before sending them off for delivery to ensure that I didn’t miss any medications. Then I proceed with the packages that require my attention but will be sent later.”
The Impact: While answering the question, the candidate offered a hint of his working style and displayed how he manages his time well and organizes his tasks based on their priority and urgency.
- Have you ever encountered a faulty prescription? How did you handle it?
Through this question, the interviewer gauges your accountability and leadership qualities. You can give an example from your previous job to support your answer.
Sample Answer: “Yes, I have faced a similar situation in my previous job. One of my coworkers had the habit of quickly filling up the prescriptions. Unfortunately, once in a hurry, the packages got mixed up, and two of our customers got the wrong medications.”
“When the person realized his mistake, he immediately came to me, and I looked up their addresses in our database. After that, I personally went to their houses, apologized for the mix-up, and assured them that nothing such fashion would ever occur again.”
The Impact: The candidate’s answer assures the interviewer that he has team spirit and feels accountable for the mistakes of his team members, making him a good leader as well.
Other Pharmacy Tech Interview Questions
These are some highly technical questions that an interviewer may ask if he is interested in hiring you. Below are some other pharmacy tech interview questions that are often asked by interviewers to hire the best for themselves.
- Have you ever disagreed with a coworker or your pharmacist supervisor? What were your tactics?
- What aspect of pharmacology fascinates you the most?
- What do you find most enjoyable about studying and practicing pharmacology?
- What abilities and credentials do you have that might be useful in this position?
- What would your former bosses say about you?
- Do you have any inquiries regarding the position or the business?
- What aspects do you take into account when you store medications?
- How can prescription filling accuracy be ensured?
- How would you approach a consumer whose prescription could take longer to fill than anticipated?
- Over the next five years, how do you anticipate the pharmaceutical sector will change?
You can prepare your answers to these questions according to the abovementioned samples. However, you must remember that whatever you say must hold some truth and have proof to support any claim you make about yourself, the pharmacy, or the vocation.
Situational Pharmacy Interview Questions
After the personal questions, situational pharmacy interview questions hold great merit in your selection process. You would be given an imaginary situation to which you’d have to answer intuitively. Generally, these questions are asked to gauge your decision-making skills and other abilities required in the field.
1. Assume you are a pharmacist nearing their shift’s end. You are the only employee at the drugstore and have five minutes to lock up, but you still have much work. You can’t stay up late since you have a significant occasion later tonight. How do you behave?
Such questions are asked to see if the candidate has time management skills. It also reflects upon the prioritizing ability of the candidate.
Sample Answer: “I once had such a night where new orders just came in that evening, and I had to attend my school ball that night. I quickly filled in all the urgent prescriptions and kept the not-so-urgent ones for the next day. I made it to the ball in time and managed the pharmacy well because the next day, when I reached the pharmacy, I got the pending work done in less than 30 minutes.”
The Impact: The candidate’s answer reflects his sincerity towards his work while showing his ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Such questions often require solutions that highlight your true skills.
2. A highly addictive drug is prescribed to a patient who enters the pharmacy for treatment. You observe that they are displaying indicators of addiction and drug usage. How do you act?
The excellency of situational pharmacy interview questions is that they indirectly offer a deep insight into the candidate’s skills and abilities. However, this situation also requires similar skills; the pharmacist must utilize their soft skills and decide whether to give the patient the said medication.
Sample Answer: “If I ever encounter such a patient, I’d first look into my database to check the prescribed dosage of the medication – from this, I would easily be able to judge the duration in which the medication would end. If I notice the patient arriving before the actual time of the end, then I’d try to investigate how they ended it so soon and whether the doctor changed the dosage. If I do not find the answers satisfactory, I would not give them the medicines.”
The Impact: This may take the interviewer by surprise or make him admire the candidate. The key is to honestly answer the question and display what you would actually do if you encountered such a situation.
3. After graduation, you are given a choice between two positions as a pharmacist: one is in a great city with plenty of local products and services, and the other is in an underserved community an hour away. Which one would you choose?
This one is tough. When given an option between comfort and service, people often choose comfort. Unfortunately, people who choose service often do so only to earn brownie points in the interview. But you must understand that the interviewer isn’t an amateur.
Sample Answer: “Honestly, the city job sounds lucrative because it is closer to my area of residence, so I’d not have to spend more on commuting. It also will be a rewarding one in terms of salary because of the establishment of several hospitals in the town. However, my aim of serving those in need would not be fulfilled here entirely.”
“Hence, I’d choose to commute daily and help the underserved community. I’d help them by educating them about the medications, and if possible, with the help of the locals, I’d also like to build them a little dispensary where a doctor would be at their assistance always.”
The Impact: The candidate answered the question truthfully by weighing his options and choosing what he wishes to do. Often the jury members ask such questions to test your statements regarding being passionate about the profession.
Other Behavioral and Situational Pharmacy School Interview Questions
General questions inform the interviewer about your personal life, but behavioral and situational questions help gauge your personality. Only if they find your personality fit for their institution they’ll admit you. Here are some other important pharmacy interview questions you can prepare for:
- You are the chief executive of a substantial pharmaceutical organization with financial difficulties. One day, an established manufacturer of health supplements offers to provide all the money you require in return for your assistance and funding credit. How will you proceed?
- A patient asks for a prescription drug when they visit the pharmacy. The patient now claims they do not have insurance and cannot pay the prescription. Do you tell the patient anything?
- On your second week as a newly recruited pharmacist, you discover that one of the older pharmacists wrongly entered information into your computerized system. When you point out the problem, they immediately fix it but then say, “This new system they put in just keeps doing that!” even though it was obviously their error. What is your reaction?
- What is that one element of pharmacy that you did not initially know about before college? When/how did you learn about that, and how has it affected you?
- High cholesterol and diabetes run in your family. Your father has decided only to use apps and wearable technologies to track their health. What is your reaction?
- A young woman comes up to you and asks for emergency contraception. She looks very angry. How do you behave?
- What do you think about the development of telepharmacy? What are its perks and limitations?
- What do you think about the medication price arms race? Which laws do you know of that deal with it?
- You are a pharmacist at a small, independent pharmacy. A patient approaches your counter and requests expensive medications. They do not present a prescription, and based on the records you can access, they are not receiving treatment for the illness that is treated by those medicines. Do you sell the medicines or not?
Pharmacy interviews are often dreadful, but you can easily ace your interview with proper guidance and practice. You must remember to be truthful and must believe in your answers. Maintaining your composure and confidence with every question you answer is vital.
If you need a few seconds to frame your answer, take it but do not give haywire answers, it can hamper your chances of getting in. Pharmacy Interview Questions are not limited to these; you can check out other sources to see what else remains to prepare.
Pharmacy schools are crucial for admission – after the tedious entrance tests, you must also clear interview rounds. These pharmacy school interview questions will prove to be helpful in preparing for your interview. While preparing for the same, it is advisable to practice it with someone, or you must look at yourself in the mirror and recite it.
FAQs regarding Pharmacy School Interview Questions
What type of questions are asked in the interview?
Pharmacy school interview questions are often categorized into 4 types: general, situational, behavioral, and school-specific. Your research should be good enough to answer these questions correctly, and you must also update yourself with the world’s happenings as you might get asked your views on recent affairs.
How long is the interview, and who’ll be asking the pharmacy interview questions?
Usually, such interviews last 20-40 minutes, depending on your answers. The professors, pharmacy students, local community members, and alumni usually conduct the interviews.
On what basis will I be evaluated during my pharmacy tech interview questions?
The pharmacy tech interview questions are often asked to gauge your skills and abilities, and these are the skills that the interviewer always seeks:
1. Communication skills
2. Knowledge of the profession
3. Relevant experiences
4. Problem-solving skills
6. Motivation for pursuing pharmacy
7. Ethics and morals