How to Prepare for a Pharmacy Technician Interview Interview?
By now you may have come across many people telling you to prepare for an interview, but how does one prepare?
Preparation can mean many things; understanding the job description is one and training to be confident is another. Both are equally important, and both will go a long way in assuring your success at an interview.
Success at preparation does not guarantee a successful Pharmacy Technician interview.
Many things can go wrong in an interview, so it is up to you to handle situations as they occur.
You may come across difficult questions. But, if you know what the job is all about, you will have no trouble answering them. And if you are presented with questions aimed at your personality, you must remember that you have to depict a positive side.
It does not mean that you should lie but keeping it positive and upbeat will be of great benefit to you.
Related: Pharmacy Technician Resume
If you are a pharmacy technician, you may be asked some of the following questions in an interview. Answers are provided so that you can determine how to respond:
Pharmacy Technician Interview Questions and Answers
1. Tell me about yourself?
I am a detail-oriented and skilled pharmacy technician who enjoys interacting with people. I am a graduate of the community college with specialized courses in pharmaceutical studies and have been working at the North West Hospital in the capacity of a pharmacy technician for the past three years.
2. What duties are a pharmacy technician required to perform?
Duties of a pharmacy technician include:
- filling prescriptions for patients
- advising them regarding safe and effective prescription using procedures
- maintaining records of each prescription
- collecting payment or checking insurance status before each prescription is handed out
- keeping sanitized and hygienic storage conditions for the prescriptions
- practicing infection control protocols on both sides of the prescription counter
3. What were your duties at your previous job?
My duties at my previous workplace included: stock receiving and checking, inventory maintenance, drug storage, stocking and labeling of medicines, mixing compounds to prepare prescribed tonics, attending to customers, and explaining the dosage of medicine to customers.
4. Why do you want to work at a pharmacy as opposed to a healthcare facility?
I like face-to-face customer contact and dispensing medication is something that I enjoy. Working at a pharmacy provides me with an opportunity to do both.
5. What are the factors that need to be considered in drug storage?
Storage temperature, light, and sanitary conditions are the three primary factors that need to be considered while storing any drug.
6. What steps are followed when filling a prescription?
We have to read and understood the prescription first. Then the items required are carefully measured and mixed in the prescribed amounts. A licensed pharmacist then inspects the prescription before being handed over to the patient.
7. Which pharmacy-related software have you used before?
I have worked with HIMSS, ASHP, and CPOE. Also, I am a tech-savvy person and quickly understand and adapt to new and latest versions of pharmacy software.
8. Define prescription medicine?
Prescription medicines are those drugs or medicines that cannot be dispensed or sold without the written prescription of a qualified and certified medical practitioner and that too only in limited amounts.
9. How do you feel about serving an indigent patient?
I similarly serve all patients courteously and politely with a lot of compassion.
10. How do you keep yourself up to date with pharmacy practice?
I am an active member of the American Association of Pharmacists and regularly participate in various workshops and training held by them. Also, I keep my knowledge base regarding the pharmacy field updated via the study of various research journals featuring ongoing pharmaceutical studies and their effectiveness.
11. How do you spot a drug seeker and what do you do if you suspect one?
If a person is asking for a prescription drug without a prescription from a certified practitioner, I usually suspect him or her to be a drug seeker.
In such cases, I refuse to dispense the drug and immediately report to the licensed pharmacist who then looks into the manner further.
12. What are the non-medication-related responsibilities of a pharmacy technician?
These include dispensing drugs, storing medicines, labeling them, stocking them date-wise, and filling relevant inventories.
13. How do you deal with upset customers?
I often come across customers who get angry because their insurance does not cover specific medication or those who want refills before they are allowed. Before situations get out of hand, I explain to them that they need to contact their healthcare provider or insurance company.
Since my job is only to dispense medication, and I might not be able to provide them with information on why an insurance company will not cover their claim. I do not lose my temper as I see no point in two angry people shouting at each other.
14. Share a time when you had to deal with a demanding customer?
Last year, an elderly lady walked in with a prescription for a readymade pill. The pharmaceutical company that made it had changed owners, and they had slightly changed the name of that medicine.
I checked for the underlying salts and potencies they were the same as the old ones’ so I handed her the newly packaged ones. She argued a lot about it and didn’t trust the pills due to the difference in packing and name. With a lot of patience and simplified scientific explanations, I finally convinced her that it was the same medicine.
12. What is the importance of confidentiality in this role?
Keeping information discreet is very important as pharmacy technicians have access to customers’ private information. They need to keep the information confidential since it is ethically wrong if they divulge information that customers have trusted them with.
13. How do you handle things accurately?
Since accuracy means the difference between life and death in my job, I have to be very careful. I do not fill two prescriptions simultaneously so the chances of errors decrease. I always double-check medicines before I hand them out.
14. How do you manage daily workplace stress?
I manage workplace stress by walking in each day organized and by ensuring proper communication regarding the prescriptions.
Tasks that may seem trivial like inventory upkeep, adequate labeling, and arrangement of medicines are very crucial to avoiding stress and guaranteeing smooth pharmacy operations throughout the day.
15. Which aspect of your job as a pharmacy technician do you enjoy most?
I enjoy my job immensely since I am very interested in the medical miracles these medicines can perform. My favorite aspect, however, is public dealing. I enjoy helping out people by preparing medicine for them and explaining to them how it must be used.
16. What do you do to avoid boredom while having to perform repetitive tasks each day?
Medicine mixing and getting the percentages right is critical, and the repetitive task can go wrong due to boredom. I take short breaks now and then to refresh myself and have a track record of always preparing exact compositions based on the given prescription.
17. How do you go about drug storage?
On receiving the stock, I study the expiry dates and temperature requirements very carefully. Then store the drugs accordingly in the appropriate storage sections, placing the ones with lesser remaining expiry period on the front shelves.
18. Where do you see yourself after five years?
In five years, I see myself working for you in the capacity of a senior pharmacist.
19. Describe the steps you follow when you receive a prescription order?
On receiving a prescription, I determine the components required and their quantities. I then measure these out and create the mixture while paying a lot of attention to detail.
I also check for any special medicinal requirements mentioned by the prescribing doctor and ascertain the expiry date of each component I add. The prescription is then reviewed and verified by the senior pharmacist for component accuracy and given out to the customer.