Generally, Pharmacy Technician interviews need to be tackled in any manner an individual deems correct. However, there are some protocols that you need to follow if you want your interview to be successful. 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 interview. Many things can go wrong at 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. This does not mean that you should lie but keeping it positive and upbeat will be of great benefit to you.
For instance, if you are a pharmacy technician, you may be asked some of the following questions at an interview. Answers are provided so that you can determine how to respond:
Pharmacy Technician Interview Questions and Answers
Tell me about yourself?
I am a detail-oriented and skilled pharmacy technician who enjoy 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 capacity of a pharmacy technician for the past three years.
What duties a pharmacy technician is 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 sent out, collecting payment or checking insurance status before each prescription is handed out and maintaining sanitized and hygienic storage conditions for the prescriptions while practicing state issued infection control protocols on both sides of the prescription counter.
What were your duties at your previous job?
My duties at the previous work place included: stock receiving and checking, inventory maintenance, drug storage, stocking and labeling of medicines, mixing compounds to prepare prescribed tonics, attending customers and explaining the dosage of medicine to customers.
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 really enjoy. Working at a pharmacy provides me an opportunity to do both.
What are the factors that need to be considered in drug storage?
Storage temperature, light and sanitary conditions are the three basic factors that need to be considered while storing any drug.
What steps are followed when filling a prescription?
The prescription is read and thoroughly understood first. Then the items required are carefully measured and mixed in the prescribed amounts. The prescription is then inspected by a licensed pharmacist before being handed over to the patient.
Which pharmacy related software have you used before?
I have worked with HIMSS, ASHP and CPOE. I am a tech savvy person and quickly understand and adapt to new and latest versions of pharmacy software.
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.
How do you feel about serving an indigent patient?
I serve all patients in a similar manner, that is courteously, politely and with a lot of compassion.
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 trainings held by them. I also keep my knowledgebase regarding the pharmacy field updated via study of various research journals featuring ongoing pharmaceutical studies and their effectiveness.
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.
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.
How do you deal with upset customers?
I often come across customers who get angry because their insurance does not cover certain 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 medication. I do not lose my temper as I see no point in two very angry people shouting at each other.
Share a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer?
Last year, an elderly lady walked in with a prescription for a readymade pill. The pharmaceutical company who 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 exactly the same as the old ones’ so I handed her the new 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’s the same medicine.
What is the importance of confidentiality in this role?
Keeping information discreet is very important as pharmacy technicians have access to customers’ private information. It is important for them to keep information confidential since it is ethically wrong if they divulge information that customers have trusted them with.
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 that chances of errors decrease. I always double check medicines before I hand them out.
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, proper labeling and arrangement of medicines are very crucial to avoiding stress, ensuring smooth pharmacy operations throughout the day.
Which aspect of your job as a pharmacy technician you enjoy most?
I enjoy my job immensely since I am very interested in 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 them how it must be used.
What do you do to avoid boredom while having to perform repetitive tasks each day?
Medicine mixing and getting the percentages right is very important 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.
How do you go about with drugs storage?
On receiving the stock I study the expiry dates and temperature requirements very carefully and then store the drugs accordingly in appropriate storage sections, placing the ones with lesser remaining expiry period in the front shelves.
Where do you see yourself after five years?
In five year’s time I see myself working for you in capacity of a senior pharmacist.
Outline 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 checked and verified by the senior pharmacist for component accuracy and given out to the customer.
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